Rafael's Roma Vacation Episode IV - Republic Square

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Episode IV

Republic Square

Republic Square (Piazza della Repubblica)是個有女神雕像噴泉的廣場,是Mario Rutelli的作品。

Republic Square (Piazza della Repubblica) with the fountain of the nymphs, is the work of Mario Rutelli.
 I visited it on the 2nd day of my trip, and I was really lucky because I saw and touched the snowing,
 for the first time here. It was a magical experience for me!
I took many pictures and watched many people playing in the snow.

[ pix. 1 & 2 ]

Republic Square (Piazza della Repubblica)

Rafael's Roma Vacation Episode III - Trevi Fountain

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Episode III

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain是Nicola Salvi的作品。這真是一個美麗的地方,雕像比我預期的更大,
像Spanish Steps,我們來了這裡兩次,在旅程開始和結束時。您還可以吃到這裡著名
的冰淇淋gellato!如果你投硬幣到噴泉,即是說你會再次回到羅馬... 我真的想回到那裡去!

Trevi Fountain is the work of Nicola Salvi. It’s a really beautiful place, the statues are bigger
 than I expected and just like the Spanish Steps, we came here twice - at the start and the end of the trip.
 You can also get a famous gellato ice cream here as well! If you throw coins into the fountain,
 it is said you will make a return trip to Rome...I would like to return there!

"A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome.
 Among those who are unaware that the "three coins" of Three Coins in the Fountain were thrown by three
 different individuals, a reported current interpretation is that two coins will lead to a new romance and three
 will ensure either a marriage or divorce. A reported current version of this legend is that it is lucky to throw
 three coins with one's right hand over one's left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain.

An estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day. The money has been used to subsidize a
 supermarket for Rome's needy. However, there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain."

- From Wikipedia

[ pix. 1 & 2 ]

The Trevi Fountain

Rafael's Roma Vacation Episode II - San Carlo al Corso

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Episode II

San Carlo al Corso

我們在Via del Corso街發現了一所很漂亮的教堂 - Sant'Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso教堂。

We found a very beautiful basilica in Via del Corso - the Sant'Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso church.
After we visited it we went to a nice restaurant to have a nice lasagna and salmon pizza.

"Sant'Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso (usually known simply as San Carlo al Corso) is a basilica church in Rome,
 facing the central Via del Corso. It is dedicated to Saint Ambrose of Milan and Saint Charles Borromeo,
 also native of that city. It is one of at least three churches in Rome dedicated to this saint,
including San Carlo ai Catinari and San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane.

The construction was begun in the occasion of the canonization of St. Charles Borromeo (1610),
under the direction of Onorio Longhi and, after his death, of his son Martino. The site was that of the
 former church of San Nicola de Tofo. The dome, resembling that of Santi Luca e Martina,
was designed by Pietro da Cortona (1668), who was also responsible of the apse and of the rich
 internal decoration. The façade was designed by Cardinal Luigi Alessandro Omodei,
 who did not like the project prepared by Carlo Rainaldi.

The internal plan is on the Latin cross. The central vault is frescoed with a Fall of the
 Rebel Angels (1677–1679) by Giacinto Brandi. The altarpiece, depicting the
Saints Ambrose and Charles, was painted around 1685-1690 by Carlo Maratta."

- From Wikipedia

[ pix. 1 & 2 ]

Beautiful basilica in Via del Corso - the Sant'Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso
 (usually known simply as San Carlo al Corso)

Rafael's Roma Vacation Episode I - Spanish Steps

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Episode I

Spanish Steps

在羅馬第一天,我決定步行到西班牙石階Spanish Steps - 羅馬最有名的廣場,

On the first day in Rome, I decided to walk to the Spanish Steps - the most famous square in Rome
 with its 136 steps, work of Bernini, which is about a 15 minutes walk from my hotel.
It was the start of my Rome vacation.
I came back later on in the week to do some shopping as there is a main shopping thoroughfare nearby.
All the big brand names are here, although there are more women’s shops than there are men’s shops.
Like I said previously, I didn’t get much satisfaction out of shopping here like I did in Barcelona,
 because the clothes were expensive and the service was poor.
One interesting incident that occurred on my return visit to the steps was my encounter with gypsy beggars.
 There were four females of varying ages ranging from 12 to 30 years of age.
They crowded around my friend and I pushing themselves on to us, begging for money.
e had to fend them off otherwise they would have stopped us in our tracks
and I am sure they would have pick pocketed us. They were very brazen and weren't intimidated by us.
 After we pushed them off they said sayonara and regrouped and pursued other tourists.
That’s why my friend said beware of the begging gypsies!

[ pix. 1 & 2 ]

On the first day in Rome, I decided to walk to the Spanish Steps

Rafael 的羅馬假期 - 序章 Rafael’s Roma Vacation - Prologue

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Rafael’s Roma Vacation




在這次旅行中,我們看到了在羅馬所有重要的景點; 如西班牙石階Spanish Steps,




From the 10th to the 18th of February 2010, I went to Rome.
It is one of the places that I have dreamed about travelling to.

