January 23, 2017
My brother Stephen and I met in Rome last week. It was such a treat to have hours and hours to talk, walk, laugh and ogle all the Italian majesty - not to mention eat heaps of delicious food. Thanks to Xavier, I was a free bird - he was home being parent to the girls. I’ve always really appreciated that Xavier encourages me to take time for myself to travel and do things on my own. He is right when he insists people are better parents when they have space for themselves.
I had been to Rome, but not for 10 years. What an incredible place. We were just hypnotized.
Going back, after spending lots of time in France, I was really interested to see how much more embellished the churches in that city were than the majority of churches in Paris or across France. Renaissance masters’ artwork abound in churches in Rome. Intricate woodwork, sculpture and gilding everywhere, and all shades of marble (and painted faux marble).
The Vatican blew my mind. St Peter’s Basilica - Renaissance wonder. The scale. It was incredible. We felt so tiny. From staring up at the dome to feeling completely dwarfed by Bernini's Baldacchino - a bronze 4-legged canopy sculpture that sits just beneath the great dome in the church. Its twisted columns seemed serpent-like to me. So strange and dark. The whole space was ominous. We climbed to look down from the dome. Dizzying perspective. It was remarkable to see the ceiling mosaics up close. Such detail and color.
Stephen had a few great recommendations from a friend:
* Tazza d'Oro for Granita con Panna
* Ristorante Nino | Via Borgognona, 11 for lunch - the waiters! Such refinement
* Trattoria Al Moro | Vicolo delle Bollette, 13
Wherever you eat, you must try Mont Blanc dessert - chestnuts, meringue, whipped cream
And I loved my experience at Acqua Madre a Turkish Hammam | Via di S. Ambrogio, 17
I've always loved a good scrub, massage and steam - perfected by a dive in a freezing pool