Aviva woke up early, really early (like 4AM), so I woke up early too. We got organized, which is always a nice thing. I realized I forgot the special cable for my new camera (I knew I’d do that), and I couldn’t get the zip USB cable to work with Aviva’s camera (funny, it powers my Blackberry fine), so today we’ll try to find a camera or computer shop and get a USB card reader that takes MemoryStick and MemoryStick Pro cards; hopefully that won’t be hard in Rome.

Today should be an art day – we’re visiting collections we’ve never seen before in a set of villas near the hotel. We like to spend our first day someplace near the hotel if possible so we can walk around and get our legs working after the long flights.

We first asked the desk about computer or digital camera stores near us – none, nada, zilch. And, as we walked around, we learned that this was true – Rome central is based on the Ludite creed, as there’s little technology in the hands of individuals. Internet cafes are big business here – we stopped in one to ask about computer and photo shops (told again no way) and there was always a line.

We started at Galleria Colonna, a middling art gallery.

We then walked over to Galleria Doria Pamphilj, a very nice gallery with some works by famous artists.

Lunch was at Osteria dell’ Ingegno at Piazza di Pietra 45 – modern Italian dishes done nicely. I had a homemade pasta (probably forced through a potato grate into boiling water) with cut up green beans and a basil pesto sauce. Aviva had mussels with a pasta, and she ate most of hers so it must have been good (I cleaned my plate).

We went to the Pantheon again (here’s a link to our last visit) – what an amazing building. I especially love the roof, and we both are amazed that Raphael is buried there.

After another gelato we went to Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, near Piazza Navonna, a church with a Michelangelo sculpture and Lippi frescoes. Beato (Fra) Angelico is buried here. St. Catherine is also strongly represented at this church. Outside, there was a large rally opposing domestic partner legislation; we fought our way through the crowd to get to the end of the piazza.

We then walked all over the place looking for a couple of churchs – we found one but its not open on the weekend.

So we walked back to the hotel. As we got close Aviva saw an optical shop that also sold digital cameras. She bought an eyeglass holder for her reading glasses and I got a Lexar USB drive that takes MemoryStick and MemoryStick PRO memory cards. When we got back to the room I unloaded both cameras – now I can work on these web pages every night again, yippee!

We went to dinner at a cheap little pizza place called Pizza Ciro at Via della Mercede, 43/45; I had a calzone which was very good, but Aviva ordered real food and it wasn’t so great. We slept better overnight.

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