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Rotterdam 11 days in the Med trip review w/photos


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Crazy long week week at work and then our community garage sale yesterday along with cleaning the garage and cars, lead to an exhausting week.


Today I have a bit of time for me, then groceries, laundry, ironing, mop floors, make diner, pay bills. I want to be back on vacation!!!!


OK, ramblings complete, here is the continuation of our trip report.


We checked into the hotel early and the room wasn't ready so they held our bags and we explored the town. We had the tourist map from the front desk and headed across the river to no where in particular. The hotel was in Trastevere so most everything was on the other side of the river.










We found some ruins in the middle of a plaza and stopped to look.





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We walked around a bit and stopped to read some of the posted signs. As we were reading, I noticed number 1 - according to this, we were standing only 20 feet from the place where Julius Caesar was murdered!




I always pictured the big Forum and Coloseum when I thought of Julius Caesar, but according to these dates - those weren't built until after his death - history lesson learned!


Here is the photo of the spot as we understood it from the map.




Then, more photos of the ruins.









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We were starting to get hungry but this was a very busy area so we thought just a coffee and a snack until we get further away from the tourist stuff.


Thought this was cute:




We opted for pastries again since we don't eat them much at home.




We headed back towards the hotel, browsing along the way and we did talk to this gentleman for a bit about leather goods.




The walk back - noticed lots of tourists about:




Then some meandering




And we stopped for lunch to have Terry's favorite - Pizza!



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We asked Albert at the front desk for a dinner recommendation he they offered Da Fabrizio. We were a bit early so we sat on the bench in front of a church which was just across the street and watched the people go by before our 7pm dinner reservation which is also when the restaurant opened.


I had pasta with Porcini mushrooms and pesto and it was VERY good while DH had spaghetti. We were so full from these that we couldn't manage a main course.






I ordered a glass of house red and they gave me a small bottle, but its OK, I finished it!




After dinner, I took a few photos while leaving - one of the restaurant and one of a table up front which looked like where they put together the antipasti plates.






We walked down for Gelato, then back to the hotel:



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The next morning we had the hotel buffet breakfast which was very good - I took lots of photos the next day so they will be coming soon.


Our plan for today was the Forum and Colosseum. I knew from reading other posts to go to the Forum first as the ticket lines were shorter so we walked and walked and walked.


The street cleaners were using these brooms.



More walking










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It took us 45 minute to find the ticket booth at the forum as the one marked on the map had moved to the other side. It was chaotic there and still had a long line - we waiting about 20 min to buy a ticket, then it was a pushing match to get through the turnstile to gain entrance. No pamphlets or material available other than an additional audio tour to purchase so I downloaded Rick Steve's guide to the forum and that was well worth it!










Statues of the Vestal Virgins all missing their heads


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We finally found the exit and walked to the Colosseum next where the lines were a bit more organized and we were able to breeze through quickly. There was a VERY long line for those who needed to buy tickets however so we did plan that one right.














We used the Rick Steve's audio guide for the Colosseum which was very entertaining and informative.

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As we started the walk back from the Colosseum to our hotel, I just happen to see this along the road.




Thought it was amazing to see so much history in every glance or corner we explored.


It was after 2pm, we hand't had lunch yet and were very tired, but decided we wanted to get back to Trastevere before having lunch. We walked quickly and arrived at L'Insalata Ricca about 2:30. They were gracious and explained they were closing in about 20 min but would be happy to serve us. we ordered salads, ate quickly and went back for a nap. They had great salads!






I took a few random photos of the hotel as we headed to our room.







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I took a long hot bath to soak my aching feet and then had a nap. We changed for dinner and went downstairs. Here is a photo of the hotel courtyard in the evening.




And the reception desk.




We asked for dinner recommendations but then as we walked, decided to keep going to find something other than the place the hotel suggested.


We chose Taverna Della Scala because it had a beautiful outdoor patio. HOwever, they insisted there was no room outside and we must sit inside.


We should have argued or left (I could see 2 empty tables outside).


We ordered dinner.





I ordered Spinach Ravioli and Terri had Spaghetti.




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After tasting the house red last night, Terry got brave and orderd wine - they asked if we wanted 1/2 liter or a whole liter. Terry said we could handle a liter. It wasn't nearly as good as last night and pasta was a bit pasty and the flavors were flat to me. To each their own!


Terry and I did our best to finish the liter, but we were unsuccesful, although he had fun trying!




We decided to skip dessert and go back to our favorite Gelato Shop, Old Bridge.


The gentleman working that night was very friendly and managed to figure out what we wanted even though I could not pronounce the tag on the display and he didn't speak any English. At that point you figure any Gelato in Italy is going to be good so just take whatever they give you! BTW... it was awesome!






We ate Gelato and wandered around Trastevere a bit. Earlier I went back to the purse shop and couldn't decide which one I wanted so a nice English lady suggested I buy both. So I did. Now on our way home from dinner and Gelato, I found another one and bought that. I've purchased 1 purse in the past 4 years and today I bought 3!


We went back to our bench outside the church, watched the people, enjoyed our gelato and canoodled a bit.


Terry on our bench




The view from our bench



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The hotel, Donna Camilla Savelli was a wonderful place to stay! Breakfast is including and was very extensive. The next morning, we were down early for breakfast and I took advantage of the opportunity to get photos before it got busy. Many of my picture a bit off color, but I have not enhanced or edited any of them. The color is different because I sometimes choose to turn off the flash so I don't bother other guests or patrons.


Hotel Breakfast












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There was only one other couple at breakfast at this time and after I took a few pictures, the woman came over to me with her camera and said she wanted to take picture but wasn't sure if she should but since I was.... she would and we both continued to snap away!


Our plan for the day included a group tour through GreenLine that was recommended by the hotel. We wanted to see St Peter's Basilica but heard the lines to get through security were insane, but as a group tour, there were quick entry points. The tour also included highlights of Rome.


Before leaving the hotel, you drop off your room key with the reception desk, then pick it up again when you get back. This was our room key.




The tour picked us up at our hotel and took us to the actual meeting place where the tour started and we boarded the bus. We heard some of the history of Rome before being dropped off by the driver. There were several tour guides who split us up by language and the rest of the morning was a walking tour.


We saw the Trevi fountain and Terry thew in his coin.







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My second chance to try roasted chestnuts, but the tour guide was on the move and I was afraid of getting left behind. Someday I will have to try these.






We walked through this building and I'm ashamed to say I don't remember anything they told us about this place.




and more walking past the government buildings and consulates.






and more demonstrators


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I saw this as we were walking, a coffee light fixture - I need one of these as I love my coffee!






And finally - the Pantheon! Note the screen scarf on the antenna held high in the air on the right hand side of the photo - that was our tour guide.









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