Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Two Breakfasts

Another early start this morning, this time to avoid the crowds at St Peter's Basilica.

Exiting Ottavianio metro station we head to Dolce Maniera, the 24 hour bakery, for our first breakfast of espresso & cornetti.

Our getting up so early is rewarded by witnessing the rays of the sun lighting up the facade of St Peters.
Each time we visit we return to the main sights (see here) but we also like to concentrate on the many different monuments inside this magnificent building.
Today we planned on seeing the various tombs of the popes but a lot of areas are roped off so we have to view from a distance.

The Tomb of Clement XIII was designed by Canova

The Tomb of Alexander VII is a late work by Bernini that includes magnificent marble drapery enveloping a skeleton with an hourglass.

The bronze Tomb of Innocent VIII is the only tomb to have been transferred from the original basilica, possibly because the seated effigy of the pope is shown holding in his hand the relic of the sacred lance, given to him by the Sultan Bajazet II

However my favourite monument is that designed by Canova to mark the spot in the grottos below where the three last members of the House of Stuart lie buried.

On the wall opposite, a mosaic portrait of Maria Clementina watches over her husband James Francis Edward Stuart, claimant to the British throne and her sons, Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and Cardinal Henry Stuart.

After leaving the basilica we plan to try a new walking route up to the top of the Janiculum Hill. This starts at Via delle Fornaci, named after the furnaces where the bricks were made for the construction of St Peter's. The walk then continues through the Belvedere Fornaci, a public park maintained by a local group. Unfortunately the gate to this park was locked, resulting in a very hairy uphill climb on a road with no footpath.
However at the top we were rewarded with a view of the facade of Michelangelo's house which we had tried & failed to locate on our last visit.

We continued our walk past Garibaldi.....

.....his wife, Anita

....the lighthouse

and the dome of St Peters peeping through the trees

We paused a while in the tranquil surroundings of the cloisters of Sant'Onofrio....

...before heading down to Piazza della Rovere to pick up the bus back to Testaccio and our second breakfast at Caffe Barberini

After a little wine shopping at Les Vignerons we meet up with Rachel and Vincenzo for lunch at Piatto Romano.

We start our meal with fried funghi and olives Ascolane which go down well with creamed pumpkin.

Followed by three different pasta dishes.

An absolute treat with our after lunch espressos were guiggiole, small fruits that tasted of apple and dates.

These fruits were first imported by the ancient Romans from where they originated in North Africa.

Later in the afternoon we venture out to the Quirinale Hill and the Picasso exhibition at the Scuderie

Time for drinks at The American Bar at the Hotel Forum, a favourite of ours.

The bartender (who seems to have been there forever) mixes a mean negroni

It is a great spot to watch the sunset over the Forum

Before heading back on the metro we can't resist a photo of the iconic Colosseum.

Then it is back to the apartment for a simple supper of breseola, rocket and parmigiano, washed down with a rather nice Sicilian red.

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