LomoTravels: Reliving Rome Day 2 / Tourist 1 Pickpocket 0

Happiness is waking up to the smell of fresh toast and an assortment of bread, ham, yogurt and juices.

Enlightenment is realizing that oranges are not only orange in color but red too. Yes, it’s true and they are called blood oranges!

Knowledge +1!

Streets of Rome#1 Blood Orange | LC-A+ RL | Lomo Redscale 100 | BUY IT!
On the way to the Metro to get to our 1st destination.

Spanish Steps#2 Steps R’ Us | LC-A+ RL | Lomo Redscale 100
Alighted at the Spagna station and made our way to the Spanish Steps. It was around 9am but the piazza was already bursting at its seams with tourists. Which you can’t really see in this picture as it is underexposed. :S

Moving on, we were trying to find our way to Trevi Fountain when we heard the sound of rushing water and the hustle and bustle of a legion of tourists. From yesterday’s experience, I was mostly expecting it to be somewhat similar to the fountains of Piazza Navona. We turned the corner and BOOM!

Mind. Blown.

Trevi Fountain#3 Trevi-vic | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
It’s unfortunate that I was unable to capture the grandiose of the Trevi. I guess the only way to really experience it is to be physically there (finding excuses for myself.)

Trevi Fountain up close#4 Majestic | Superheadz UWS | Lomo CN 100
Took a considerable amount of effort trading elbows to squeeze our way right to the front of the fountain. All for a spot of wish making. And snapping a photo up close.

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II#5 I Heart Italia | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Lingered for awhile before heading off to Piazza Venezia where the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II sits.

Roman Forum#6 Gone But Not Forgotten | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Climbing a series of steps up the nearby Capitoline Hill, we caught a glimpse of the Roman Forum.

We were just sitting around the fringes of Piazza del Campidoglio (the piazza on top of Capitoline Hill) and found ourselves mixed in with a group of Korean tourists. With our quick sense and great interpretation skills we concluded that the guide was explaining that the statue in front of us is actually depicted on the 50 cent Euro coin.

Knowledge + 1!

Enriched, we set off to collect our pre-booked tickets for Le Domus Romane. Making the collection 1 hour before the actual tour of the Domus, we still had some time to burn and thus went off in search of lunch.

Walking beside the Trajan column towards the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, we saw patches of tourists just sitting by the sides minding their own business. All of a sudden, this gang of 4 young ladies surrounded us asking for money and directing our attention to a sign. We kept moving and declining at the same time when I suddenly felt something in my trousers pocket.

On instinct, I immediately swat down at it, just about preventing the notes in my pocket (along with the pickpocket’s hand) from being swiped out of my pocket. Too stunned to react, I stood and stare at the ringleader before she started berating one of her accomplices for her less than stellar performance. Taking that as our cue, we made a quick escape with hearts in our mouths and did a quick check of our possessions.

Life – 75!

For information sake, this is where we were “attacked”.
Rome pickpocket location

And a street view of where the pickpocket gang was lying in wait for their prey…
Rome Pickpocket Streetview

I must admit I was scared out of my wits and felt kinda winded. We eventually settled down somewhere along the main road and ate takeaway food bought from a snack van.

Trajan's Column#7 Scenes and Arms Race | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Perhaps checking out the battles scenes engraved on Trajan’s Column will bring about a sense of calm… NOT.

Done with our Domus tour (which unfortunately was met with some dastardly technical difficulties), we tried our luck at the Pantheon again.

Pantheon dome#8 Let There Be Light | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX | BUY IT!
This time we were rewarded with the sight of sunlight peeking through the oculus of the Pantheon. It’s a marvel how ancient men can create such an incredible structure without the aid of sophisticated tools and software.

Castel Sant'Angelo#9 Santcastle | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Off to a tour of the Castel Sant’Angelo which was built as a mausoleum by Emperor Hadrian.

However, what left an impression was the fact that the building was converted into a fortress for the popes to hide away from invading forces. There is even a corridor linking Saint Peter’s Basilica directly to the castle. Spending close to 2 hours ascending the various tiers of the castle while checking our some of the interesting exhibits, we finally reached the top of the castle.

Statue of St Michael#10 Apparition | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Perched at the very top is the statue of St. Michael which the castle was named after.

St. Peter's Basilica#11 There’s Nothing Past This | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX | BUY IT!
Braving the cold and taking in the panoramic view of the city. And there is no way to look past St Peter’s Basilica from where we stood.

Bird flying#12 Soar | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Plenty of birds flying by and egging the little kids to chase after them.

The chilly winds and our grumbling stomachs got to us and we left for dinner at Porta Castello which was right opposite our hotel. The food was ok but what really shone through for me was the excellent service. Despite the language barrier, the staff made us feel right at home. It gets quite crowded from 8pm onwards so do make a reservation or go early.

Though our poor limbs were worn out after such an eventful and long day, we picked our slightly recharged bodies up and walked over to the Vatican to check out the night view.

Couldn’t get much of a decent pic with the strong wind and my trembling hands.

St. Peter's Square at night#13 Peter At Night | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Virtually empty with just a few wandering tourists and a beggar.

St. Peter's Square at night#14 Won’t You Come Out And Say Hi? | LC-A+ RL | Voigtlander Vchrome 100 DX
Allegedly the bedroom window of the Pope.

Definitely an action packed day full of slight disappointment and major satisfaction. After all, it’s Me 1 Rome Pickpocket 0.

WINNER!!

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