Floors…beautiful floors

Now back to France and Italy. 🙂

When I’m travelling, I am always looking up at the beautiful ceilings and down at the floors.  And I was certainly captivated by some of the beautiful and painstakingly crafted floors that we saw in France and Italy.

Here is just a few:

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This one above is actually terra cotta tile, it’s a local type only found in the Lake Como area.



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I don’t know about you, but my floors are BOOORRRRIIIINNNNGGG!



Seaside break

Well, how about a little seaside break from the snow, ice, cold, not to mention, Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping and cooking!

I took these photos during our trip to Italy this past fall.  Specifically they were taken during our drive along the Amalfi Coast and visit to Positano.  Take my word for it, Positano is absolutely breathtaking!  I hope these pictures make you feel a little warmer…..

This is at the start of our drive along the coast line.




And upon arrival at our hotel in Positano, this view greeted us in our hotel room – it was so, so stunning!



The hotel we stayed at was built into the side of the mountain and the lobby is five floors below where you enter.  So, you come in and take the elevator down five floors to enter the lobby.  But that’s not the coolest part, this is the lobby and…


this is part of the rock that the hotel is built against.  Isn’t that the neatest thing!


The view that greeted us in the morning.  When I think of “my happy place”, this is it!

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The outdoor terrace where we had breakfast, nestled with some lemon and orange trees.

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If it had been warmer we would definitely have ended up here……


but it didn’t stop my hubby from taking a dip in the heated outdoor pool.


So instead, we walked down the many, many stairs to walk on the beach.


The beautiful little town of Positano.  Aren’t the pastel stucco exteriors gorgeous against the rugged mountain backdrop?





A lovely little terrace on our way back up.



Ah, I feel warmer already.  Hope you do too!


Ancient Rome

Another instalment of photos from my trip to Italy.   These first photos were taken from the top of the Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia monument (shown below).
These photos show ancient Rome including the Colosseum, the Forum and Palatine Hill.
Yes, that’s the Colosseum in the distance.
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Arch of Titus
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An ancient overgrown fountain.
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A statue’s toe.
Hippodrome of Domitian

Coming up to the Colosseum.
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Hope you enjoyed this little visual visit!

The Sacred area and a few cats

Since I’m still on a little bit of a travelling high since I got back here’s some more photos from my trip.

This time from Ancient Rome – smack dab in the middle of the current modern Rome – it is quite strange to be just be walking around and then right in front of you is some ancient ruin.



And that is how we stumbled upon The Sacred Area of Largo Argentina.  As you can see it is alot lower than the current street level and hence it is fenced off.



It was discovered in 1926-1930 during the construction of a new building.  It is an ancient roman square with four temples that faced a courtyard.


The four temples are very different and they are known as Temples A, B, C & D now.  Temple A is the best preserved one of the four as it was incorporated into a medieval church, S. Nicolo dei Cesarini in 1132.  There were at least two earlier temples detected beneath this temple.

Temple B was the last one built and it’s foundation is even with the built up pavement of the others.  It is circular – you can see in the middle of the above photo. Six of its original 18 columns are still there.  There was a circular plinth that supported a large cult statute (the head, arm and foot are now displayed in the Capitoline museum).  It is thought to have been dedicated to the Goddess Fortuna “Good fortune for Today”.


Temple C is both the oldest and youngest of the temples on this site.  Its foundation predates the lowest level of Temple A but the floor and surviving structures date after 80 AD.  There was a large goddess head that was discovered nearby and it is thought that it was originally in this temple.

Temple D is the largest, however most of it is still hidden under the current street.

BUT THE BEST THING OF ALL IS THAT NOW IT IS A CAT SANCTUARY!  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a little cat crazy and I am thrilled when I find places like this.


How many cats can you find in this picture?

Street cats were attracted to the area when it was opened up during excavations in the 1920s.  I guess they felt safe being seven metres below the street level.  Unfortunately, then people started abandoning their cats here.  To the point that there are no feral cats they are all house cats that have been left there by their owners.

The sanctuary was founded in 1993 by two cat lovers who found that many of the cats were dying from disease and malnutrition.  Now international volunteers organize the medical treatment, sterilisations and adoptions of approximately one thousand cats, who come to live in this square every year.

After threats of eviction from the City of Rome there is now a special Roman law that protects this and other cat colonies and stray pets are deemed to be the property of the state and it is illegal to mistreat or move them.  This sanctuary relies solely on donations from tourists and visitors to buy food and medicine.

Here’s some more photos of the inhabitants….

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Roma, Roma

Well, I’m back and we had a fabulous time.  Rome is awe inspiring, especially when you come around a corner and there is the Pantheon or the Coliseum or some other ancient ruins…  It makes my heart go pitter patter because as a little girl I wanted to be an archaeologist and I still find it so interesting.

We had a beautiful hotel in Rome – right beside the Pantheon – I couldn’t believe the view!

Here’s the view we had from our room – too bad about the scaffolding – but I guess every hundred or so years you have to do some maintenance….



And some pictures from inside.  This dome was built with concrete with an 43 metre diameter opening in 126 A.D. and has never been structurally altered isn’t that amazing!  It is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome and when it rains outside it rains inside too!


And they poured it with these stepped squares to alleviate some of the weight of the concrete – this is obviously where coffered ceilings came into being!


And here it is at night…so romantic..SIGH!!


Hope you enjoyed this little bit of Rome. I’ll be posting some of the many, many, many pictures from our trip for the next while – so stayed tuned!