Tues. 9 Dec. 2014 Rome Weather:-11 Degrees/Sunny
The police are out in full force around Rome at the moment, they are everywhere on foot and congregating around the different Piazzas also with sirens blaring they hurtle down the little streets waving a paddle (of the ping pong type) above the roof of their police cars, it looks quite funny to us but I guess if we knew what was really going on we may not be as amused as we are.
First stop this morning is a ‘Phamacia’ as my antibiotics have been depleted and another course is a must. “Er, nomarle un perscriptione” is necessary for antibiotics was the answer to my request. “But, but I have seen the Doctor twice on the boat” I answered “tou sei allergic da Antibiotico?” “Securo, io ‘non’ alergico da nente” so with an assurance that I was not allergic to anything I secured another dose, this time of Amoxocilin for the princely sum of Au$5.21, life is easy here.
Today we have set aside to just wander around, it took us a hour or so to get our bearings as this idiosyncrasy that Rome has of pasting pictures on their maps of their points of interest facing you instead the way they are orientated on their streets make life just a little more confusing. The trick is to fathom out on the map as to where the square is in front of the building and then you know if the picture is upside down or back to front. The Victor Emmanuel II building was the first monument/building that we passed, last time that we were here I was nearly run over (on foot) by Berlusconi and his security men as they were whisking him into his car. This monument to V E II is a vast tribute to the Italian king known as the ‘Father of Fatherland’. He reigned from 1861 to 1878 and was the leading force in the unification of Italy which he served as its’ first king.
We had heard that the Trevi Fountain was under restoration but the extent of the scaffolding was still a bit of a shock. In order for a ‘before and after’ shot we have stolen a photo off the Flicker Site-apologies to whomever I stole the photo from but I am sure in the past people have made use of Herman’s photos as well. More than a quarter of a million tourists have trooped over a temporary bridge built in front of the Trevi Fountain to peer close-up at the Au$4 million restoration of this Baroque masterpiece. People are still tossing coins into the basin in front of the fountain, despite the fact that it has been emptied of water and is bone-dry and there are signs up to please do not throw coins, the workers are getting hurt but also without the water to cushion the impact the monument is getting more damage. This fountain, which was commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1732, was immortalised in Federico Fellini's 1960 classic film La Dolce Vita, in the scene in which Anita Ekberg waded into its waters in her black evening dress. Even at this time of the year around 1,200 people an hour walk across the metal bridge which brings you a little closer to the statues. I wonder though about the ‘unofficial money collector’ who has been hard at work every time we have been here in the past, he is nowhere to be seen, is he out of a job because it would now be too obvious what he is doing (stealing in my books) or has he been finally stopped?
The restoration of the Trevi began on June 30 and is being paid for by Fendi, the Italian fashion house and it is expected to take about a year. The fountain has been covered in scaffolding, with sheets of plastic strung across its lower levels to provide shade for the technicians working on the restoration. It is the latest in a growing number of private-public initiatives in Italy in which well-known companies sponsor the cleaning and restoration of some of Italy's most famous monuments. The luxury shoe manufacturers Tod's is footing a Au$39 million bill to clean the Colosseum, the amphitheatre in which gladiators once clashed, while the Spanish Steps are being spruced up by Bulgari, the jewellery company. The restoration of another of Rome's imposing monuments, a huge stone pyramid built as a mausoleum for a Roman dignitary, is being funded by Yuzo Yagi, a Japanese tycoon. This marble pyramid dates from 12 BC and adds an incongruous touch of ancient Egypt to a corner of the Italian capital. Any suggestions for monuments that need the same treatment in Australia---we could always send a request to Gina or Clive for donations or man power!!
Thus we spent most of the day wandering around, we saw a lot but this is enough writing for today, with a quick stop for a shared small pizza for lunch we were boring enough to end up at Burger King for Dinner as we were not in the market for anymore wonderful surprises (gastronomic ones that is). Tomorrow is another day...see you then
PS We are off to the Spanish Steps tomorrow, hope that is not covered in scaffolding as well