Atlantis Alumni

Friday, August 8, 2014

Adventures in Rome

Thursday we took a “see Rome on your own” bus into the capital city of Italy. From the Vatican we took a taxi to the Palazzo Venezia, which was once the embassy of the Venetian Republic, and later, in the 1930s the place where Mussolini made his most famed speeches from the central balcony. Today part of the huge Renaissance palace partly contains government offices, but there’s also an art and history museum. We saw examples of decorative art, a fine painting by Giorgione, and many other art works, all in the immense rooms of this old palace. There was also a historical exhibit about the liberation of Rome at the end of World War II, which even included reproductions of front pages from the Philadelphia Bulletin, the NY Times, Daily News, etc and incredible photos and memorabilia from the late 1940s. From the Palace we walked to the Piazza Navona, and our nearby favorite Roman restaurant, La Scaletta degli Artisti. It was packed, and we had a delicious lunch. Jim ordered an arugula salad and a plate of large pasta in a homemade cream sauce with ‘frutti di mare’ such as mussels and small clams. Dan had a salad with fennel, greens, olives, tomatoes and more, and then a ricotta and spinach stuffed ravioli in a light tomato sauce. We bought delicious Roman gellato at a shop nearby, after lunch and then walked to the Palazzo Spada. It has a small art gallery with Baroque paintings and ancient sculpture. But more unusual was its ‘perspective’ by the great 17th century architect Borromini; this a garden arcade with a column-decorated tunnel and a statue at the end which appeared to be quite long but was only 8 meters in length. Later we took the bus back to the ship and enjoyed dinner on board.—Dan

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