First full day in Rome has begun fabulously.   But this visit, Rome seems a little less appealing.    Too many people, cars, garbage.   The other italian cities probably appeal more to us – like Torino and the towns in the north (but not Bologna), and the beach south of Rome.

On our way to see the Pantheon, we came across one of my favourite shops in Rome – La Fabriana Boutique, a stationery shop in Rome since 1264 (yes, 1264).   Spent nearly an hour and lots of $$$ in their shop.    Love it.   I am such a sucker for notepads, wallets, and writing wallets.  Those italians really know how to design stationery and accessories.   And they way they apply their design skills to their window displays is very impressive.

As is the Pantheon.  Have visited it each time that we have visited Rome, and it still remains one of Rome’s most impressive monuments.   It is incredible that after 2000 years, that it remains intact when other structures are shadows of their past.   And the engineering and slaves involved in its construction.

The pretend Gladiators outside are corny, as is their price of 3 Euros just to have your photo taken with them.   AS IF….

Inside, the centre of the dome is open, there is no glass.   Rain comes down and enters a drain in the centre of the floor and flows away perfectly.



And its the perfect place for pick-pockets – lots of people, confusion, etc –  with lots of signs warning tourists to be careful.

And this is the bank that Michael used to work in – check out the bars on the windows.   Its directly across the street from the State Parliament building.


This evening we are off to Il Chianti for dinner, a few doors up from the Trevi Fountain.

And tomorrow off to the Coloseum in the morning, and then Villa Borghese before dinner with Michael’s friends who still live in Rome.

Just 3 days left…..