Today was our first quiet day in Rome. After seriously overdoing it yesterday we took a lazier approach to the day. We got up on the late side and walked down to our favorite little cafeteria (coffee shop) a half a block down the street where we had pastry and coffees for 3.60 euro. Such a deal! They are very nice there and we have been going every morning. There is a little black dog that belongs to the owner and he reminds us of our little guy, Gizmo, who we are missing quite a bit.
After breakfast we came back to our apartment and just hung out for a while and rested and read. Jack enjoyed some time in the sun on our cute little patio.
We ate a small lunch at home and then left with the intention of exploring the area where are staying. It is called the Trastevere and it has been a sort of working class area which has been gentrifying with little shops and wine bars and restaurants. There are still many old school Roman businesses here and few tourists so it is a great place to stay. We are on the other side of the Tiber south of where the old central city is but most things are walking distance.
Perhaps the oldest church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore which is just about a 10 minute walk from our place. The floor plan and wall date to the 340’s and most of the structure is from the 1140’s. The most incredible part of this church. in my opinion, are the mosaics which date from the late 1200’s and are in perfect condition still today.
We did see this unusual and somewhat disturbing sculpture in the square outside. I don’t know what it means and it looks like the dog doesn’t either!
The outside of the church had scaffolding on it due to restoration and cleaning so I don’t have a photo of that, but what till you get a look inside!
Almost everything you are seeing in this picture is a mosaic. Mind-blowing that they can be as old as they are and still look like this.
This is the central nave, there are corridors on either side with additional small chapels off of them.
Ceiling detail of one of the smaller chapels off the main nave.
After the church, we walked around the neighborhood, enjoying many small leather stores and ceramics shops and stopped for an espresso and later a drink and a pizza.
Jack and I had been looking for a barber type shop where he could get a hair and beard trim and we found one.
Isn’t he dashing in the leopard drape? His barber was a lovely woman who lives in Rome but previously many years ago lived for awhile in England so her English was excellent. A girl getting a dye job next to Jack said she had some friends in school at Boulder when he said where we were from. Small world.
A little more walking to get home and we decided we needed some fresh bread. Jack took me to a place he had found while I was resting at some point. This picture will show the temptations we are up against here in Rome.
We did not leave without sin….we did get some bread also. 🙂