For BIG birthdays, I need to pull something special out the bag. When it was Ali’s 30th we were child free, fun loving young professionals and took advantage of the time available to us and headed off to Thailand. Fast forward 10 years and our family has two new additions, who I’m not sure would be quite so tolerant of a 13hr flight……both challenging for them and us alike.
For these very reasons and to try and make it special I booked three days in Rome for Ali’s birthday. It’s somewhere she’s wanted to go for years, so a long weekend break was arranged (actually it was mid week, such is the life of a wedding photographer). My parents kindly looked after the kids, so we had the rare opportunity to enjoy some time together, wondering the streets, sampling fine food and taking in the sights. Italian food has to be one of my favourites, you can’t go wrong with pasta and pizza, especially if you follow the guide books suggested hidden gems and eat with the locals.
Rome is certainly a great place to photograph too, unlike my trip earlier in the month to Marrakech where upon raising a camera to your eye all the locals head for cover. Rome was a refreshing change therefore and with a whistle stop tour of many beautiful spots I wasn’t short changed when it came to getting some lovely photos.
The only downside was leaving and knowing the opportunity to do something similar again wasn’t on the horizon for a long time yet.
All good trips start with a guide book and map.
First stop the Vatican Museum
Officially the biggest bowl ever :-)
A pretty cool ceiling. Clearly this was going to be an ongoing theme for the rest of the rooms too.
The stunning staircase as you exit the museum.
Next stop St. Peter’s basilica
Ali makes a great guide. She gives me the history, I take the photos.
Did I mention ornate ceilings? WOW
“What rain, it’s fine where I’m standing?”
With the light fading fast we nipped over to the Pantheon. What I love about Rome is these amazing buildings nested in amongst the more ordinary flats and apartments.
The hole or Oculus in the top of the Pantheon is 8.2m in diameter and said to give a clearer passage to god. It also lets light in….but for those of you who wondered (as did I) water comes in too, and collects on the floor beneath. This helps cool the building in summer and drains away through grates in the floor.
Guide book still in hand. We’re such tourists.
Next stop was the Trevi Fountain. Having already walked half way around Rome, this was pretty much a last minute decision, and I’m really glad we made the effort that evening. It’s a fantastic fountain, and tradition has it that you throw a coin over your left shoulder to guarantee a return visit to Rome.
Day 2, after a filling hotel breakfast and some discrete pilfering of rolls for lunch later, we headed off to the roman colosseum. Above is where the chariot racing went on and would have had the banks on the side packed with spectators back in the day.
We walked over Palestine Hill which offered great views out across Rome.
I love this photo. Loads of textures, colours and shapes which make up the urban landscape around the Roman Forum.
“Stand there Ali, there’s good light.” I get the impression she’s had me say that on many occasions before.
Yeah, big huh.
The Roman Forum. It’s unbelievable to think where you are standing is around 2,000 years old.
That’ll be the secret underground part where they kept lions & tigers etc ready to release them through the hatches during gladiatorial games. Amazing to see.
You see soooooooo many photos of the colosseum I wanted to find a fresh angle and was more than happy with this.
That’ll be some treats for the kids from the gift shop.
Ali snaps away with her iPhone.
Great light late in the day :-) Love the tree shadow in this photo.
Before dinner, and as night fell, we nipped out briefly to the Spanish Steps.
Back at the hotel and someone’s looking sparkly ready for a 40th Birthday Dinner.
Tiramisu, one of Ali’s favourite deserts. The irony was though, despite being in one and assuming this was going to be the best tiramisu ever, she in fact prefers the one at Pizza Express – arrrrgh!
Day 3 we took a short stroll around locally to our hotel. We had a plane to catch later, so only enough time to sneak in a mornings worth of sight seeing….and maybe a cake.
More fab views across Rome.
See you later Rome. Hopefully we’ll be back again soon.