Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Trip Through Italy, Part 2

A window box with beautiful flowers in
Piazza Navona, one of my favorite squares in Rome.
If you have never been to Rome, I would recommend you add it to your bucket list. We were blessed to spend three days there, this trip, and it was great! We were there several years ago and wanted to see all the sites, but it rained and made it very difficult. One of my strongest memories is standing in the rain, holding an umbrella, looking at the Forum and trying to figure out what was what.  Without someone there to explain it, it was really difficult to discern exactly what we were seeing.  So we made a promise to ourselves that if we ever got back, we would hire a guide to walk us through the many ancient ruins, so we would know what they were, and we would pray that it didn't rain.

 Views of the Forum from on top of Palatine Hill.  From
 the top  of this hill you could see most of Rome. 
Well, we did just that.  We had beautiful weather this time around and our little guide was fantastic.  She had a great knowledge of the history of Rome and all that it entailed.  She took us to the Coliseum and explained the history there, then down to the Forum to walk through the ruins in that area.  What a fascinating tour!  I remember going to Boston one year, and really enjoying the walking tour, hearing about how things were so old...over 200 years old.  In Rome, there are things that date back hundreds of years; in some cases over a thousand years.  It is amazing to see the many structures the Romans built, all those years ago, and how many of them are still standing.  Their craftsmanship and attention to detail were amazing.

We had an afternoon tour of the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and a few other locations, but they paled in comparison to our morning sites.  We did have a gelato stop in the afternoon that was the highlight of the tour.  (We tasted gelato in every town we toured.)  The best was in a little place, on a small street, in downtown Rome.  I loved the way they looked when they first opened the stores, before anyone has placed an order.  They were beautiful colors and they always had so many different flavors.  Decisions, decisions! My favorite combination was the peach along with the plain cream. Yum!

Each day we walked almost everywhere we went.  We wore our Fitbits and put lots of steps on them during the trip.  I think you get a much more intimate look at a city when you walk through it.  I always try to remember to look up too, because there is so much beautiful architecture there and a lot of it is up high.

We went to the catacombs on of the days we were there and I found them very interesting, but if pressed for time in Rome, would probably skip them.  We rode the train to a certain stop, then got on a bus that took us to the outskirts of town, where the catacombs are located.  I never realized how many there were.  Just in the one we toured, there were thousands of little cubicles, cut out of the rock, where they laid the dead.  Once again, the way they built them was very interesting. They started high and as they finished a level, they would dig down, lower the walkways and continue on another level.  At one time, there were Popes buried there, too, but they have since been moved to another location.

Rome is beautiful at night, too.  If you ever get there, make sure you take a ride through the town after dark.  All the big monuments and major ruins are lit up and it is so pretty.  

One of my favorite things to do, in Rome, is go to the Trevi Fountain. Unfortunately, right now, it is closed for renovation. They say if you throw a coin into the fountain, it will ensure you a future trip to Rome.  With it closed off, we couldn't do that, but I feel certain we will find a way to get back to this romantic, exciting city, at some point in our future.  Caio, for now! 

No comments: