Thursday, August 19, 2010
When in Rome...
Rome wasn't built in a day but you can visit it in 2 days. Flying into Rome through some pretty bad turbulence we landed at 7.30am and eventually arrived at our apartment at 10ish via taxi. After getting instructions in Italian because the caretaker doesn't speak English we searched out a good breakfast spot.
After breakfast we parted ways with Markus and I heading into town to visit THE sights of Rome. The first was the Colosseum in which we skipped the massive queue with our Roma Pass and ended up a trifle damp from the thunderstorm hovering over Rome.
The Colosseum was fascinating after years of Latin classes. I half remember the tales of gladiator battles from setwork translations. After reading the touristy info I also discovered that they could flood the arena for mock sea battles. How cool is that. I was very impressed by the pulley models that built to show how they worked in this mostly forgotten era.
After a wet Colosseum we visited the ruins of the Forum and Palatine Hill. Without a proper guidebook we guestimated a lot of what the structures looked like before. Following these pretty impressive ruins we visited the most unimpressive Circus Maximus which is just an empty green area that was once a racing ground.
The Domus Aurea, once Nero's Golden Palace lies in ruins close by but lacks any real impact. Walking down Via S. Fr. di Paola I got the sense that it was used as a movie backdrop complete with musical serenading from a street performer.
At this stage we took a break for lunch a cute Pizzeria on the intersection with Via dei Serpenti.
The photo on the left is from the side of a building. These appear throughout Rome either with places for candles or lights in front to light it day and night. I think they are blessings for the various buildings but if someone can explain the true meaning I would be most grateful.