What's in the Shops?

When I went down to breakfast at the convent the next morning, I met this couple who was also from Canada. Unfortunately, the gentleman had been robbed by a pickpocket the day before and we discussed personal safety and safety of personal property at breakfast.
I know you should never pick favourites, especially because ALL the sisters were warm and helpful, but Sister Crisalda somehow reminded me of my late Mother and that made her special.
Whenever I'm away, I miss my little family of cats and dogs. This dog was very much like little Maggie Mai!
For those with a fashionable eye for leather boots, there were MANY to choose from!
Personally I LOVED these shorter length boots and would probably have bought a pair IF I could have found a way to pack them and IF the heels were just a TAD shorter... I'd TEETER too much the way they were! :)
I took the bus into the center of Roma and got off the bus here.
The tallest column here is called "Colonna Traiana" and was erected in honour of the Roman emperor Trajan. In the background, Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto.
This form of transportation looked like a lot of fun. The girls were laughing and giggling as they travelled at a fairly good place around the plaza.
Altare della Patria (the Alter of the Fatherland) is a very impressive building.
Also known for the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (the first king of a unified Italy), it is much more modern (1800s) than other Roman buildings but nevertheless fits into the landscape nicely.
The wolf (Romulus & Remus probably being the reason) is the national (animal) emblem of Italy but I'd bet most people believe it must be a lion because there are SOOO many wonderful statues of them in all parts of Italy.
Ever wonder how/why monuments remain so pristine? This fellow was working hard to clean the marble steps of this national site...
... and this policeman, along with others, kept an eye on people littering. The interesting thing about this was that there were NO garbage cans of any kind near this building. Evidently, according to this man, there were bomb threats at one time and now, police keep an eye on all people visiting the site and make sure nothing is left behind. Sometimes it is a stupid world (anyone who would think of bombing such a beautiful place!) we live in!
Some interesting details of the Altare della Patria...
Part of the fabulous view down from the monument.
Armed guards kept vigil over a lighted flame. The eternal flame of Roma/Italy?
More of those insanely HUGE donuts!!
How's this for a great purse?
Those who know me realize that if I'd been in Germany, looking for a German souvenir, I might well have come away with this "Bug" purse!! :)
Or in India, I would have definitely bought this elephant!!
Casa Generalizia Dell'Ordine Dei Servi Di Maria - Rivista Missioni...
... a mission?? on the Piazza di San Marcello
The stores in Roma were full of eye candy.
Although I've retired early and have no need for fancy dresses, I was nevertheless tempted by many of the colorful displays.
I was looking for the Fountain of Trevi but fortunately, I got "lost" (evidently Italians don't believe in -visible- street signs) and ended up in this square.
Piazza del Quirinale!
In the Piazza, the Palazzo del Quirinale. Someone important takes residence here. I walked forward to get a better view and people with guns came at me! :)
Not all the guards were totally intimidating. This nice one gave me directions to the Fountain of Trevi. He also told me that the Palazzo was the official residence of the Italian president. No wonder the others came at me with guns! :)
On my way to the fountain, I passed this artist. I especially liked her sepia toned watercolors. Great detail and artistry. I tried to get her name but she didn't understand what it was that I wanted and her signature was too hard to read.
Marble is so easy to etch into. A shame that graffiti is part of the Trevi area.
So here it is... the Fountain of Trevi!
There were SOOOO many touristas (me included, of course) that it was difficult to get a really good picture.
The smartest people were the ones who actually took advantage of "proximity" to the water. It was quite a hot day!
Not far from the fountain, Chiesa dei Ss. Vincenzo e Anastasio.
More vendors... delicious looking fruits...
... and wire-bending artists!
On to the Spanish steps. Of course I didn't know exactly which way to go...
... I overheard a trio of young German girls, "also turned around" and asking for directions, so I suggested we "get lost" - or "found" - together! Together we managed to find Via dei Due Macelli which led us to this monument...
... the Spanish Embassy...
... and to the base of the Spanish Steps. These are the three young ladies.
A very interesting fountain...
... with the sun spuing water. Hmmm...
As with most Roman tourist attractions, the site was teaming with people.
I still managed to get a few good shots of the area.
Trinita dei Monti
A great view back down towards the plaza.
Yet another obelisk. Very cool. Wished I could read hieroglyphics.
The building on the left was a hotel. A nice place to "hang out", I'm sure!
Beautiful detailing.
An alternate stairway down to the Piazza.
One last view before I hopped on the subway to St. Peter's Square.
One thing about riding on a motorcycle... there is absolutely no room for anything but window shopping for great golf shorts like these!
One thing that is EASY to pack, though, is gold. I bought myself, my sister and niece each something from this shop (Ciotto) on the way to St. Peter's Square.
They certainly try anything and everything to pull you into their shop on this commercial street!
The window dressers certainly know how to use colour and eclectic choices to draw people in.
Then there are the dumb souvenirs which are "just too cute"... being on the bike, I didn't even think of buying one of these but had I had lots of suitcase space, I might have made a silly impulse buy!
Of course the Vatican has its own police force.
I KNEW that St. Peter's Square was huge, but until you're actually standing there, you can't imagine just how huge it is. This lineup of people had an "appointment" to enter the basilica. Look how long the line is and how dense it is. Also look how TINY the people are in the distance and take a good look at the stairs leading up to basilica.
I chatted with this couple who were just as astounded by the size of the square as I was.
My favourite part of the square... the two matching fountains.
Beautiful stonework and I loved the way the water cascaded into the pool.
Public drinking fountains in other centres will never feel as luxurious as the ones you find in Roma!
Why don't they make door knobs like this one anymore? Recently, when I replaced the one on my front door, I couldn't find any with any character at all. This one doesn't need much detail to look good.
World cup is on the way... who are you going to cheer for?
These "boots" are actually sandals/thongs!
If I was going to buy heels again, it would be these!!
T-shirt branding is as alive and well in Italy as it is in Canada.
So... if you live in Italy, where would YOU go for vacation?
Back at the convent.
Mother Superior didn't like having her picture taken (although I do have one, I promised not to put it up here) but she let me get a picture of her "tatting" lace. She was making this lace for the alter.
I asked if it would be all right to get a look at the Sisters' place of worship in the convent and Mother Superior said that was fine.
Sister Crisalda took me on a tour of their small, yet beautiful chapel. I loved the many painted statues celebrating various religious figures.
The sisters are known as: Suore Francescane del Cuore di Gesł and their patron saint is St. Frances of Assissi. This statue of him is in the main hall.
A view from my bedroom window. What I had not realized at first was that the sisters ran a school for young children, the ages of whom would indicate a type of "daycare".
For dinner on my last night in Roma, I went to my favourite neighbourhood food store and bought a dinner of chicken and vegetables but these pictures...
... show that they offered so much more.
To the left of the entranceway to the convent, there was a beautiful, almost greenhouselike, area.

Map below, red circles mark the areas I visited, the blue circle indicates where I stayed.

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