April-May 2005 in Italy and Malta

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April 17-22 Rome
Arrival in Rome,
Tourists in Rome

April 22-24 Bay of Naples

April 24-27 Capri

April 27-29 Amalfi to Maratea
Amalfi Coast and Paestum,

April 29-May 3 Sicily
To Sicily,
Sicily (Taormina)
Mosaics at Villa Imperiale di Casale,
Valley of the Temples,

May 3-6 On Malta
Blue Grotto and Temples
Valetta and Archaeological Museum,
Exhibits in Archaeological Museum
Hypogeum, Gozo and Ggantija,
Tarxien and Clapham Junction

May 6-7 Sicily, Scilla and Charybdis

May 7-8 Tropea (Capo Vaticano)

May 8-10 Puglia
Matera, Grotto, Trulli of Alberobello

May 10-12 Abruzzi National Park

May 12 Tivoli, Villa Adriana


Tourists in Rome

Spring in the Villa Borghese Police use transport that we would not see in Toronto

After all the rain that greeted out arrival, we were happily surprised to be greeted by a lovely sunny and cool day. I had deliberately left the day free before the meeting to get over the jet lag, so Ina and I spent the day walking around Rome. The first thing we did was take the Metro to the Villa Borghese and wander around to the Belvedere.

Top and bottom of the Spanish Steps

After enjoying the spring flowers and opening leaves of the Villa Borghese, we wandered down the nearby Spanish Steps. At the top a whole series of sketch artists were offering to draw one's portrait, and at the bottom a film crew were filming what seemed to be an interview. The steps were fairly crowded, but not as much as they would presumably be in the tourist season.

The Mausoleum of Augustus

From the Spanish Steps we strolled along to the Tiber, to look for the Mausoleum of Augustus. There were a lot of hoardings for building construction, but we eventually found it. It is quite impressive, but gives the impression of being recently neglected.

The Pantheon of Marcus Agrippa

On the walk from the Spanish Steps to the Mausoleum we had passed a small street food market, so we went back there and bought some fruit. We stopped at a cheap "tea house" which was a cafeteria-style lunch place, for lunch, and ate the fruit as we walked. Where we walked was the famous Pantheon of Marcus Agrippa. Like the Colosseum, it is impressive even though one has seen many pictures of it over the years.

Crowds surround the Trevi Fountain

The next major attraction was the Trevi Fountain, though on the way to it we passed Trajan's Column, the one with the procession spiralling up it. The Trevi fountain is indeed beautiful, but it is hard to appreciate it in the press of people that make movement around it rather difficult.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

It doesn't sound much in the telling, but by the time we got back to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we must have been walking 6 or 7 hours. It was worth it, though, to climb up the tomb and see the view from the top. The Tomb is near the north end of the Roman Forum, so we were pretty near the hotel by then, and the end of our walk through Rome.

There's no pictures from the three days of the meeting. Ina visited the Vatican, but the Sistine Chapel was still closed since it was the day after the Pope's election. She also visited the Circus Maximus and the Caracalla Baths which she said dwarfed her imagination of them.