Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rapporto di Roma 14: Roman Holiday!

Our last full day in Rome dawned sunny and bright! We had decided to rent a motor scooter from Bici & Baci and it was a short walk to get there. They had Vespas just like in the movie Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Of course we had to have a bright red one! Plus they gave us a 10 Euro break on it!

I don't suggest you rent a motor scooter in Rome unless you have ridden one, or a motorcycle, in a city before. Rome is a busy city and there is traffic zooming around you and you will have your life in your hands at all times. Sean has had this experience when he was in his twenties on motorcycles and has ridden his bicycle in NYC as well. I have been a passenger on motorcycles in my *cough* ill spent youth and pretty much have lived on my bicycle as well as having ridden in NYC. More than that though, you may think you know your way around, but then the street that you plan on taking is one way the wrong way and you have to not be flustered by that. Just keep going and look for a street that goes the way you want.
Also, the Roman drivers are more aware in general than in the USA. They make eye contact before they take action and are aggressive. You can rely on them to go if you don't. He who hesitates is lost.

So we rented a bright red, brand new automatic Vespa and had a blast! People everywhere just gaped at us as if we were driving a Ferrari! I clung to Sean and he drove like a pro; we leaned into the curves and blended with the traffic! What a trip! First stop, the Murano Glass Shop to get Mom's beads. We headed to Via Veneto and wouldn't you know it, the street the shop was on was one way the wrong way!!! But we got there.
Here are photos from inside the shop. I love glass! And I love Murano glass even more! Here is the Antica Murrinia case where mom's beads came from:

Here is another case in the shop:

I you enlarge it you can see the millefiori in the picture frames and paper weights. In the photo below you can see one of the famed Murano chandeliers in red.

The wall of the shop below has vases, and trinkets.

Isn't this ceiling fixture lovely? It has gold sparkles that may not be visible, but make it quite handsome in my opinion. I would have it in my house if I could afford it.

Just because there can never be enough glass:

More vases and picture frames:

Here are the beads we bought for mom:

They really suit her and I think she liked them!
This is what I bought for myself:

It is a golden glass necklace with matching earrings, a pair of turquoise blue glass heart shaped earrings and some green and yellow millefiori cross earrings. The crosses were originally pendents, but I asked the sales clerk if she could make them into earrings and she did.
Sean saw a bowl and two perfume bottles for his collection, but refused to buy them.
We were not charged the Value Added Tax (VAT) and she gave me the cross earrings for free! What a deal!

We remounted our Vespa and were on our way! We had not yet seen the Piazza del Popolo so we zipped over there. We parked across the street and walked to the Piazza. We got quite the surprise when we entered! Another protest! Ah, this time the Communists and Socialists!

It was difficult to see the famous Piazza landmarks with all of the protest paraphernalia distributed around. At least the Fontana del Nettuno is still visible!

Well, I always say, if you can't beat them, join them! I raise my fist in solidarity, my Italian brothers!

Then it was back on the Vespa to continue our tour of the outskirts of Rome! We just had to stop for Sean to take my photo in front of this little secret basilica though.

This was truly a capper to our trip to Rome! It was breathtaking and exciting all at once! I highly recommend renting a motor scooter if you go and can handle it.
One more post to go!

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