Rome - New Year's Eve
Trip Start Dec 18, 2008
25Trip End Jan 15, 2009
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Where I stayed
Palazzio Olivia, Rome
New Year's Eve turned out fine and sunny rather than forecast light
showers - but not exactly hot!
Off we went on our day's adventure in Roma. Got a 2 day ticket on an
open top hop on hop off bus which does flying laps of the city. Elected to sit
up top, thinking this wouldn't be anything like Praha or Vienna, so no
thermals, gloves or beanie. Yeowch. It was freezing! Still, wasn't soft and
retreat downstairs - staunched it out like a South Islander. No worries. Great
views and gave Matt a chance to acquaint himself with the city he's always
wanted to visit. As for the Colosseo/ Colosseum.. it didn't disappoint! Queues
were miles long - estimated 2 hour wait, so we forked out for a guided tour an
got a flying start.
Preparations were underway for the New Year's bash in the Colosseum
surrounds featuring Gloria Gaynor and a bunch of Italian pop stars.
Cross -sell was the name of the game - and our guide was clearly an
advocate for buying everything through her preferred stalls! Anyway, the tour
as fine and Matt was excited just to be there at last!
Back on the bus - which took forever to come - and then an extended
wait at the terminus whilst all the tour bus drivers had a break and a chat -
never mind the paying customers! Finally got underway and met a Kiwi from
Whangarei, who spotted our Kathmandu jackets. They now live in the tax haven
Andorra on the Spanish-French border - and he works in Kharzastan (not sure
doing what). Doesn't know Borat.
Jumped off the bus and grabbed a burger and the best cappucino in
the universe on the run - and wound our way down to the Pantheon.
This was marvelous...Kate and Steve still remember the Pantheon from our
last visit in1977, it is truly that memorable. Although it was converted to a
church in the Middle Ages, it still resembles a pagan structure- "the Temple of
All Gods". It was re-designed by Emperor Hadrian in AD 125 on the site of a
temple built by Marcus Agrippa.
Phil actually lay on his back to fully appreciate the sensation of
the "oculus"- the hole in the dome. The rotunda's height and diameter are the
same - 140 ft or 43.3m, so it is half a globe.
Pasta for tea - and then a bit of a sing-a-long on Josh's guitar
over a bottle or two of Chianti Classico and Limoncello - which also attracted
our Aussie neighbours -Cam and Brad. Cam has just completed his first year in
Design, so he and Josh (going into his third) had something in common.
The rest of their family
arrived - and we all headed out at 9.30pm to the fireworks at Piazza del Popolo
- which is dominated by a 13th century obelisk. The kids headed off
for beers with Dan isn tow - and we didn't see them until 11.40pm, much to all
parents concern. Mind you Gran, Matt and Ani had stayed at the hotel, so it was
all good. Place was going off and the crowd grew quickly.