Tag Archives: Roman

Gelato, Artists, Architecture and History Make a Perfect Roman Piazza

These pictures were taken during a summer holiday in Rome.  You can read more about our love story with Piazza Navona at http://pauperswithouttravel.com/2012/06/14/piazza-navona-a-lovely-microcosm-of-rome/

Let’s start with our favorite gelato
Add a healthy dose of art and artists
Mix in some good music
Don’t forget the historical monuments
Some magnificent buildings and architecture
A mix of quirky characters
Did we say headless as well?
Egyptian mummies too!
Some intense Italian brooding
And finally some playful birds to complete this picture

Piazza Navona – A Lovely Microcosm of Rome

Piazza Navona

By Lakshmi:

Our Roman holiday was filled with so many adventures and memories that it will fill many a Pauper post.  Among all these beautiful memories, our multiple visits to Piazza Navona will always hold a special place in my heart.

So, what was so special about this city square, built at the site of a stadium in the first century AD?  To me, the first time naive visitor to Rome, it represented the ultimate microcosm of everything the city had to offer.

We first set sight on this magnificent square over a weekend and it drew us in immediately.   Was it the beautiful Fountain of the Four Rivers (Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio della Plata)? Or was it the Obelisk of Domitian? Or was it all the artists displaying their creations or better yet creating them at this very spot?  Or was it the “La Dolce Vita” that surrounded us at restaurants and gelato shops?  It is hard to pinpoint one reason above all others that pulled us in.  But, I can certainly say that we felt like we had arrived at some place special and were truly enveloped by the spirit of Rome.  The girls had their caricatures done by an artist and I regret not getting their charcoals done as well.  We walked around to see the art displays, got some of the best gelato we tasted in Rome from Gelateria Tre Fontane, seated ourselves on a bench and people watched for hours.

A few days later, we returned with more family members for lunch and ate at one of the cafes at the square.  The food was simple, but very good.  We ended the meal with another gelato, this time stopping by to take in the Neptune and Moor fountains and also spending time admiring the architecture of the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone.

I know for a fact that my writing does not bring justice to the true beauty of Piazza Navona.  If you are in Rome, please do spend some time here.

To learn more about Piazza Navona, click here:


A Walk Across Galata Bridge: An Istanbul Must-Do

By: Siddhi 

Who?  Anyone who wants experience a slice of Turkish culture on foot and see Istanbul outside the lens of commercial tourism.

What?   Galata Bridge covers the Golden Horn (the part of the Bosphorus that essentially divides Istanbul and creates the historic harbor that throughout history has housed Ottoman, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ships for thousands of years).

How?  If you’re staying in the heart of Istanbul, you are generally walking distance from Galata. If you’re further away, take the Istanbul Metro which has the majority of its lines traveling to or near the Galata Bridge area.

Why?  This seems to be a consensus among many travelers who have visited Istanbul in the last five years or so: it seems as if the city, including Old Istanbul which is supposed to be the hotbed of raw Turkish life and culture, has compromised itself for the explosion of the tourism industry. The industrialization of the historically significant city is lamentable, but it’s still possible to see how the people of Turkey live by taking off on foot and allowing yourself to get lost. Walking across Galata Bridge gave us true snapshots of day-to-day Istanbul life. Fishermen lining the sides of the bridge in a uniform and almost poetic motion, people from all walks of life commuting back and forth on a single road, and stunning views of the entire city and its landmarks that put Istanbul as a larger entity into perspective. Walking Galata makes you forget you’re a tourist and puts you in the shoes of the people of Turkey. And that is truly a rewarding and memorable experience.

View from Galata Bridge