Friday, October 19, 2007

Our Fourth and Final Day in Roma

We decided to spend our final day in Rome exploring the area around the Colosseum. Mom and I had the opportunity to explore the inside of the Colosseum on our previous trip to Rome so my aunties, grandma, and cousin took off to tour the interior and Palatine Hill while we spent time in the Roman Forum.

il Colosseo

Flower with il Colosseo in the background

Temple of Antoius Pius & Faustina
Built sometime between AD 138-161, Church was added later, This building was buried in dirt as high as the green doors until the 1800s.

We met up with the rest of the family around 1PM. Erik (my cousin) had to take off for points north and had a train to catch. It was good to see him and get to know him a little bit better. Growing up we didn't have many opportunities to spend time together. He is also a few years older than me and I think I probably was the annoying little cousin and he wanted to be left alone. Now that I've spent some time with him he seems like a really cool person, I hope to get to know him better in the future.

After Erik departed everyone wandered back into the Roman Forum. We weren't there long before our stomachs told us it was lunchtime and we went in search of food. We decided to eat at the cafe inside the Capitol Hill Museum and then explore the museum after lunch. From the moment we bought our tickets nearly every employee at the museum was extremely snotty. Their attitudes made me so upset that I nearly left without seeing any of the exhibits. Fortunately I stuck it out and truly enjoyed the pieces on display. And to make it even better I was asked to answer a customer service survey on my way out. Yep, they got an ear-full. Actually, I was very polite, but did say that most employees were extremely rude, but that I enjoyed the museum itself.

Boy Extracting a Thorn (Spinario)

Bernini's Medusa

Capitoline She-Wolf with Romulus and Remus (the symbol of Rome)
Etruscan from fifth century BC

A Piece of a Statue of Constantine from the Roman Forum
The hand (not including the pedestal) is nearly as tall as I am! Can you imagine how big the statue was when it was whole?

My aunt Cyndy disappeared somewhere in the Capitol Hill Museum. Tour guides throughout the trip dubbed her "the missing sister" because she has a way of getting caught up in her photography and either took off ahead or was left behind.

The rest of us weren't quite sure of what to do next. We figured that Cyndy was a big girl and would probably, eventually make her way back to the hotel. Grandma was tired so Chris decided to take her back to the hotel as well. That left mom and I on our own. I decided that we needed to explore the Trastevere section of Rome. Rick Steves has a walking tour of this area in his Rome 2007 book. We made our way that direction and some some really neat sights.

This church was built around existing ruins
The columns of a temple are still visible in the outer walls. I can't remember the name of the church but it was amazing to see.

The other side of the church, a better view of the old temple columns

Our walk took us over the Tiber River, first onto the Isola Tiberina (an island in the Tiber River) and then into Trastevere. We meandered the streets following Rick Steves' book and saw things that without his book we wouldn't have known or appreciated what we saw.

This building, now a restaurant, was a Jewish Synagogue 1000 years ago. You can still see a bit of Hebrew writing at the base of the pillars.

Our walking tour ended in the piazza of Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome. A string trio was playing in the piazza and they were quite good. I could have sat and listed for hours soaking up the atmosphere. Trastevere was amazing and very different from the touristy sections of Rome. I highly recommend checking it out.

Church of Santa Maria in Trastavere

We left the piazza much sooner than we would have liked because we told the rest of our family that we'd meet at a certain time for dinner. We had 15 minutes to cross to the other side of the city. We flagged the first cab that we saw and were on our way. Sadly, this cabbie wasn't the best. I think we got conned. One block before the hotel the meter said 7Euro. Suddenly when we stopped the meter stopped to 12Euro. We tried to figure out what happened but suddenly the guy didn't speak much English. Shocking. We just paid it and got on with our evening. It wasn't worth causing a scene.

We went on up to Grandma & the aunties' room and this is how we found them:

Cyndy-Lou-Who, Grandma-Lou-Who, and Chris-Lou-Who
Were they bored waiting for us??

We had more than a few laughs and then went back to il Pomodorino for dinner. We didn't eat nearly as much this time, but the food was still excellent.

After dinner we took a cab back to the flat and packed our suitcases. Our train left for Florence the next morning.

Now playing: Sting - Desert Rose
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