Sunday, 20 May 2012

A Rome Excursion to Villa d'Este

Having been to Rome three times before Dave being a keen gardener had found what looked like a perfect excursion to a world renowned garden called the Villa d'Este 35 kilo outside Rome in the town of Tivoli. So off he went to surf the web to find a cheap excursion to Tivoli. The cheapest he could find was a half day excursion to Villa d'Este and another site nearby for 49 euro each. Looking at Villa d'Este on u tube he decided part of a half day excursion would not be any were near long enough and far to expensive. So back to the web to find another way to get there.He found two ways , the first was a metro to Rebibbia and then a local bus to Tivoli which seemed to take for ever.The second was a 1 hour long train journey from Tiburtino station in Rome to Tivoli and then a 10 to 15 minute walk to Villa d' Este. We took the train and at 4.6 euro return each was a great decision.A lovely train journey through the Tivoli mountains into Tivoli station (trains run about every 40 minutes ) and a nice little walk through the town stopping at a nice little cafe for 11 'es . Entrance fee was 12 euro each but wait for over 65's get in for nothing.
Created in 1550 by Cardinal  Ippolito d'Este . The frescoes in the Villa have been restore and deserve a look but the residence is totally upstaged by the gardens .An almost entirely symmetrical series of terraces , shady pathways and spectacular fountains , powered solely by gravitational force. From 1865 to 1886 the villa was home to Franz Liszt and inspired his Fountains of the Villa d'Este.
That is enough history please just check out the photos.
 A few 12x12's will follow.

Every Mans dream

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Rome Visit

Hi to All
Sorry for the none Scrapbooking Blog but we have just come back from four lovely nights in Rome and I need to share to everyone how wonderful this city is. This is your fourth visit to Rome & we still find plenty to do. 
Hotel Columbus with St Peters in the background
We usualy stay in a self catering apartment a few streets from St Peters but this time we treated ourselves to an Hotel which was even closer as you can see from the picture ,our Hotel was on the left of the Avenue 100 yards from St Peters.
Dave found & booked the hotel through  Expedia & the flight from Liverpool with Ryanair. After Ryanair changing the flight to Manchester and then changing the flight times we cancelled it and went with Monarch from Birmingham to Romes major airport Fiumicino.This is a bit further out than Clampino airport which Ryanair fly into but  Dave found a cheap shuttle bus serve which drops you off and picks you up from your Hotel for 52 euro for two return , this was a lot cheaper than a taxi at 60 euro each way.There is also a bus serve that drops you off at the main train station in Rome  for 10 euro per person each way. 
Dinning Room
The hotel we stayed in was the Hotel Columbus on the Via D Conciliaziona , the main avenue leading  up to St Peters. This 15th-century  hotel occupies a palace that housed cardinals for 65 years and priests for 200 years, and lies 400 metres from St Peter's Basilica and 300 metres from the River Tiber.The hotel was first class and the staff could not do enough for you. It has all of the 21st century amenities but still keeps its old world charm and where else can you have breakfast in a medieval banqueting hall or courtyard.

The Hotel Courtyard
Flower market

We were staying as room only because we like an early start and to stop off for breakfast at one of the many small cafes. One of the nicest places for breakfast is a small walk away at Campo De Fiori ( the flower market). This small square is full of local charm and some beautiful fruit for the day ahead.

Sites of Rome
Here are just some of the magnificent sites we saw in our 4 visits.
The Colosseum viewed from the Palatine Hill

One of the greats sites you will ever see and is a must to go into . Built by the Emperor Titus in 80 AD he declared 100 days of celebratory games in which over 5000 wild beasts were killed.
If you intend to go inside buy your ticket at the Forum or Palatine Hill ticket office, it is a three site ticket and you can just walk past the massive queue at the Colosseum.

Domitians Stadium on the Palatine Hill 

The Palatine offers great views of the Colosseum and the Forum.It is also a great place to have a picnic and just wonder through the ruins of one of the great palaces built in Imperial Rome. 

The Forum

The Forum is mostly in ruins now but is still a magnificent place to work through and imagine what it was like around 6th century BC when the republic was formed.Beginning at the Arch of Septimus Severus and finishing at the arch of Titus this is again a must see.All three well take you a good day to appreciate

The Trajans Markets in the Imperial Forum

The Imperial Forum is over the road from the Forum and is just as impressive. It houses the Trajans market which is believed to be the first shopping mall in the world.It also has a museum which is will wreath a visit .We have only been in two museums in the four visits ,this one and the Museum Capitolini both are well worth visiting.

The Pantheon

The most perfectly preserved of all ancient temples , this marvel of architectural engineering has a giant oculus forever open to the sky.Free to get in and has the lovely small square in front with some great restaurants round the edges.A bit experience but what a place to eat pizzas and drink your red wine.Other places to eat are from Piazza Navona and all the little lanes around it right through to the Trevi Fountain.

Largo di Torre Argentina
I still haven't touched on two of the main attractions of Rome , The Vatican and St Peters but maybe this will be in another blog. Here are a few more pictures of lesser know sites of Rome.

Trevi Fountain
Teatro di Marcello

Piazza Navona
Fontana Delle Tartarughe

I hope you like the pictures for a change and if you have been or are thinking of going please get in touch.
A Memory Book and 12x12's will definatlly follow.