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Published: June 21st 2017
G at the Mouth of Truth
Gary at the Mouth of Truth 26-10-14
Geo: 41.8955, 12.4823
Today was sadly our last full day in Italy. We decided to spend it walking around parts of Rome that we hadn't yet seen. Originally our plan had been to visit Appia Antica and to try and see the viaducts, but once the day arrived we couldn't really be bothered with working out how to get to and from so we decided to stay within walking distance of the hotel.
We headed off and ended up at the huge area of Circus Maximus which G had heard about in so many of his epic theatre movies. We then wandered back slightly to visit the Mouth of Truth and take the obligatory photo with our hands in the mouth as well as view the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
We were very close to the Forum Boarium with the Temples of Portunis and Hercules Victor. We had booked dinner for our last night overlooking these temples, so we wandered around to have a look at them in daylight, before deciding to head to the Terme (or Baths) of Caracella. It was a reasonable walk but it was a lovely day.
We both absolutely loved the Baths of Caracella. Unlike everywhere else
in Rome, it was large and uncrowded and we could wander and stop as long as we wanted to take photos. We were also very impressed by the sheer size of everything. It must have been an amazing facility back in the day.
After a couple of hours happily wandering we were quite hungry so decided to head back the Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali where we had had lunch after our Colosseum tour. We got there to find the restaurant totally packed, obviously we hadn't realised how big the Sunday family lunch was in Rome, and the Taverna was full of Roman families rather than tourists. Luckily they said if we waited for twenty minutes or so we get could a table which we did. We started with a bowl of Ribolita, which we had first tried in Tuscany. The Tuscan version was better but this was still very good. We then moved on to Porchetta which we hadn't yet tried, served with some delicious garlic bread. It was a very pleasant lunch indeed. Finally we slowly headed back to our hotel via Trajan's Forum and Column to start packing up and get ready for our final dinner.
As previously mentioned,
Temple of Portunus
Temple of Portunus 26-10-14
we had booked dinner at the Circus Hotel's rooftop restaurant which supposedly had sensational views of the Forum Boarium which was also supposed to be floodlit at night. We were very much looking forward to finishing our holiday with a lovely view.
Unfortunately, this meal was the biggest disappointment of our entire month in Italy. First they sat us on a table in a back room with no view whatsoever. We objected to this and pointed out that we had booked two months in advance and specifically requested a table with a view. They had assured us that all tables had views. Finally, they moved us to another table that did allow looking out of the windows, but unfortunately, whilst the website showed stunning views of the floodlit temples, the reality was an incredibly busy road between us and the Forum. Whilst we certainly could see the temples, it was more of a backdrop to heavy traffic. To add insult to injury, the floodlights then were turned off of one of the temples before dinner was over.
Never mind, we had had some amazing meals, but it is always disappointing when it is the last night when things don't go to plan.
Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin 26-10-14
The food was okay, but there were many better restaurants we could have chosen – this was chosen solely for the view. G had an uninspiring Carbonara whereas I had a starter of battered bacala, or cod, with zucchini flowers which was very nice. We both had Saltimbocca for a main, again, quite nice but nowhere near as nice as the one we had on our first night in Rome at Armando al Pantheon. We declined dessert and instead headed back to the hotel for our last night time look at the Pantheon.
We called a taxi for our return trip, and there the evening took a turn for the better. We asked the driver to take us past the Colosseum so that we could see it all lit up at night and take some photos. He was happy to oblige and drove us around a lot of the sights and then showed us the Knights of Malta key hole with its lovely view of St. Peters dome. I vaguely recall reading about this somewhere, but it was wonderful to actually see it.
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