Trying to see the sights here is almost discouraging. Just when you think you have seen the fabulous Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, St Peter’s… new astounding treasures crop up on the list.
So tonight (with only 2 days left) we made a short list of must sees — Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum are at the top and the Borghese Gardens, Borghese Galleria , Santa Maria del Popolo (church full of Caravaggios!) Palatine Hill are still hanging around on the “if there’s still time” list. Clearly we will need another lifetime to visit Roma to see everything.
It feels like the deeper we dig to experience Rome; the more there is to see. Just like a tiramisu, Roma has delicious layers upon layers of history, art, architecture, and culture. Modern Rome is built with the Renaissance in its backyard and Ancient Rome in the basement. Probably every shovel of dirt (in the seemingly endless construction sites around the city) is full of some odd bits of historical significance. The layers are complex and almost too intense. I cannot imagine living here! We are bombarded with crowds, motor scooters, gelato, and baroque fountains
It’s been exciting (and surprisingly easy) to see art with the kids. They are collecting the Masters like Pokemon cards. Michelangelo’s Pieta? Got it. Bernini’s St Peter’s? Got it. Leonardo’s invention museum? Got it.
The kid’s favorite places to hang out are the cathedrals. In this epicenter of Catholicism, there are impressive surplus of churches. The kids love the deep quiet, the immense architecture, glorious paintings but I think most of all they love the solitude. It is wonderful to experience it with them.
There is art all around and I think most people don’t even see it. Buildings downtown with frescos, the elaborate mythological fountains on the corner, windows and doors adorned with carved angels—details to numerous for us to take in. Or perhaps we can’t take in this intensity it’s overwhelming in daily doses. So the business people hustle by with briefcases and the teenagers kissing on the scooter ignore the masterful sculptures and ancient ruins.
I will digress to my other favorite topic food!
In my extensive trip planning, I neglected to do much prep about
restaurants in Rome. So we’ve been stumbling around using our Kids in Rome guidebooks for foodie inspiration—not successfully.
So far we’ve not had a heart-stopping mouthful of anything. My favorite bites so far are these delicious meringue cookies made with hazelnuts (and tonight we found a variation with roasted pistachios!). Chewy, crunchy and nutty—just what cookies should be.
See you all in a couple days when we get to the countriside of Umbria!
Time to play “Where’s Waldo!!” Can you find Josh and the kids in this crazy scene at the Spanish Steps? If you need a clue look at the next photo to see what they are wearing!