Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rome - Day 2

The next day we decided to dedicate to ancient Rome. We started out at the Colosseum, where after a bit of initial confusion, we were able to pass by most of the crowds at the admission booth with our Roma Pass (good value). It was fun seeing a place in real life that I had so far been familiar with mostly through the Asterix comics. One of the things that astounded me was that the Colosseum, as well as most of the other buildings in the area, were all brick. I had always pictured large amounts of marble (probably because of the marble columns) being used. Of course, having invented cement, it makes sense for the Romans to use brick, but it was something slightly unexpected. Next up was the Palatine Hill, residence of several Roman emperors, now in ruins of course. One of the houses of Augustus has been partly restored, so we were able to see some of the original wall frescoes. Apparently, the Domus Aurea of Nero is quite a bit more impressive, but unfortunately that has very limited opening hours.
From there, we wandered through the Roman Forum with its overabundance of ruins. At this point, we were quite hungry, so we got some sandwiches for lunch and then continued our sightseeing activities. After a quick look in the Mamertine prison, where St. Peter was supposedly imprisoned, and the famous Bocca della Verità, we crossed the Tiber and walked through Trastevere, a blue collar neighborhood currently undergoing gentrification, to the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere.
There, we admired the gilded 12th century mosaics, before heading back into the city. By this time, it had gotten dark, so we finished the day in the Capitoline Museum, where there is a large collection of Roman sculpture and other art.
Dinner was at a pleasant enough restaurant on the Campo de’ Fiori.

1 comment:

Mikey said...

the architecture is impacting to say the least. I am always amazed when I see pictures from Rome of the buildings.