Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Roma Day 2: Ancient Rome

After getting up and ready and eating breakfast at the hotel (I think I mentioned I'm not a great European breakfast person, not a meat and cheese in the AM kind of person, and they had warm milk (?) so it ended up being nutella and toast and a yogurt every morning, which was delicious but not the same) we headed onto the Metro to Ancient Rome!

First up was the Roman Forum. I was totally blown away at how huge and awesome everything was. It was the original architecture that so many other buildings in Rome and all over the world are based on. The whole thing was abandoned once Rome fell and Christianity rolled in. It literally was buried in dirt as the city grew around outside it so they are still going through an excavating it. Dylan was there 12 years ago and a lot of new things had been uncovered, mostly on the Palantine Hill.

Palantine Hill is a little above the Forum area and is where all the palaces of the emperors were. Everytime there was a new emperor they wanted to build a bigger and better house so they were pretty interesting.

Then we headed over to the Colosseum. I learned that it held around 50,000 people when it was in use and it cannot quite hold a football or soccer field. When Dylan saw it 12 years ago, they hadn't excavated the floor at all and now they have the area under the floor exposed with a reconstruction of what the floor was like over it.

From the Colosseum you can see the Arc de Constantine, which we walked by earlier. Apparently Constantine (he was the first Christian Emperor) stole all of the art from other buildings, etc. to build this Arc.

You can also see the Temple of Rome and Venus. There isn't much left, but the audio tour by Rick Steve's we were listening too brought up the Roma and Amor connection: ROMA is the reverse of AMOR so I totally have a plan to do some art with that in the future.

Then we walks over to the Pantheon to actually go inside. It is one of or the longest standing building of worship since it was used to worship the Roman gods and then was converted into a Christian church early on.

Then we walked over to Campo di Fiori, which I think we just had terrible timing with. It has the statue of Bruno (a heretic who was burned here) and has a market in the mornings and early afternoons. I guess the night scene is busy there too. So of course we were here at 4 in the afternoon in between everything.

We ate an afternoon snack of prosciutto and melon with a bottle of wine over at the Piazza Navona which has a couple really cool fountains including the Four Rivers fountain.

Then we walked over to the Piazza del Popolo, which was the main entrance to the city for a time. Huge Piazza with a lot of statues and unfortunately also with a lot of guys trying to sell roses to you.

After a shorter dinner we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Vatican!

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