Archive for May 16th, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Piazza Colonna of Rome!!

Well here you go me hanging around my Rome pics and always pulling nice ones out of the vaults that was not included in my blog. Well well, this cannot be, this is the one and only Piazza Colonna, the area of our shopping of course. Therefore, here is my take on the Piazza Colonna of Rome!!

The Piazza Colonna square dates from the end of the 16C, built on the initiative of Pope Sixtus V, is located on the central axis Via del Corso, near Montecitorio and the Pantheon, not far from Piazza Venezia. The piazza is rectangular in plan with the Column of Marcus Aurelius at its center, and is surrounded by important historic Roman palaces.

Near the column is a fountain made in 1577 by order of Pope Gregory XIII fed by the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. The restoration of the Acqua Vergine aqueduct in the 16C with a set of diversions for supplying water. It consists of a large basin of Chio marble decorated with sixteen vertical bands of Carrara marble. Two groups of sculpted dolphins and a small basin in the center were added during the first half of the 19C.

The Colonna or column in the center of the square,has been present here since antiquity. It was erected in honor of Marcus Aurelius in 180 CE on the model of that of Trajan, to commemorate the military campaigns of the emperor, Erected on the Champs de Mars after the death of the emperor; this 30-meter high engraved column celebrates the military victories.

Opposite the column is the entrance to Palazzo Chigi, which was once the embassy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and is now the seat of the Council of Ministers. The Palazzo Chigi, built in the 16-17C. First owned by the Aldobrandini family, it was sold to Pope Alexander VII Chigi. The Chigi family sold the palace to the Italian state in 1916, which then used it to house Government and the Council of Ministers. Also, Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Chamber of Deputies.


Also on display is the Palazzo Wedekind, the historic home of the daily newspaper Il Tempo, whose portico is supported by Ionic columns from the ancient city of Veii. Other important palaces occupy the square, and opposite, on Via del Corso, is the Galleria Alberto Sordi (see post).

The Rome tourist office on the Piazza Colonna

There you go folks, another dandy in eternal Rome! We love our visit and will come back eventually, hopefully. For now enjoy the wonderful Piazza Colonna of Rome! And again hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 16, 2022

The Galleria Alberto Sordi of Rome !!

So here I am back at Rome, ok this is a big city we criss cross it with buses, metro, and lots of walks, long distances to soak in and see up close as much as possible. I have been here several times on business trips, but lately came with the family on personal vacation and rented apartments in the city, our favorite was in Nomentano district.

You come here for the big monuments and historical pieces even thus Italy and Rome are loaded of them, and coming from regions that have plenty and the most visited places on Earth, when it was time for Rome ,we settle for the off the beaten paths, the vast spaces of its squares, the food and of course the shopping.

Oh yes shopping is big here too, and plenty of it. However, we did not see all the big names and visit every fashion store or hardly any. We went for the architecturally stunning, chic luxury, and grand coffee and reading music games places. These we found in Piazza Colonna and the Galleria Alberto Sordi of Rome!


The history of the gallery dates back to 1872 and is linked to the project of enlargement of the Piazza Colonna during the installation of the Camera dei Deputati (congress of deputies) in the near Palazzo di Montecitorio. Its final project was approved only in 1911, and after a long work site, it was inaugurated in 1922 as Galleria Colonna.  Closed and abandoned in the 1980-1990’s, its work to restore the original decoration of the gallery-according to documents kept from the city archives from the mosaic of the floor, to the canopy and to all the decorations and stuccoes of the walls and luminaires.

The Galleria Alberto Sordi was inaugurated in 2003 and now bears the name of the famous Roman actor who died in the same year. Today, open every day from 10 to 22 hours without interruption, the gallery houses many fashion boutiques, caffè, and the famous Feltrinelli bookstore.  We came here looking for the bookstore and found the Massimo Dutti clothing store as well one of our favorites.  The Feltrinelli Libri e Musica is awesome and worth a detour me think.


Four floors dedicated to music, books, films, magazines and videogames for every taste, budget and occasion. A café where to have a coffee or an aperitivo before you plunge back into the new items on offer. An event space where every day there are meetings, presentations of books, films, records, current affairs debates and photographic exhibitions.  The coffee shop in the first floor (2nd US) is just worth the detour alone, and while gazing at a fine book, or gleaming of your new purchase CD’s DvD’s or games will bring a pleasant ambiance to have it sip it slowly and enjoy the wonderful architecture in grand style! 


