Further on from Notre Dame, heading in the direction of the Louvre but still on Ile de la Cité I found enchantment.

The oldest working clock in Paris (1535).

All of the chestnut trees in the middle of Place Dauphin were in bloom.

Pretty against the pink of this building.

The building to the right is having major renovation but you can’t see it due to the wonderfully painted cover.

I love wisteria, the sweet fragrance, that fabulous purple. In the past I have found some great vines in Paris so, on a very pretty day, I set out to where I had found it before. I only found a few rather sickly blooms. I guess this is one of those years where they aren’t doing well. It happens. In any case, being around Notre Dame, I enjoyed what I did find.

I found pink flowers blooming on a chestnut tree in front of Notre Dame.

This restaurant, Au Vieux Paris, right around the corner can have wonderful flowers on that wisteria vine but not this time. It’s a colourful place in any case.

This was in a window of a kitchen at the back of a restaurant seen from outside.

I love this sign.

I’ve never eaten there but it does look tempting.

Here are just a few of the many photos I took in Rome:

The dome of the Pantheon.

We visited the Trevi Fountain along with thousands of other people and threw in a coin. I could be wrong but there seemed to be a lot more tourists in Rome than I see in Paris.

Near the Spanish Steps (under renovation) is this, the sunken boat fountain.

The strap on my purse broke (I keep too much in my purse, I think) and after looking up the word for shoe repair-calzolaio-and asking at our hotel for the closest one which, it turned out were just sort of general directions and wandering around a bit, we found it. This nice man fixed it on this old trundle sewing machine in two minutes for five Euros. It was nice to see a craftsman at work.

At the end of an ordinary courtyard.

This was in the side chapel at the cathedral in Trastevere, a funky section of Rome across the Tiber River. I can’t find any info on it. Anyone out there know anything about it? I think it was on a tomb.

There serve a lot of pork in Rome, especially hams and charcuterie.

Just one of the many places to eat in Trastevere, a very lively part of Rome.

The Saint Louis Cathedral dedicated to King Louis VIX. It was full of beautiful mosaics.

The last photo I took on Piazza Navona. We had a little time to kill before our flight back to Paris and wandered over there. It was a fun place to sit and watch people. A couple from Norway was sitting next to us on a bench in front of an enormous fountain topped with an Egyptian obelisk and the man pointed out some of the symbols on it and said the Egyptians had had help from extraterrestrials in building their monuments. He said he and his wife had gone to England to see the crop circles also done by aliens, not as I told him, by joking farmers. Who knows?

We decided to take a tour to see the Vatican. There was a huge line to get in so we were glad to have a skip the line tour but, still, it was just packed with people. Even with a tour, we had to fight our way through crowds. We did a lot of standing and walking and were just exhausted at the end.

The entry to the museum.

A look from the back.

One of the ceilings. The floors were fabulous too, in fact some of the marble on the floors were made from material taken from the Colosseum and other monuments and are so rare they can no longer be found in nature.

A room of maps done the old fashioned way, going in person and walking, no views from up above with a drone or airplane.

One lady in the tour had this little Pope doll and took photos of it in front of everything.

Inside the cathedral, the Pieta by Michelangelo. It’s now behind a protective screen after a nut climbed up and started hitting it with a hammer in 1972. I saw it years ago before this happened.Michelangelo sculpted this when he was 24! We saw the Sistine Chapel too, by the way, but no photos were allowed.

Look at this crowd.

Great dome inside the cathedral.

One of the Swiss guards, a long tradition.

As I said before, we went to Rome to see some tennis. We both used to play some but never do now. We just like to watch it. The grounds are really nice where the Rome Tennis Open is held.

Mussolini had the grounds built, a sort of sports centre in the Fascist Architecture style. It is no longer called by his name.

There were lots of statues around looking Roman and athletic.

Some of the courts had Roman statues around them.

Some had those wonderful parasol pines. I moved into the shade of them often when the sun got too much for me.

A look at the action.

We saw Gasquet play, a French player. He is a beautiful player with a fantastic backhand, the follow through which you can see here. He easily won this game and then crashed and burned in the next one.

Maurice and I love watching tennis and have traveled to see many tournaments. One of the tournaments that we see on TV every year is in Rome, the Rome Open, and it looks like such a beautiful setting that we decided to make the short trip (from Paris) to Rome to see some of it. I had been in Rome many years ago. I was by myself with two of my children driving all over with no GPS, just a guide book, finding hotels by driving around a city with my kids being my copilot. I don’t remember much of Rome for some reason-just a big rain storm and getting lost on a bus going in the wrong direction and some of the monuments. We met with my ex later in Venice. Anyway,this time it felt like our first time there. We got lost constantly, especially when trying to find our hotel. I learned to use the GPS function on my cell phone which gives you a map of where you are and at the end of the five days, we had our section of Rome pretty much figured out. Our hotel was in the part of Rome which is near Piazza Navona, central to most of what we wanted to see.

Castle San Angelo. We never made it there, just saw it from a distance.

As in all old city centers, there are many alleys and courtyards.

Beautiful painted buildings.

Those lovely Italian colored buildings.

God didn’t help this nun find her way either. I hope her map did.

We took one of those Hop On, Hop Off buses around Rome to see the major sites. This is, of course, the Coloseum. We had both visited this before so this was the closest we got.

More modern architecture.

Many corners, high above, had religious symbols and paintings.

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