We have gotten into a habit of sleeping late in the mornings. I’m not sure this is a great thing, but we are on vacation after all! We had a lazy start to our day, again lounging in the park, drawing and reading. Fletcher even played a little fiddle music for us.
After lunch, Raymond returned from class and in the afternoon we headed into the city center for a visit to the Spanish Steps (if you are wondering, there are 136 steps – we climbed up and counted – and the steps were commissioned by the French, not the Spanish) and the Trevi Fountain. Trevi Fountain is under restoration right now, drained of water and covered in scaffolding. If this were my only chance to see the fountain, I’m sure I would have been disappointed by the sight. Fortunately for us, however, we have been here before so we actually found the scene today very interesting. A bridge has been built over the fountain so that during the restoration process you can walk across the middle of the fountain and see things much more closely than you would ordinarily. There is still a spot where you can toss your coin into the fountain, ensuring your return to bella Roma some day.
We headed back to Prati for dinner at our favorite neighborhood pizza place, followed by gelato and a leisurely stroll up to St. Peter’s Square. Evening is the best time of day here. It was wonderful to watch the kids soak in the expanse of the square, the details of the facade of St. Peter’s and the enclosing hug of the colonnade arms. Raymond gave them a mini art history lesson and showed them how if you stand at just the right spot in the square, all the columns of the colonnade line up perfectly – but when you move from that spot you can see that the colonnade is actually four columns deep. He showed them the marks that indicate which pope commissioned the building, and we talked about Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XIV. He is an amazing man, my husband, and every place we go becomes more magical because of the stories he shares that bring it to life.