The Ancient City

December 23 – Rome Day Two

During breakfast, I decided I’d make a stop at the train station, buy my ticket for my trip to Florence in a few days and then make my way to the Colosseum and surrounding ancient goodies. The only hard plan was that I wanted to catch the Colosseum during sundown and twilight hours which I planned on starting around 5:00pm. So, with 7 hours up in the air, I head out to the main train station. On the way, I must have taken an incorrect turn. I found myself in Piazza Del Quirrinale. Since I was there, I took a few obligatory pictures and continued on my way (this time in the correct direction). I made it to the train station, bought my ticket and while looking at the map, I decided to make a stop at Saint Maria Maggiore. This church had some interesting cathedrals within itself, but it can’t possibly compete for my attention after I’ve already seen St. Peter’s. As I was heading out the door, there was a bit of commotion at the front of the church. A big group had gathered and cameras were clicking from every which way. I turned around and checked out what was going on. I’m not sure who it was, but some high church figure completely ducked out in full wardrobe was there and posing for pictures with people. I took my few shots and people watched for awhile and then headed out again.

From St. Maria Maggiore, I made my way to the Colosseum and bought a ticket for access to it, the Foro Romano and the Palatino. It was about 12:30pm when I entered the Colosseum and the lighting was a bit harsh with large shadows cast across half the interior structure. I took a few pictures, but mostly just walked around and enjoyed the site. I eventually made it around to the museum they have setup within the Colosseum and enjoyed reading some of the information as well as taking a few more pictures.

After I was done with the Colosseum, I moved across the way to the Palantino (Palatine) and the Foro Romano (Roman Forum). Once again, it seemed like big chunks of the area were closed and/or under construction. I first checked out the House of Augustus before wandering through Domus Flavia and Domus Augustana. From there I passed the Stadium and the courtyard of the Palatine before making my way into the Roman Forum. One of the main things I wanted to see was the Vestal Virgins in the central courtyard, but that area seemed to be closed. I managed to get a shot from a weird angle so you that I can show I was there, but the picture is worthless otherwise.

Il Colosseo by Justin KornBy the time I was done walking through the Roman Forum, it was 4:00pm. That gave me an hour to locate a spot, seattle in and capture any evening shots I wanted of the Colosseum. I found my way up and above Piazza del Colosseo and situated myself there for a good 2 hours while he sun continued to set. I was amazed at how many people were there at 4pm and how little were still around (basically no one) through the sunset. In any case, it worked out for me so I could move around freely if I wished to do so and didn’t have to worry about being in someone else’s way or anyone being in my way.

After the cold started to reach my bones, I thought I should head back to the hotel to relax for a bit before heading out for another Italian meal. I walked all the way back to the hotel (I’ve done WAY too much walking on this trip) and enjoyed sitting on my bed for a bit as I backed up all of the pictures from the day.

At about 8:00pm, I headed back out for dinner. This time, I was pointed to Pizzeria il Boscaiolo which was around the corner from the hotel and recommended particularly for their pizza. I ended up ordering a mix of fried vegetables as an appetizer and a pizza with peppers and sausages. As last night, I accompanied the meal with the house red wine. Everything was very good. While I was there, I saw another table order a side of bread which looked like Nan, the bread you’d get from an Indian restaurant). Since I ordered pizza, I did not get any bread…guess I have to go back. After dinner, I strolled into the gilato place again for some mint and chocolate gilato (the lady behind the counter recognized me this time) and then back to the hotel.

The plan for tomorrow is once again up for grabs, however, I plan on trying to visit the places I still have yet to visit such as the Pantheon and possibly get some shopping done (still have yet to buy a single souvenir or present).

Till next time…

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Categorized: Travel Diaries