Mooring in Porto di Roma
14th September 2008

Pierogeorgio, his wife Mara and daughter Sylvia, who swam out to the boat a few weeks ago, look after us very well in Rome.

Pierogeorgio and Sylvia pick us up and take us on a 5 hour tour of Rome. This is a wonderful experience as we have been to Rome before but they organize this tour in such a way we now have an excellent perspective of this marvellous city’s layout.

It includes:

St Paul’s Church - St Paul’s tomb is here and there is a marvellous collection of mosaics (these were redone after the church was burned down many years ago).

Driving past the pyramid and city wall to the city centre.

One of the Seven Hills of Rome (Antelo Hill) to look through the keyhole to St Peters.

Driving past Chilcamario where the important people lived in Roman times and past the ancient horse track.

The Colosseum, The Triumphant Arch and Capitol Hill - with Michelangelo’s building.

The Colosseum

The Mouth of Truth.

View of Tiber Island - We parked here and set off on foot to:

• the Jewish Synagogue and area;
• via Julia to Navona Square (battles used to be held here);
• a coffee stop at Sant’ Eustachio (Pierogiorgio claims this is the best coffee in Italy);
• the Parliament building: the huge statue by Bernini;
• the Pantheon – built by Agrippa: a temple to all the Gods. An important dome here, second to St Peters;
• Chiesa di S.Ignasio – an important painting on the ceiling;
• to Rock Square;
• to the Premier’s house;
• the Colon Antonina near here, depicting a battle on the column;
• building by Bernini;
• via Cornvotti with all its high fashion shops, leading up to the Spanish steps;
• viewing the balcony where Mussolini gave a speech;
• Ara Coeli – a very ancient church;
• Capitol Hill and the City Hall designed by Michelangelo.

It is fascinating to see some roadworks and understand the work involved in making the cobble stone roads made from volcanic rock.

Back in the car we drive past the impressive St Peters lit up and then up Gianicolo Hill to see the view down across the city with all the lights coming on.

Then we are taken to their apartment for a wonderful Italian dinner Mara has prepared. Pierogeorgio’s brother and another friend, both keen sailors, are also there. They have valuable information and hints for us about leaving the boat over winter and ideas and suggestions of where to sail next.

We come away feeling very spoiled and look forward to seeing them on our return. Hopefully, they can join us for a sail.

We are looking forward, of course, to going home to see family and friends but the idea of coming back next May is very appealing.