sunday morning, 9/23, mike and i had made plans with peter and tony to see the pantheon, and check out open markets. naturally, we needed to stop off for some cappucinos before going too far:
outside of the pantheon - it is amazing how wonderfully preserved it was!!
love these guys!
the next several shots, sadly, do not begin to capture how awe-inspiring the pantheon was.
standing as close to the center of the room as we could, looking up - it was hard believe the sky wasn't a picture.
there were small "rooms" (i'm sure there's an official word to describe them) along the outer edges. here are some pictures:
a better shot of the roof - i hope that you can feel how the center pulls your eyes towards it. if not for the unavoidable cricks in our necks, it would have been easy to just stare up all day.
after leaving the pantheon, we wandering off in search of street markets. mike and i had planned to get each other leather jackets for christmas, bought in rome. however, after doing more research, we found that florence is really the place to get leather. mike's sister jennifer, and her husband, ivan, have artwork they have purchased all over the world - hearing their stories with each piece conveys the way they treasure them. we hoped to find something similar that we could bring back with us, that we would have in our house to remind us of this trip.
below is a lovely square - it felt like a surprise to see the grass below the intricate building walls.
i love the picture below. the light was like a highlighter, draw across just the building, leaving the sky and street in darkened gray. here was piazza navona.
we could see vendors on the other end of the square, selling paintings and artwork - yes, please!
as when we had looked at pictures friday night, we didn't see anything we loved. i was disappointed, but not surprised. then, i saw an oil painting propped up against a table, of the spanish steps. we appreciated the way it was painted, and, sentimentalists that we are, loved that it was of the place in rome our feet kept us returning to.
because it was a street market, we assumed we should try to haggle down the price - right?? based on prior discussions, mike and i had decided that i could be the "emotional face" while he would be the unconvinced spouse. however, it was quickly clear that this wasn't a haggling situation. the artist explained that he usually sold his work in galleries, and that the last price he had quoted on the painting i loved was 300 euros! his asking price was less than a third of that. he pointed us to his less expensive works, but said that he really could not drop his price lower than quoted.
of course we bought it. ;-) it is now hanging, framed, in our living room - arguably our most priced possession.