Sun 1 Jan 2012 At about 10:30 we headed off to walk to the Piazza del Popolo. Firstly we got a proper look in the daylight at our location. The Imperial Forum is right at the end of our street and that is where the concert was. The Colosseum was only a few blocks away – we are right in the middle of the historical centre! We walked through the Piazza Venezia with a huge ‘War memorial’ and guards and then along the Via del Corso. We had detours along the way to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain where we threw our coins, including an Australian 5 cent. Being New Year’s Day with shops closed and very little traffic, there were lots of walkers, even on the actual streets.
We had lunch (4 different pizzas) at a very nice restaurant. Most of the buildings are very run down on the outside, but beautiful inside (our apartment included). At the Piazza del Popolo we went into a paid, annual display of nativity scenes from all over the world (mainly Europe and South America – Catholic countries). Some were very elaborate scenes of the whole of Bethlehem and others were very simple. They were in a range of styles, cultures and materials. Some were ceramic, timber, made of corn husks, pasta, lace and some had great detail and quirky touches such as lights in houses, running water and people engaged in everyday happenings. No photos allowed unfortunately.
When we returned we tried to find a grocery store (we had seen one last night) but couldn’t. It was very frustrating – what do all these people eat, apart from eating out? We ended up having pasta which I already had, tomato sauce which happened to be in the frig and very expensive tuna from a deli.