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Rome, if you want to!

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Remember that old song from the B-52s? Okay, it was actually Roam if You Want To. But close enough.

Depending on how many things shake out, I may fly in and out of Rome during my June trip to Italy. And, depending on many things, I might be able to spend a few nights in Rome before I leave. Which would be great – I do love Rome. Even in the madness of late June!

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After several visits during the height of tourist seasons, I able two years ago to visit Rome in January. I rented an apartment for two weeks during January 2008 and saw an entirely different side of Rome. It was fantastic! I luxuriated in a city that for once wasn’t extraordinarily crowded by hoards of visitors. (I don’t mean to sound condescending to my fellow tourists; I’m just saying how much I enjoyed spending time around Rome when it was not crazy-busy. )

(The above two photos are, of course, from the dome and the roof of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.)

January weather in Rome was just fine – I was completely comfortable in a light raincoat and shoes – no need for boots or even gloves.

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I loved visiting the Vatican Museums when I could move slowly through the rooms, and stand for extended periods in front of famous works (such as the Laocoön, above) without worrying that I was blocking someone else’s view, or being blocked. I could climb to the very dome of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican without waiting in a long line. At times, the Sistine Chapel was almost empty.

Anyway, thinking about Rome has led me to post just a few of my favourite photos from that January trip, and think about favourite places I might like to re-visit in June.

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That above is from one of my favourite piazzas, the Piazza del Popolo, where lions guard the Egyptian obelisk in the middle of the piazza.

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The photo above is from the cloister inside the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.

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And this photo is from the courtyard of the mysterious Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza. I say mysterious, because I have tried many times and not once been able to actually get inside this beautiful, Borromini-designed church which lies between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.

Notice the beautiful winter moon just beginning to appear in the late-afternoon sky, as if it’s trying to push the sun down over the horizon before its time!


Comments (12)

Barb Cabot:

Thank you for letting me roam around Rome with you. I would like to visit sometime in a non tourist season though the last time I think was around the end of May and it was really not too bad.

Sigh. I'm getting homesick for Italy now. Love your beautiful photos. I enjoyed Rome so much but barely scratched the surface when I was there. Rome in January is in the back of my mind now...

Have a great weekend!

Zerlina:

Sant'Ivo is only open Sunday morning from 9 am to noon, so before Mass starts at 9:30 or after it ends at about 10:30.

I think it's well worth making the effort to see it.

Anne:

I've been dreaming of Rome lately too. My mom, sister and I were in Rome in March a few years ago, and that is also a great time to visit. I loved Piazza del Popolo, but need to go back and visit the surrounding churches!

I'm in Rome in June as well - when are you there?

Lovely love letter to Roma.

sandrac:

Barb, May sounds like a lovely time to visit -- warm, not too hot, not too crowded.

Hi Annie, I'm definitely going to return to Rome in January one of these years. Like Venice, off-season, it's quite a different experience!

Hello Zerlina, thanks for this information, it's good to know. For some reason, when I'm traveling I find Sundays depressing, not enough to do perhaps. This would be a perfect time to see Sant'Ivo.

Anne, there is so much to see and love in Rome, isn't there. Hope you can get back soon.

Hey Jerry. If plans work out, I would be in Rome perhaps June 28 to July 1. Any chance our travel will overlap?

Thanks so much, Deborah.

I hope Rome will work out for you. I know how much you love spending time there. I would love to go there one day when it was not so crowded. I have only been in June and July. Great photos. My favorite is the photo of the cloister. That is strange that Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza always seems to be closed when you try to visit. Perhaps checking with a priest or nun at a nearby church will bring you luck with finding the magical time to visit.

Ah, Rome, I always want. I hope your plans work out to spend a few days in Rome.

I also love Piazza del Popolo. OK, I love them all. And now I feel homesick.

I'd love to meet you there. Its been ages since I've been to Italy

I would love to get back to Rome. Your post has given me ideas of more sites to see. I stayed close to St. John Lateran but never got a chance to see it. The Cloister looks lovely.

sandrac:

Thanks Girasoli, I hope you can visit Rome sometime when it's less hot and hectic. Remember when we had dinner in the Ghetto and saw the turtle fountain? Your photos from there were wonderful!

Candi, I know what you mean! When I think too much about Rome, I get homesick as well.

Angie, you must miss Italy so much.

Marta, the cloister was lovely but freezing! I guess the sun just couldn't get inside to warm it -- it was the only time during that trip that I really felt cold!

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