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Published: August 16th 2018
View from the Flat
It was a really great place to stay.
Day 33 - Wandering Rome
Three days is in Rome is quite a lot, especially when it’s really hot. To be clear, Rome is amazing, and we did our best to remain active and engaged and excited. However, we quickly settled into the same routine as Athens due to the heat. Each day, we left early from the flat, did the things we wanted to do to the point of exhaustion from heat, came back and took a multi-hour nap, then headed out to have dinner and perhaps some shopping. This pattern actually worked very well, and we recommend to anyone traveling to Rome or Athens in the heat of the summer.
Each of us had many things we wanted to see in Rome. Anne wanted to see the Sistine Chapel; Tony wanted to see the Roman Forum; Michelle wanted to see temples of Jupiter and other Roman gods. However, on the first day, we decided not to try and achieve any of these things, and just wander around and explore.
We picked up a package that included the Roma Pass (like the London Pass) which let us skip lines,
Small Street Selfie
So many small streets, easy to get lost.. yay google.
get into 2 museums, with discounts for additional ones, and included unlimited public transport for the 3 days we were there. We also bought an add-on that included a hop-on-off bus, timed entry to into the Vatican Museum, audio guides, and a number of other perks. We enjoyed hopping on the bus to tour Rome with the provided audio. It gave us a nice perspective on where everything is and how to get around. However, we soon realized (again) that the best way to explore a city is to just wander around.
We found the Pantheon, which in our minds was the parallel to the Parthenon in Greece, but that was incorrect. The Pantheon might once have been a temple to a Roman god, but was long ago converted into a church with only the front portion maintaining its ancient heritage. Instead of being set aside as a marvel, it was hidden on side streets, tucked away neatly. One of the marvels of the Pantheon is that it is designed to be lit by a single large opening in the center of it’s massive dome. However, Tony believes that this was not the case originally, as
Cool Old Bridge
And tomb turned church turned fort turned barracks turned prison turned museum.
there are bricked up windows circling the enclosure, visible inside and outside. It is more likely that something changed and it was re-designed to have the single opening, which is not nearly as impressive.
We traveled from there to the Trevi Fountain, something Anne has always wanted to see. However, when we got there, it was very hot, very crowded and noisy, and incredibly uncomfortable. We snapped a few pictures and never returned, actually avoiding that square entirely for the rest of the trip.
It might seem that we were not enjoying our trip, but we soon realized that we needed to manage the heat and change our approach. Instead of rushing between famous landmarks, we opted to walk down small alleys, where the shade of building dropped the temperature by at least 5 degrees (Celsius) and provided an occasional breeze. By doing this, we discovered an underground museum about a massive stadium, where you could walk among the ruins 15 meters under huge buildings and a central square (Beautiful in it’s own right). We found many wonderful old bridges for Tony, ate a lot of gelato, visited a few street vendors
Michelle obsessed a little over Camp Jupiter and SPQR...
and street fairs, discovered some other famous, and not crowded fountains, stepped into some beautifully decorated churches, and generally had an upbeat, fabulous time.
By Mid-afternoon (and 4 miles of walking in the heat), we decided to head back to the flat for a rest. “Heading back to the flat” was no small feat, however. The place we stayed in was amazing, in that it was on the roof of a building at the corner of Campo Di Fiori where we could smell the food and listen to the entertainers at night. However, being on the roof, we had to climb 5 flights of marble stairs to get there, so we limited that climb to only a few times per day.
After a well-deserved nap, we headed out for dinner in the square. There are many restaurants right in the square and we decided we would try a new one each night. None of them disappointed. We had dinner at one and dessert at another sometimes, and breakfast a different one.
At night, a rotating set of entertainers come into the square for about 6 hours. There was a duo with
You see, Camp Jupiter was the name of a camp for Roman Demi-gods...
a guitar and trumpet; a duo with an electric guitar and acoustic guitar who also sang; A clown duo; some Brazilian gymnastics rappers (umm.. yep); and a few others. The best of them all, however, was the artist who set up in the middle of the square every night and created masterpieces with spray paint and household objects (lids, envelopes, sponges, etc). He always had a large crowd around him, and we watched him paint at least 3 pieces from start to finish. Michelle bought one for 10 euros. We hope the painting makes it home unscathed.
The first night was also the night of the blood moon eclipse (longest in a very long time). We were able to see the moon at full eclipse for 15 minutes before the clouds moved in. It appeared right next to Mars and in the sky right next to our rooftop flat. Watching that phenomenon while listening to the excellent singing of one of the entertainers (the one with the electric guitar and harmonica), Tony thought this was one of the best nights ever.
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