18 - 21 July 2018

Aviv finally finds out where he is going
Rome 2018

People react differently to birthdays that end in "0." Aviv was delighted at the suggestion that his siblings and parents take him overseas for a surprise weekend. He asked that the destination be kept a secret. Somehow it was only when boarding the plane that he realized that he was flying not to Croatia as he was lead to believe but to Rome. He was delighted.

Our guidebook is old but still has valuable information about the sights.   Our three kids pose in Piazza Navona, built by Domitian, the brother of Titus. The buildings stand on what had been the grandstands for spectacles.   A major part of the holiday was reminiscing and here Moran and Aviv bond with Pinochio.
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No trip to Rome is complete without seeing the Arch of Titus. We disussed it at length including that this is the last depiction of the Menorah removed from the Second Temple destroyed by Titus. The Menorah depicted in the arch is different from graffiti from that time in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem which show the Menorah standing, not on a sold base, but on three legs.  The children  went on a tour of the Vatican and saw the Pope's official rooms. They all  remarked that his rooms were covered with paintings by Rafael, including a menorah with three legs.
The Colosseum was built by Titus and is impressive even today.  We wondered how many Jewish slaves and what treasures went to build this massive site.
We stand in the light streaming from the oculus of the Pantheon only later seeing that we had been standing with saint Anthony!
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Travelling with children is different from when we travel alone. We remarked that had we been alone we would have seen theTrevi Fountain, read about it, taken a picture or two and continued. But this time we absorbed the atmosphere and just enjoyed the fountain. It seems thousands of euros are thrown into the fountain daily, which explains the heavy police presence there. The money is donated to charities.  We throw a coin into the fountain to assure they return to Rome. It's a pity that one can't stand in the water, as then we could say "three Cohens in the fountain...."
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 An important aspect was Italian cooking. On the left we are at AL34 our favourite restaurant and waiter.  Italy without pizza?

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freshly made pasta and gelato?
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