Sunday, December 5, 2010

When in Rome...

So Friday morning, we woke to a bright sunny day in Rome - and a long list of things to see, but only a day to do it?  Well, time to focus.  Our trip so far has been structured on Ancient Civilizations.  First the Inca in South America, then the Spaniards who conquored them.  Now to the Romans, who were the founders of Barcelona the Spanish city we visited... so Ancient Rome it is.
We started on foot from our beautiful penzione towards the Colesseum, about 6 blocks south on ancient paved stones.  Past the Opera House (last night was opening night, and the fur coats and tuxedos were in full force). downhill to the incredible piazza and a glimpse of immense propotions around the next curve.  Truly AMAZING!  We opted for a guided tour that allowed us to queue-jump to the front of the line and have a Romanian/English leader give us the history of the Empire as well as the popes who "borrowed" its materials as a quarry for the churches of the Medieval age.  There, the gladiators and animal hunters, as well the "man condemned to death" fought to the end surrounded by blood thirsty Romans, citizens and Emperors alike.
From there, a tour (included) of Paletine Hill, home to the 160 acre castle/courtyard of the ruling class, build on the place where Romulus killed Remus, his brother, for ultimate control in around 750 B.C..... wow, that is old.  Beautiful columns, pillars, domes and arches, ancient fountains, spires, and pools, Ancient Rome is still amazing, and inspires awe at every turn.  After another wonderful Italian lunch (veal, pizza, canneloni, tiramasu!) and beer (twice the volume, half the cost of coke!) and a spin past the Trevi fountain, we headed on sore feet back up the hill for a nap.... what an incredible day.  Italia - ti amo!

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