RomeTravelogue - Day Two

5:03 PM
Day Two, technically our third day in Rome, was spent with a tour guide. We had a feeling it would make a difference...and Franco Julius'30 years of experience in Rome were invaluable to us.

Franco planned a perfectly timed day. Having stopped by the hotel the night before he greeted us and discussed final plans and helped us purchase 3 day transport and museum passes. Afterwards, he even drove my husband around a little.

At 9am Thursday he arrived to gather us and told us to follow his shoes, don't look at cars just follow him. Thankfully, the cars did stop and off we went! Here are some highlights of the day.

THE PIAZZA NAVONA - think this might be my favorite Piazza (Town Square) Hope to pick up some artwork here to remember our trip.

The top of St. Agnes Church,a magnificent structure that looms over a competing sculpturer's fountain depicting the 4 major rivers.

A break for a businessman's stand-up good .
I am in love with the cobblestone streets and towering facades dripping flowers from rod-iron gates. It's like a movie.

Franco described how even the architecture taught about the Church and the doctrine of no salvation outside of it. All things can be on the way but it is through the Church we find salvation.

The huge dome of the Pantheon was another incredible site and marvel. Dome architecture and it's prevelance fascinated us.

At the Museo Della Civilta Romana our tour guide proved himself with this seemingly unknown gem. It was quiet and almost empty. The museum holds reproductions made from casts of the originals and allows you to see items up close, perhaps better than you could at their actual site. Also, the elements (and pigeons) have not decayed these replicas.They are cleaner and more intact than their originals. This visit wasn't even on our radar of places to go and ended up really making all the destinations that followed more meaningful! Franco planned this part of the day when we had the place to ourselves, quiet and cool.
Here oldest son is doing some Latin translation from the wall of Augustus' autobiography.

A favorite part for many of us were the intricate models. Below is a model of the colosseum. Our guide tells us that it built so that 75,000 people could exit it within 15 minutes time...had bathrooms too.

This next model wasn't even the largest of the museum. There was one you looked down into from above that covered a giant room's floor and my camera could not capture it. This truly engaged the minds of my sons who have read much about ancient Rome.The could see and imagine much from this perspective. Not pictured is some models of the weaponry, battering rams and the like.

From the museum we went for a drive down the Appian Way. In this lush area of Rome you might imagine you are in Tuscany. Looking out to the countryside you could envision travellers on this road to Rome. Passing many crypts, we stopped at Tomba de Cecilia and then ate lunch at a vine-covered restaurante of the same name.

This was such a delightful part of the day. It just felt so European!

We even let the boys try some vino with their pasta.

For mama, I luved all my beverages.

At the Baths of Caracalla my tenor and his lil' soprano sang an opera duet a la the Three Tenors.

From there we arrived at The Senate and The Forum ancient ruins. Look closely at this shot that shows the ruins and what it might have looked like in a rendering below.
So much was much history and structures to marvel at. We saw where Caesar's body was burned and over the ropes people had thrown flowers on the spot. I asked our guide about it and he said, "Probably Latin students..." For sure.

Coming up over a hill and through this arch we could now see the carvings we had earlier seen in the museum and they were not as easy to see. But there ahead of us was an very clear site, the Colosseum.


From it, this view.
The sun was laying golden on the colosseum and Arc of Constantine as we left.

Popping back in the van, our driver dropped us off at a back entrance to the Victor Emmanuel II through a Church called St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven where we had the following view of the ruins.
The inside of the Church, while elaborate and unusual, spoke to me. I want to go back here and explore more as it was closing time.

Can you see in the photo above all the crystal chandeliers? Gads of them adorning the arches and coming down the sides...

Here we prayed for your intentions.

That stained glass window had 3 bees in it, signifying Bernini and the papal family.

And here is the view upon leaving. Look at all the Church domes.

Looking back at the twins, Castor and Pollux, it may be hard to see their enormity.Descending the stairs from the Victor Emmanuel II it was like coming off a cloud of a day.


It's taking me a long time here in Rome to load pictures and get these posts up. I have so much to share about the next 2 days....


Josie said...

I'm drinking a glass of wine and pretending I'm with you! This is so beautiful-can't thank you enough for sharing like this. It all feels just so wonderful! Lots of love, Josie & Familia said...

Ah! You had a cappuccino at Sant'Eustachio Caffe! I recognize the designs on the wall. My love of cappuccini and coffee began at that spot during my Rome semester. That is the best cappuccino in all of Rome!

+JMJ+ said..., so true! Never tasted better!

Oh how I missed it this morning....

Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. Come back again as I hope to post lots more about our experiences and accompanying photos.

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