Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps under maintainance
16.11.2014 - 16.11.2014
Previous entry: [Rome] Picturesque Piazza Navona
On the way to the Trevi Fountain, it started to rain and we had to get our raincoats out. We came upon the Lindt flagship store in Rome and decided to seek refuge there for a quick moment.
Lindt sells a huge variety of chocolate treats, including desserts prepared by a dessert chef, and gelato!
Yummy-looking chocolate cakes and puddings.
Glorious combination of chocolate and creamy gelato.
How I wish both were for me!
The shop's life-sized mascot is at the front of the shop, which anyone can pose with.
I loved the gelato, the chocolate is very rich, and the gelato feels light despite being creamy, and flavourful. The staff is friendly and speaks English so communication is not a problem.
After our hearty tea break, we continued our way to the Trevi Fountain. We passed a beautiful open-air arcade, the Galleria Alberto Sordi. Actually we wanted to look for a bathroom, but found none. Free public toilets seem pretty scarce in Rome!
The building is designed in an art nouveau style.
We passed another church, Santa Maria Maddalena. But we'd had enough churches for the day, and we wanted to get to the Trevi Fountain before the rain got heavier, so we didn't go in. Looking at pictures of the interior, I now wish we had!
Piazza Colonna, Rome's political nerve centre, and one of Rome's most important squares.
In the middle stands the Column of Marcus Aurelius (remember that Roman Emperor on the horse at Capitoline Hill?), a victory column built in honour of the Emperor (that guy on a horse at Capitoline Hill). The column is crowned by a sculpture of Saint Paul.
The column is made of Carrara Marble, but if I hadn't read about this online, I'd have assume it was granite. I know Carrara Marble is streaked with grey, but this just looks dirty. Damn it people, please maintain your monuments!
But of course, of all the monuments that had to be maintained, the Trevi Fountain is the one that gets picked. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the Trevi Fountain completely obscured by scaffolding. When we encountered it, Ivy, who remembered the location of the fountain due to having been there as a kid, said "Err, I think this is the Trevi Fountain." And I still told her confidently "Nah you remembered wrongly, they won't do this to a famous tourist attraction!" Oh how wrong I was. I take pride in doing plenty of research before traveling and I heard not a peep about any sort of refurbishment project for the fountain.
Many tourists were as shocked and in disbelief as we were. They were milling all around, taking pictures of the scaffolded monument. If this wasn't the bloody Trevi, nobody would be giving two shits about it.
I tried to make the most out of it, but there are metal bars everywhere. Not even a close-up helps!
Words cannot express our disappointment.
And they had the cheek to provide a small pool for their fund collecting gimmick. With a billboard photo of part of the fountain as a lazy-ass substitute. How about a miniature model at least?
And we fall for it anyway. I threw my coin in. It is pretty easy to get it in since the coin just bounces off the billboard into the water. I guess I get to go back again, hopefully after the refurbishment is done!
Meanwhile, it continues to pour as we walk to Piazza di Spagna. Talk about bad luck.
In the background is the Column of Immaculate Conception, a 19th century monument depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary at the top and four Hebrew figures at the base - David, Moses, Isaiah and Ezkeziel who foretold the virgin birth.
And we're at the Spanish Steps. Ok technically the steps are fine, but the scaffolding on top with the Timberland ad ruins it all.
Must remain strong and smiiile
The Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Ugly Boat), by Bernini. It is a shoutout to a point in history when the Piazza di Spagna flooded, leaving a boat behind when the water subsided. *Sigh* No matter how 'ugly' it is, at least it's not engulfed in scaffolding.
Brollies everywhere on a wet day. The man guy behind with the huge navy brolly bordered with a white rim and carrying umbrellas is a tout. These touts always hang out at popular tourist attractions. They sell selfie sticks and souvenirs on a fine day, but their stash magically turns into umbrellas and ponchos when it rains. They turn up outside busy metro stations as well. They are extremely persistent and can't seem to understand that our raincoats are essentially ponchos and keep shoving ponchos in our faces with an annoying "Poncho poncho!". Or perhaps our raincoats are so pretty that they mistook them for regular clothes *snort*. The only way to avoid them is to try to step out of their way and tell them firmly "no grazie".
The Piazza di Spagna with its cute colourful buildings would have been picturesque on a fine day too.
At least the scaffolding can't be seen if the picture is taken from another angle XD
We took refuge in a small teller machine room to dry my phone which I'd been using to take pictures, fantasizing about a fat bank account in Italy that we can draw money from.
On our way back to our hotel, we walked through an alleyway with several small shops, including a souvenir store. Since it was our last day in Rome, we decided that we'd better pick up some stuff before it's too late to do so.
We bought this beautiful detailed 3D resin magnet for 1 Euro, a rarity as many souvenir stores price such magnets for much more. I put it on my refrigerator at home, but it fell off one night and the magnet broke. Miraculously, the resin part remained unscathed. I use it as a paper weight now. The shop owner came from China and when he heard that we're from Singapore, he said that it's a nice country and that we're very lucky.
And since we didn't have mood or appetite for a proper dinner, it was a rather sad affair with drinks from a vending machine (2nd night in a row!) and pizza from a pizzaria opposite the hotel. The pizzas are not bad but at around 4 euros each, they are rather pricey!
At this point of time, "hobo-ing" has become a running joke for our alarmingly frequent makeshift dinners. It isn't that we're budgeting. We'd actually set aside ample money for food, knowing that Italy and Paris are gourmet paradises. But during the trip, I lost my appetite and even skipped some meals without feeling hungry or weak, despite the daily long walks. Not sure if it's the jetlag or what.
Anyway, this makes the concluding post for our adventures in Rome! Thanks for reading as always! Rome is a beautiful city, it's somewhat crowded and busy. I wish it didn't have to end on a low note, but I'm sure I'll be back again some day to admire the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps in their full glory.