I am laying here in my small bed in pain. Yes, I walked all day but it didn't even feel tired...
Until I sat down.
Truthfully I did nothing cultural today at all.
I spent the day walking the streets around the Spanish Steps checking out the shops and watching everyone in their Gucci, Diesel, D&G, Loius V, Fendi, plucked eyebrows, poofed hair, hats, scarves and jewelry (and that's just the guys!). Funny but along with all that are the people in their Levi's. Levi's are more of a trend statement here. I think they would feel bad if they knew the Levi's I am wearing cost only $25 at Kohl's as compared to the €100 they charge for the same jeans here.
Clothing is not cheap here. This is the first time in years that I've been to Europe and bought nothing. Actually the only thing I bought today was a washcloth at the COIN dept store. As I mentioned earlier, most hotels don't offer them, including mine.
Another thing I am looking for is a nice stove top espresso maker. I checked out a place called C.U.C.I.N.A. which is a boutique kitchen store and another place called Gusto which was another cooking boutique packed with stuff. Neither store had anything unique or different. In fact most everything I saw is also availble in New York City (cheaper).
After wandering around the shops near the Spanish Steps I walked to the Piazza de Poppolo. The obliesk in the center was scafolded. Actually this isn't the only scafold that has ruined my view. The obliesk at the top of the Spanish Steps and the big fountain at the Piazza Navona are also covered. Disappointing.
From the Piazza de Poppolo I headed up the Via Ripetta and popped in a cafe for a Macciato and a small crispy pastry filled with Nutella. I love Nutella! The price for both was right at €1.80. It gave me the pick me up I needed.
From here I crossed the Tiber and walked to the Via Cola Rienzo which is in the area called the Prati. The Via Cola Rienzo is a lively neighborhood shopping street with all sorts of stores from Benneton to COIN the local department store. It's funny but unless I missed it Rome doesn't have a grand department store like Macy's in New York City, Harrods in London or Galleries Lafayette in Paris.
Regardless it was an interesting walk. From the Prati I headed over to the Castel Angelo for some night photos and then walked the Ponte St Angelo bridge which is lined with dramatic statues of angels and people selling all sorts of fake Gucci, Prada and Louis V. handbags.
Castel Saint Angelo was built in the year 135 by the Emporer Hadrian and has served as a fortress, prison and papal residence. Can you imagine, built in the year 135! We consider something built in the 1970's old! Anyway, I think I will go tour it tomorrow.
From the Castel I walked over the bridge of angels and back into old Rome to search for a place for dinner. I really got lost in the maze of streets again. It's funny but as you wander you never feel lost and then you come upon a familiar piazza and get your direction sorted out. I feel like dropping bread crumbs.
It's difficult to follow the streets of old Rome. Sometimes they don't seem to match the map. Streets and alleys appear that aren't on the map and those that you think should be there aren't. Buildings seem to be numbered in order but the all of a sudden the pattern changes and odd number show up leaving you scratching your head. Streets change names about every 40 steps and some seem to have no name or sign at all. You can wander in circles and then all of a sudden end up at the location you were looking for.
After fighting the streets and having dinner at Fiametta, I headed to Giolitti for my flavors du giorno.
Pistachio and Coconut
I have to say that so far these are my least 2 favorites. I thought at least the pistachio would be good but I thought it lacked depth. Well tomorow is anoter day, another gelato.
One thing I do know is that my hotel is delightfully close to Giolitti. I never get lost between the two.
If you are interested I have a pedometer and today I logged the following-
40,423 Steps 1744 Calories burnt (that's all?) 18 miles walked
I think it's time for bed.