I was so lucky because I saw snow in Rome and it was the first time I had seen it and touched it.
I was supposed to have seen snow in Queenstown, New Zealand and Beijing but I never did.
So, I now know how the snow falls from the sky and it was amazing to see all the people,
happily playing in the snow.

During this trip, we saw all the important places in Rome; the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain,
the Colosseum, the Santa Maria Basilica, Saint Peters Basilica, the Vatican Museums and many
 other places that I will introduce in upcoming posts in my blog and of course with pictures.

Also, one thing that I didn’t expect at the many famous sights like Trevi Fountain,
the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums, were the hoards of people visiting these places
and the unorganized chaos that seemed to occur because people were pushing and shoving,
 people not lining up in queues and others just been disorderly.
This caused problems when buying tickets to different venues, especially the Colosseum.

Eating in Rome was a surprise even although some of foods were heavy, others really impressed me,
 like the chocolate cake I ate for breakfast in the hotel, and eating in the traditional Italian restaurants
 around our hotel. I will talk more about this later.

Finally, I wasn’t impressed with shopping in Rome. It didn’t give me the same satisfaction like
shopping in Barcelona did. The clothes were expensive and the service was non-existent in many stores.
 The shop attendants just sat chatting with each other or just sitting at tables.
I can say that generally, the people of Rome are very friendly, especially the maitre des’ in the restaurants.
 Eating there was a very enjoyable experience for me and it was far more exciting than shopping.

[ pix. 1 & 2 ]

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore & Fontana di Trevi (Fountain)

EOS 5D Mark II

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我的新相機,佳能EOS 5D Mark II!

我對佳能EOS 450D的表現已經超過滿意,所以我決定升級到
佳能全畫幅相機的5D Mark II。我認為它是大版本的450D,
這使得它不同於 450D。重量與450D並沒有多大不同,但要操控複雜得多,

雖然我有了新的5D Mark II,但是我還會繼續使用450D。我覺得很難不再用它去拍照。
我十分滿意它的照片。 因此,我將繼續利用它與適當的鏡頭,

在大澳,我使用了佳能的24 – 70mm L鏡頭在新的5D Mark II上。


這是我使用5D Mark II的第一批照片。我希望他們都還可以...

The first time I used my new camera was the day after I bought it, the 31st of January 2010!
My new camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II!
It was a nice sunny day in Tai O and I walked around with a friend casually taking pictures
 and also resting to have some bean curd dessert.

I have been more than satisfied with the performance of my Canon EOS 450D,
 so I decided to upgrade to a Canon full-frame camera, the 5D Mark II.
I would say that its a large version of the 450D, but maybe it was because of the
big handle grip that gives it a comparatively more steady and solid feel to it,
 and that makes it different from the 450D. The weight isn’t very much different from the 450D
 but it is far more complex. I will need time to get use to its different functions.

Although I have the new 5D Mark II, I will continue to use the 450D.
I find it hard not to take the odd picture with it. I’ve used it for almost a year and a half now.
I've been to Beijing, Manila, Spain, Sabah and other places with it,
 and I am more than satisfied with the photos.
So, I will continue to use it with the appropriate lenses, and I will use it as my ‘lightweight’ camera.

In Tai O, I used the Canon 24-70mm F2.8 L lens with the new 5D Mark II.
The full frame body made this lens open the rest of picture! It broadened the shot
and I was able to get a wider angle. It was opening my eyes up to the new world of a full frame camera.
I reverted to the wide-angle zoom lens that I bought with the 450D,
because it should be used with a full-frame camera.

This is my first time using the new camera and because I’m not too familiar with it,
 I hope my pictures aren’t that bad! It is my hope to take better pictures
and I know the more I use my new camera, the more adept I will become at using it!

Here is my first batch of photos, using the 5D Mark II. I hope they are ok…

[ pic. 1 ]

在大澳第一次使用新的相機 EOS 5D Mark II
First time using the new camera EOS 5D Mark II in Tai O

古典與現代的北京 Ancient and Modern of Beijing

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The Summer Palace is a very beautiful place. There is a huge lake that had iced
over when I was there.  There were people skating on the lake and the scene to me
was quite unforgettable. I found it to be quite unique!

[ pix. 1 & 2 ]

頤和園 The Summer Palace

北京雍和宮 Beijing Lama Temple

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雍和宮 - 在北京地鐵,我認識了一位熱情的大學生。他帶我到寺廟。

Lama Temple – I met an enthusiastic college student, in the Beijing subway. He led me to the temple.
 He said that Chi-Fu (to make a wish) is very efficacious, and that was why he always comes to the Temple.
 He told me that after an entry exam he had done for a university in Australia, he came to Chi-Fu and prayed.
 He got in! So he comes here all the time now. After his brief introduction, he went off to pray
and I just walked around taking in all the sights. I found the architecture very interesting and the style,
 similar to that of the Forbidden City. There were many Buddha in the temple
and they were all shapes and sizes. Deep inside the complex, there was a huge Buddha.
I found a very strong spiritual connection to it and I made a wish.

[ pix. 1 & 2 ]

北京雍和宮 Beijing Lama Temple

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