Friday, July 27, 2012

Largo di Torre Argentina ~ Fountains ~ Markets ~ Rome, Italy

We have another wonderful day of wandering the streets of Rome in the Centro Storico district where we have seen so many wonderful surprises as we walk their narrow streets and discover another piazza along the way.  One just never knows what you might see.

Unidentified building in Rome with architectural interests
Church in Rome, Italy
 We did not see any information about this great looking building but it was worth a photo.  The very tall building may have been one of the many churches we would see in Rome.  No matter how obscure or hidden from the main traffic area, the churches had some great sculptures as part of their exterior architecture.
Cobblestone street or alleyway with tables for cafe guests
Narrow cobblestone street with cafe tables
 There were cafés and businesses tucked into the smallest corners and stalls as we made our way through the maze of streets and alleys in Centro Storico. They could drive delivery vans into pretty small places to make their deliveries.  This café appears to create it’s own outside border by putting planters along the cobbled roadway and there were more cafés further along that placed tables on the street outside their door. 
A busy market scene in the square
Campo di Fiori Market in Rome
Campo de Fiori is the big market  that you can find all kinds of fruits and vegetables as well as fish, too.  We weren’t there to buy but it was neat to wander around and have a look at all they had to offer.  There were booths with clothes and other things but they are known as the food market.  They open up pretty early and things seem to stay pretty busy.  The fairly small square holds a lot and is surrounded by bars, cafés and restaurants, so it is easy to find a nice place to sit and enjoy the sights over a cup of coffee. 
The fountain in the piazza is shaped like a bathtub
Piazza Farnese in Rome, Italy
The Piazza Farnese, home of the French Embassy may not have the grandeur of the Piazza Navona but it does have the granite Roman bathtub made in 1612, making that fountain 400 years old.  There are many people gathered around the fountain as we wander through.  They hold free concerts here occasionally but not during out visit there.
Lady rides into square on her bike with a bag of birdseed
Lady visits to feed the pigeons
We had more to see so on we went and as we walked past this little park we happened to see a lady arrive on her bike and the pigeons flocked to her.  She had a bag of bird food on the back of her bike and they were helping themselves to it.  I think she has done this before.
Lady dips the pigeon into the fountain when she grooms them
Pigeon Lady grooms the pigeons
We sat on the bench to watch this unusual sight for awhile, she moved her bike over to the fountain with her flock of pigeons following her, some flying and some walking but not many were leaving her side.  
The pigeons do not object to the bath they receive
A bath for the pigeons
Our Pigeon lady began to pick up a pigeon and with what appeared to be clippers, was busy doing something to the pigeon before dunking it into the fountain then releasing it. She did this to more than one and although we will never know what she was doing, the pigeons were not minding it at all but took their turn at the hand of the one that fed them.    
looking down into the ruins of the Largo di Torre Argentina
Largo di Torre Argentina ruins in Rome, Italy
We were now looking for more ruins within the area and after a very brief attempt to locate ourselves on the map, we happened upon the Largo de Torre Argentina. Some of these ruins were found as recently as 1926.  The ruins are below street level and are fenced with clear panels so they are easy to see but  it is surrounded by some very busy traffic areas so there is limited interest in further developing it.
The ruins of the Largo de Torre Argentina is also home of the cat sanctuary
Ruins in the Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome, Italy
This location includes the Theater of Pompey where Julius Caesar was assassinated.  There seems to be some conflicts about that because it is also said it happened at the Roman Forum but another story says that while the forum was being reconstructed, the Senate was temporarily held at the Theater of Pompey and this is where the actual assassination took place in 44BC.  Glad I got that figured out, I was confused!
A tower stands among the ruins of the Largo di Torre Argentina
Home of the Cat Sanctuary in Rome, Italy
As many feral cats will do, they moved into these ruins and claimed it as their home once the site was excavated and several ladies voluntarily began feeding them and caring for them.  This location now houses about 250 cats where they also receive medical care and attention.  The volunteers run this cat shelter and have become a very hard working group that keep the cats alive.  Click here if you’d like to learn more about the Roman Cat Sanctuary.

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