Friday, June 16, 2017

Rome VII: Last Day in Rome

We'd done a lot of walking the days before, all of it in the harsh sunshine, so we (me in particular felt exhausted and achy. Because of this, Josh and Christina went out earlier in the morning, leaving Carson and I to sleep in and then spend some relaxing time on the balcony before headed out to meet them.

I mailed some postcards, which may or may not ever arrive (update - they arrived on June 24!)

And we decided that since we hadn't had any the day before, we were dangerously low on our gelato quotient, so we had some to tide us over until lunch. The owner of the shop (near San Giovanni, across from the column - I say this in case you want good gelato that's relatively cheap) complimented us on our fruity choices - Carson had watermelon, pineapple and lemon (so fresh he had to spit out lemon seeds) in a cone and I had strawberry and kiwi in a cup. It was delicious.

We walked past the Colosseum and the Fora on our way to meet the Kings in the Jewish Ghetto.

We chose a restaurant with outdoor seating because it was such a nice day! There were lots of locals mixed in with tourists, and we heard quite a melding of accents and languages as we waited for our food. 

After lunch, we walked past the Jewish Synagogue and the ruins of the Theatre of Marcellus.

And we walked on past the church with the Mouth of Truth, past the Circus Maximus, until we arrived at Palatine Hill. I was surprised at how fascinating I found this site. I found myself really wishing though that we'd had a guide to put the pieces together for us. Especially when there are ruins involved, it's sometimes nice to have someone who knows explaining the buildings that used to stand there, just so your brain can fill in the pieces!

This was the place Carson was most excited to see. Palatine Hill is/was probably one of the most important of the Seven Hills of Rome. The Imperial Palaces of the Flavian Dynasty were built up here, and while they are in ruins, a significant part of them still stands.

I believe this is an aquaduct?

Palace of Domitian 

Christina and I with the Circus Maximus and the Aventine Hill in the background

We made our way down into the Roman Forum. Many centuries ago, this was the center of Roman life, serving as a square and marketplace, with many temples, shops and homes. I felt like we only got to scratch the surface here and on the Palatine Hill. We could have spent an entire day or even several days, but we just sort of meandered past and then left. I think in a place like Rome with SO much to see, you sort of have to do that or you will get burned out and overwhelmed. You really can't see it all.

The Arch of Titus on the Via Sacra

I don't know why I found this so funny (and sort of sad too).

We headed up to the church of San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) next, stopping to take so many more Colosseum pictures as we went.

The smell of honeysuckle was everywhere in Rome. It smelled amazing, but I did sneeze a lot.

Inside the church is the Moses by Michelangelo.

Carson really liked this

The Kings had a friend who recommended a gelato place at the base of the stairs near the Trajan Column so we headed there. I don't think it was the best I've had (I can't say that's a fair assessment because I got pistachio and I only sometimes like that flavor) and I liked the place we went that morning the best.

We headed back toward the apartment as the sun was passing through the Colosseum.

San Giovanni 

We stopped by a place near the apartment for Aperitifs. Five Euro for drinks and then they brought us all this food for free. Unfortunately, we were already full, but wow! We were so impressed! This is apparently a thing between 7 and 9 in Italy.

Josh and Christina went back to pack, and we enjoyed the sunset out back. 

Here's the view from our apartment. That's San Giovanni there straight ahead and to the right.

I got to FaceTime with Granddaddy and Grandmama for just a little bit too!

At 9:30, we all left the apartment - the Kings headed to the airport, where they'd decided to spend the night since they had an early flight to Morocco, and we headed back out to see the Colosseum at night and to meet up with Carson's dissertation advisor (yes, from FSU! Small world!). We had a late night coffee with him and a good conversation before we parted ways. After we'd parted, we took a few more pictures and then headed back to the apartment. 

We were able to sleep in the next morning before heading to the airport. When we arrived at the Termini station and discovered that the buses were all running pretty late because of an accident on the highways, we decided to take a taxi to the airport instead. We probably would have made it just in time on the bus, but didn't want to risk it. Our taxi ride was quick and pleasant although not as cheap, and we went through security without incident. There was even enough time to enjoy some last Italian pizza before going back to Germany. 

My pizza had potatoes on it and it was really good! I noticed lots of potato topped pizzas in Rome. It felt pretty German to me.

Both of us had window seats on the way back (Carson was in row 3 and I was right behind him) and although he slept, I got great views of the alps, the coast, Switzerland, and Austria as we flew back. And when we arrived in Germany, we were stunned to find it hotter than Rome! It was 95 degrees! 

And that's it for Rome! 

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