Friday, June 24, 2011

I Remember ... The Pantheon Neighborhood

After a refreshing break and a change of clothes we got back on our feet for more sightseeing. This time we headed out in a different direction ... the Pantheon neighborhood, the heart of Rome.
I loved the urban-village feel of the area. There were so many narrow streets, shops and eateries ... so much foot traffic and scooters zipping by. We could hear the voices of the crowd surrounding the Trevi Fountain drifting in the air as we passed by.
We continued on to the Spanish Steps ... another people gathering place. The wide, curving staircase makes for a great view, a place to capture beautiful photo moments ... and even a wedding taking place!

As we walked along the busy sidewalks filled with stores, flower shops and horse-drawn carriages, one of the horses leaned over and bit Walt's chest. We were so shocked and it was hard to contain laughter until I knew he was o.k :)
We entered the north entrance to Rome at the Piazza del Popolo where the twin domed churches are located. It was refreshing to cool off by the fountain but I experienced what every tourist dreads ... being approached by locals wanting money. A young man tied an embroidery floss bracelet to my wrist and then asked for money for his church. He tried to give me a rose and followed us around the piazza. It was a bit frightening as I worried he was trying to distract me to get my purse. I finally gave him $2 and told him that's all I had. After that I was on "high alert" being more aware of those around me. This is the type of scenario that travel guides warn you about.
Despite this distraction we continued on toward the Vatican during the hottest time of the day. I am so glad I packed this dress at the last minute. With the warm temperatures this lightweight dress is comfortable and perfect for sightseeing. About this time a gelato sounded heavenly but we could not find the shop Joelle recommended and we pressed on ... hot and a little tired.

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