Sunday, 2 August 2015

Sisters Are Doin' it for Themselves

Up and out really early this morning as we are heading for St. Peter's Basilica.
We refuel at Dolce Maniera with cornetti and espresso and head to the square.

On the way to climb the dome we spot the Holy Door, which is firmly shut but will be opened by the Pope himself on 8th December, when the Extraordinary Holy Year begins.

For an extra 2 euros you can take the elevator for part of the way to the top of the cupola - it is well worth doing. At the first level you are up close and personal with the mosaic frieze that surrounds the interior base of the dome.

The stairs narrow the closer that you get to the top - don't attempt this if you are remotely claustrophobic.
Once you reach the Lantern Tower the views are amazing.

On the terrace on the way back down you are really close to the statues that line the balustrade.

Each time we visit St Peter's different areas are cordoned off. We are lucky today as we can get really close to the Baldacchino and see all the little details such as the baby face tucked in amongst the carvings on one of the pedestals

The story goes that Bernini included this carving in his work to give thanks for the safe delivery of a baby to a favourite niece of the Pope.
On the way out we take a look at the Death Door on which there are all sorts of gruesome carvings.

We are so pleased we made the effort to get out and about early - the queue now snakes around the square.

Time for coffee and fortunately our favourite place hasn't closed for the Ferragosto holidays yet. Not only does Sciascia make the best coffee but it is poured by white jacketed baristas and served in china cups.

The souvenirs that we bring back from our trips tend to be in the food line so, to this end, we head to La Tradizione to stock up on pecorino & salami.
Once back in the apartment we half heartedly attempt to pack before going out to lunch at Mariolina, which is conveniently just around the corner. This street food venue opened in the last year and has either  take out or serve yourself  options. The choice is basically ravioli, meatballs or cured meat platters but all made with excellent ingredients. The counter and kitchen is watched over by Maria who is responsible for this clever concept.

After lunch we make our way to the Palatine Hill where we have a tour of the Houses of Augustus & Livia booked. These are recently restored and the preserved friezes are amazing.

We celebrate our last evening on the balcony with  Franciacorta & 'leftovers' aperitivo.
Dinner tonight is at Osteria dell'Arco in the Parioli district. It is run by Cristina (chef) and Nicoletta (sommelier) and was recommended to us by Gina.
We decide to go with the daily specials and are not disappointed.

We had a pasta dish in between the prawns and the pork but unfortunately wolfed it down before taking the photo!
And just look what we found on the wine list.....
The meal ended with complementary gelato
What an absolutely wonderful way to end a wonderful two weeks in Rome

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