Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bicycling the Borghese

We had a few hours before needing to leave Rome and settled on a Segway Tour through the gardens of the Villa Borghese. We'd visited the Gallery on our first day in Rome, so it was a fitting close of our trip to tour the gardens. Cardinal Borghese got his cardinal-ship in the 1600s because he was the Pope's nephew. He really was a cad of a man and had no interest in religion, but since Cardinals were rich and all, it was a good gig. And he became the patron of phenomenal artists of the day. His villa had a large vineyard, which he turned into the largest gardens that Rome had seen in over a 1000 years or so. They were redone in the 1800s, then purchased by the city in the early 1900s. Our Rome weekend coincided with the hottest time of the summer, with temperatures hovering in the high 90s, so a few hours among the shady, windy paths of the gardens, meandering by statues, a rose garden, a theater, gazebos, a pond, etc. was an excellent way to get off the hot pavement of the Roman streets. But the Segway guy wasn't set up. So we walked around a bit looking for him. I finally found a phone number and called, and he said he'd be there in five minutes. This being Italy, Nathan and I quickly translated this to 30 minutes, and we headed for the riscio stand (rickshaw). Twenty euros for an hour of careening through the gardens and loads of interesting things to see:
Man Walking a Giant Cat
This black & white dog kept herding a group of four on their tri-cycles. He got really upset when one of his charges broke away from the pack.
A little Goddess of the Hunt role-play

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