- Fizzy Thoughts: Italy Trip: Day Twenty-six

Italy Trip: Day Twenty-six

Sunday, October 07, 2007

9/23/07

We went to Piazza Bra
for breakfast, our first breakfast out this trip. We ordered a Continentale and a Europea, both with cappuccinos. This way were able to get a combo of fruit, toast and cornetto. We also got a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with one of the orders...it was all quite good, and about the same price as our hotel breakfast would have been. And that looked like just coffee with bread and jam. And cereal.

After breakfast we went into the Arena, which still had the stage set up from last night's concert. Zucchero is on tour...no, we didn't get tickets. The marble steps/seats of the arena are tall and quite a challenge to climb (it's even worse going down). The arena is a Roman theatre and has been in use for over 2000 years. How cool is that?
Next, we set off to loosely follow the walking tour from Rick Steves' book. We started at Piazza Erbe, site of the old Roman forum. There is a lion atop a column (sign of Venice's dominion), a small marble pavilion where the merchant's scales once were, and a fountain. And lots of people. Then we went under the whale's rib (1000 years hanging - legend says if someone who has never lied passes underneath it, it will fall) into the Piazza dei Signori. Dante's statue is in the middle, as he was granted asylum here after Florence kicked him out. The della Scala residence is on this square. Behind Dante, the yellow building is the Loggia del Consiglio, a Renaissance style council chamber. Palazzo della Ragione (Palace of Reason) is opposite Dante. We climbed the 13th century Torre dei Lamberti(almost 300 steps, not that I was counting...there is an elevator, but we were being healthy) to see some great views of the city.

We passed by the Gothic looking tombs of the Scaligeri family. Their name comes from the word for ladder, and you can see ladders on the fencing. From there we walked by Sant' Anastasia church, the largest in the city. Then to the Ponte Pietra. After it was bombed in WWII the locals fished the Roman marble stones from the river and rebuilt the bridge. The bridge is now two-toned, with the old Roman marble being white and the newer brick being red. We crossed the bridge to the Roman theater, excavated from beneath medieval buildings. The museum is in an old Jesuit monastery built into the hillside. There are great views overlooking the city, so it is worth the hike up the hill.
Back over the bridge we walked by the Duomo and then headed off for lunch on Via Viviani at Caffe Coloniale. Then more walking back to Piazza Bra and along the old wall that runs to the river. Finally, we headed back to the hotel to rest before returning to Liston for dinner.

2 comment(s):

Emily said...

Great photos!

softdrink said...

Thanks Emily!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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