About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Matisse, Roman Ruins and Monaco

Brandon was feeling much better this morning. We all slept pretty well. After packing up, we headed down to breakfast then checked out.

This morning we visited the Matisse Museum and the Nice Archaeology Museum and Roman Ruins. After a short drive on some narrow Nice hillside streets, we found the museum and Roman ruins. The two museums are side by side in a park setting. I enjoyed the museum, but am not a big fan of Matisse art.

Matisse Museum

Orange tree

No pictures were allowed in the museum. Henri Matisse was inspired by the colors and lines of Nice. The museum shows his works from his early days to the end of his career.

The Archeaology museum is right next door. It has museum displays of pottery and other things inside. Outside, you get to walk through the ruins of a Roman settlement - including a church, many baths and pools, a meeting hall, Roman roads and houses. The displays inside the museum were interesting, but being able to walk through the ruins of the real thing was amazing. To walk where the Romans lived and walked. To feel the stones and step inside the walls was truly amazing to me.

Ruins of a Roman arena

Excavation of the Roman arena

Typical Roman family

Remnants of Roman road - notice the wheel ruts

The building in the backgroud was the cold room - Frigidarium. This was part of the Roman baths: Frigidarium, Tepidarium, Caldaria and Sudatorium.

Roman pool

Inside the Frigidarium.

Wall of the Frigidarium. Notice the thickness and layers of the wall.

Inside the Frigidarium

Roman toilets

These round stones were used to support the floors of the bath houses. The floors were heated from underneath.

Roman road with sewer underneath

Nave of the Paleochristian church built on the western baths

Display inside the museum

Model of what they think these buildings looked like in Roman times.

Digging for Roman relics

Time to start heading back towards home, but not without a stop in Monaco. It is only a 1/2 hour drive up the coast, back towards Italy.

I wanted to see the Prince's Palace and the changing of the guard, but I guess that only happends at 11:30 each day, so we missed it. We ended up parking in Monte Carlo, just down the hill from the world famous Grand Casino.

We are in Monaco!

The grounds of the casino are absolutely beautiful, with flowers, fountains and $100,000+ cars parked in the valet loop. I have never seen so many expensive cars in one place. Parked outside, or driving by, were Ferrari's, Porsches, Bentley's, Rolls Royce, Maserati's and more. I thought I had grown accustomed to seeing Ferrari's in Italy, but I've never seen so many in one place. Even the parking garage had several parked inside.

62 square meters = 675 square feet = 2.9 million euros

Monte Carlo Grand Casino

The Grand Casino. No celebrity or James Bond sightings...

Interesting art display

Exotic cars everywhere

We walked through the gardens, down to the Casino. You can only enter the casino if you are in a coat and tie for men, dress slacks, skirt or dress for women. Once inside, you pay a fee to enter into the gambling areas, the price depends on which room you want to enter.

We made our way around the casino to get views of the Mediterranean. We were also able to see the marina and all the yahts.

Sculpture near the overlook

Very cool rooftop of the Monte Carlo Hotel.

The Monte Carlo harbor...yahts of all sizes.

We had a good day of sightseeing, but it was time to drive home. We made good time and arrived home around 6pm. What a great trip! Our next one will be a day trip to Brescia, then a week in Rome for spring break.

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