The official Galleria Alberto Sordi

The Rome tourist office on the Galleria Alberto Sordi:

There you go folks, a grand coffee stop, plenty of beautiful books to read, and a gorgeous shopping center, that is Galleria Alberto Sordi of Rome! A wise shopping stop for all the glory of Rome! Hope you enjoy it as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 16, 2022

A special post on Paris ,Versailles, and Fontainebleau !!!

A few years back, I was in a huge popular travel forum and decide to invite the folks over to see the big 3 of my belle France. As the site was on its way down and eventually closed out to another major travel forum, the participation was small. However, I have great memories of sharing travel tips with folks all over the world , and some have become close friends still after many years. I like to update this post with new personal pictures to give credit to them and me. Hope you enjoy the pictoral and theme as I.

Oh yes the big 3 well, they are Paris, Versailles, and Fontainebleau. Here I go folks, my treat.

I did wrote quite a bit of travel tips and advice on a couple of big travel forums besides my blog, and tried to do doing something special in June 2015. For those reading my blog and passing by Paris in June 24,25,26, 2015 next I am hosting a tour of several places in Paris (where I worked), Versailles (Where I lived), and Fontainebleau (my first place visited in France and my wife’s region). The visit was to be as everyone pays its own and visit as much as they wish to visit on each day ,two days or all three days. I will have a place to meet on each day and we will go from there as a group. The basic visits were explained as such:

June 24th 2015, Fontainebleau

We met at the castle main horseshoe entrance by 9AM as I will be driving  by car;  you can come a bit late if delays on public transport it will be fine. We will be able to see for the first time the apartment of the Pope.  The Musée Napoléon 1er , prince apartments, portraits of pageantry, sumptuous weapons, luxury works of art but also a reconstituted tent evoking the life of the Emperor in the countryside.  Also,  small apartments, the Chinese Museum, the jeu de paume, the Gallery of furniture… and is a very precious decorative arts museum. I did got a couple into the Salle de la Belle Cheminée which off to the public but I have done conferences there. This is Belle-Cheminée du Primatice  building by the cour de la Fontaine. And of course, the 3 gardens styles.

Fontainebleau cour de la fontaine behind PF nov08

June 25th 2015 ,Paris

We met by the statue of Gustave Eiffel on the Nord Pylon . Going to the underground of the Tour Eiffel, (price will be around 20 euros per person) and to get it I need 10 persons min.) We did not have enough people so each paid its own, and did visit the Chapelle Expiatoire where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were first place and now a restful place and private of the Bourbon family. Go into some of the historical monuments in the Parisian deluxe Hotels done by Charles Garnier (opéra etc fame). We have the Chapelle Expiatoire open ok for Thursday June 25th so depending on when the tour Eiffel can fit us we will do this first or second.  We will do this as time permitting.

Paris palais de chaillot park eiffel tower back PF Apr09

June 26th , Versailles

We met in front at the Place d’Armes outside castle. We saw the whole of the castle (private apartments of the kings),the Royal Chapel ,and Opéra theater, then out into the Trianons, and Hameau of M-A, with a passport pass 18€, this includes in addition, the Great water shows,musical gardens that will be playing in June and temporary exhibitions. I  walked them to my jogging trails and family picnics beyond the Grand Canal, into the farm at St Cyr l’école that fed the palace in its heydays and still operated by descendants since 1741.  I had some surprises but needed min of 10 persons which was not to be instead we walked past many of the off the beaten path monuments of Versailles.

Versailles castle from gardens to back of castle jun09

The idea was to get a minimum of 10 persons which I thought was doable, but the morale was low in the forum and got only 5. Anyway it stayed as a memorable tour and personal presentation. I will put my pictures here.  And we did finally met in person! Hopefully,one day this can be done with the folks visiting from the blog….You let me know.

The official Fontainebleau tourist office

The official Paris tourist office

The official Versailles tourist office

There you go folks, a memorable day and a great contact in travel forums, hopefully imitated from my blog one day; it’s up to you. If we do, you pay for the monuments my tour is free. The big 3 is awesome , the best of my belle France! Many nice times spent in Fontainebleau, Paris, and Versailles! Hope you enjoy the post and something to think about

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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