Posts tagged ‘Rome hotel’

December 29, 2012

My 2012: the year in review

It’s been a while since I wrote a post. My blogging timetable has gone completely out of the window and I barely know what day of the week it is. I blame that period in between Christmas and New Year – perfectly named ‘The Lull’ by a Twitter friend of mine. I don’t enjoy The Lull, I find these days to be an utterly frustrating combination of post-Christmas comedown and impatiently waiting for the new year to begin. Anyway, enough of my whining. I hope that those of you who celebrated Christmas had a lovely time. I’ll probably be starting the new year with a carefully-scheduled post about plans and resolutions and all my usual self-challenging kind of behaviour, but for today, I thought I’d look back at 2012.

It’s been an interesting year, one that I was really looking forward to, and I can’t quite believe it’s over bar the New Year’s Eve rendition of Auld Lang’s Syne. I suspect that most British reviews of the year will talk about the London Olympics, although I think that Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour De France was my own favourite sporting event of the year, and I’m utterly thrilled that Leeds will host the Grand Depart of the Tour in 2014.

My review will be a bit more self-centred than everyone else’s because I’m going to have a look at my own personal highlights of the year.

Luckily, it’s easy for me to look back on these, because this blog is a good record of what I’ve done. It’s amazing to look back and think that I did all these things this year. The trip to Rome in the spring was a wonderful highlight. It’s an incredible city and I’m glad to have visited. It didn’t quite capture my heart the way that Paris has though, so I suspect that I’ll be back in Paris before I return to Rome, but the hotel we stayed in was a unique experience, and one I’ll always remember.

Other highlights included my kayaking trip, despite the near-death experience of falling into freezing water twice. Ok, that’s a touch over-dramatic, I know. Anyway, it’s not been enough to put me off wanting to have another go if I get the chance, even though I have a feeling that I’m never going to be great at watersports. I’m planning to go surfing in 2013, which feels even more ridiculous than kayaking as far as the potential for doing myself some damage is concerned. What the hell, you only live once, right?

Earlier in the year I wrote a post about why Twitter has changed my life, and that remains as true as ever. Over the past year, I’ve met some people through Twitter who have become incredibly important to me in a very short space of time. They know who they are. The ever-increasing number of people I count as friends from Twitter is a wonderful thing. Basically, if we’ve ever had some kind of beverage together, then you’re on my list! This has only happened in 2012, and yet in many cases, it feels like I’ve known people far longer, particularly the ones who are responsible for the dramatic increase in my coffee consumption because of our regular lunchtime meet-ups.

As far as this blog is concerned, the absolute highlight has to be my commendation from the Blog North Awards, which simultaneously reduced me to tears and boosted my confidence in what I write so very much. It was completely unexpected and I will always be grateful for being nominated.

Of course, some things didn’t go quite according to plan. I didn’t manage to do 35 new things in my 35th year, which ended in June. Partly because, as always, I forget that I don’t have endless amounts of spare time and bags of cash to do things with. Not sure I’ll ever really learn that lesson though. I do regret that I didn’t manage to do Cycletta again on my new Pashley, but I might have a go at riding it next year. The other thing I regret is that I’m very, very unlikely to complete my Goodreads Challenge to read 52 books in the year. I’m still about ten books away from completing it, with only days of the year left. Having decided to read children’s books in order to complete it, I’ve found myself reading Michael Chabon’s ‘The Mysteries of Pittsburgh’ instead. A good book, but not a particularly quick read. Still, I have learnt that quality is more important to me when it comes to my choice of reading than quantity, so it’s not been a complete failure of an exercise.

The things I did complete during my challenge were all good in their own ways – from pop-up tea-rooms to drumming lessons – and I loved doing my challenge. After that finished, I’ve managed to do most of the things I wanted to get done in the latter half of this year, which has mostly revolved around my allotment and setting up Sage and Thrift with the most important person I’ve met in a long time, the wonderful and remarkable Josephine Borg.

So, a good year. As I’d hoped. They do seem to get faster and faster though, which is a little terrifying. Once it gets to this point in December, I never really want to bother with New Year’s Eve. I want to tidy up the Christmas decorations and get cracking with the next year. I know, I shouldn’t wish my own life away  but there is lots to look forward to in 2013 and I’m impatient for it to arrive…

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April 20, 2012

Rome: Moses Fountain Hotel review.

We stayed in a fountain in Rome. Not in the watery bit, obviously, but in the Moses Fountain Hotel. It’s a monument with a fountain in it, built in 1585-1587 (under the guidance of Pope Sixtus the Fifth) as the terminus of the new Felix Aqueduct (Acquedotto Felice)  to lengthen and older III Century Roman aqueduct.

The rooms are built into the top areas, originally the fountain keeper’s workshop and apartment. The aqueduct still works and the noise is a dim, comforting hum in the evening. The main Fountain is divided into three arches, with a sculpture placed in each. In the central space is a sculpture of Moses by Leonardo Sormani and Prospero Antichi, showing to his people the water that miraculously sprang out from the rocks in Sinai desert during the Exodus.

It’s  the first time I’ve ever stayed in a building that other tourists were taking photographs of! Can you see the little balcony on the left? That’s one of the rooms! Ours was on the other side…

Located quite close to Piazza Barberini, and a short walk from the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, the hotel is in a district that, although busy during the day, especially because of its proximity to several Government buildings, is pretty quiet at night. Perfect for us, as we were after rest as much as sight-seeing. I love waking up in a city when I’m on holiday there, and so the morning sounds of people going about their everyday business in the morning were a great pleasure to me after a long, quiet night of sleep in a gorgeously comfortable king sized bed.

Our room, named the Velvet room, was beautiful. Lots of space, contemporary, comfortable fixtures and fittings, and that giant bed made for equally giant smiles of happiness the minute we set foot into it. Add to that the Etro toiletries, complementary mini-bar, dressing gowns, Nespresso machine and flat screen tv and we were in hotel heaven.

With only six rooms, and no standard concierge or reception desk, the Moses Fountain is a little like staying in the home of a great friend. After you’re initially met and shown around by the lovely staff, you’re given a key to the main door and left to your own devices. I appreciate that this not be the best option for everyone, but for us it was great. We don’t need lots of concierge services anyway and are happy to to let ourselves in and out.  It’s possibly a good point to note that there is no lift, so you need to be happy and fit enough to climb a good few stairs.

Breakfast was served on a tray in our room each morning. We had giant bowls of cafe latte, freshly squeezed juice, a variety of different breads and salads. Each day there was also as a little bag containing various biscuits and crackers to take away with us for elevenses, should we need them!

I loved our stay at Moses Fountain. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a spot of quiet luxury amid a busy city, who doesn’t mind not having some of the ‘traditional’ hotel services and who enjoys having a unique experience when they travel!