Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Walk Through Rome

As I write this post, Mark and I are sitting on our tiny little terrace off of our room on the Via Urbana in the Monti District of Rome. It is the twilight hour. A gentle breeze blows in occasionally and we hear the chirping of birds, the ringing of church bells, an occasional siren and the low-level conversation of men speaking in Italian across the canyon created by the apartment buildings that surround us. We are grateful for the respite from the city outside. 

We took a walk across the city today after we had our breakfast. Each morning, the inn delivers pastries in sacks in a basket on a hook outside our door.

Then we headed down the Via Ubana toward the massive monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the uniter/creator of Italy. We appreciate the backside ...

Roman antiquities are everywhere.

Our first destination was the area of the old Jewish Ghetto. It would have been nice to have had more background on this area, but from what I understand, the ghetto was created in the mid-1500's by one of the popes. All of Rome's Jews were forced to move there. A wall was built around the ghetto, and there were initially only two doors that were locked at night. Over the years, more doors were added, but it wasn't until 1870 that the Jews of Rome were granted full citizenship and allowed to live outside the ghetto.

After leaving the ghetto, we headed toward the Pantheon again. There weren't as many tourists there this time. From there, we strolled over to the Piazza Nuovo where we simply soaked up the atmosphere.

We then just decided to wander as we walked back toward our inn. We walked through streets where there were no tourists, then all of a sudden they were there. More and more of them. I realized why once the Trevi Fountain came into view.

We couldn't figure this dude out ...

We eventually made it to the area above the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, where we had a nice lunch. It was here that I discovered my first genuine, fabulous Italian pastry shop ... But I abstained until we come back from Greece (only because we pigged out on carbonara). So many pastries, so little time! What's a man to do?

We went on a small group tour of the Colosseum this afternoon. But it is perhaps wise to just leave it at that, except to say that our tour group consisted of two young (cute) gay couples from LA, one fag hag (or perhaps a sister?) and an older middle-aged couple from Brighton, England who share a passion for the history of Rome.

Jan and Jim. She's from Brighton, he's from Glasgow. I commented to her at one point in the Colosseum that I was impressed by their knowledge of the Roman era. She replied, "I'm more interested in the era of Alfred the Great and Charles II, but I go along with Jim in his interest of ancient Rome." She had "gone along" on trips to Pompeii, Northern Africa and other places to see Roman ruins. I found it interesting to meet an "ordinary" couple who shared such a passionate interest in history.

Tomorrow morning, we fly to Athens! Comme la vie est belle! (Life is SO beautiful!)

1 comment:

  1. Joseph, I've enjoyed following along with you on your trip. I can't wait to see your pictures from Greece, given my personal connections there. I'm sure you're making incredible memories. And with all the incredible food pictures, I'm going inside to make pizza now. You're making me hungry.