Cathedrals As Far As The Eye Can See

We both slept very well last night after yesterday’s “bag drag” around half of Rome city!!

Feeling refreshed we headed down to the delightful little restaurant where breakfast was served and devoured a wonderful continental breakfast.

On return to the room we packed everything we needed for the first day out of touring Rome.

Having confirmed the directions for the return trip to the Termini we set off with our 3 day travel pass in hand and found the bus stop (very close to the hotel!).

The weather today was spectacular albeit nice and cool – perfect for walking the streets of Rome.

The bus trip into town (this time by day) allowed us to see more of the street-scape and, we were not overly impressed.  It appears that the young Romans need to express themselves “unchecked” with graffiti.  Everywhere you turn you are confronted by graffiti.  We think it has something to do with the fact that Romans have been using graffiti for thousands of years so it may be a “right” that they believe they have.  Quite overwhelming at first.

We also got to experience the road “rules” here in Rome.  We are not sure whether there are any rules and, as a tourist you have to remember that “he/she who hesitates – dies”!! The drivers and moped riders here are insane but the safest place to be is on the road because they will just beep their horns and drive around you.  Quite bizarre really.

The trip back to the Termini took around 30 minutes so we were back on the streets of Rome by mid-morning.  This started a walking trip that finished around 10.30 pm – yes around 10 hours of walking (apart from sitting for lunch and supper)!

With “map” (read yesterday’s comment re tourist directions) in hand we basically wandered the streets toward the Rome Forum.

Enroute we “stumbled” across one magnificent building after another.  The most impressive of these was the “Tomb of the Unknown Solider”.  This staggeringly large building has to be seen for one to be able to truly appreciate the size of it.  Wow.

The Rome Forum is located just behind the “T of US” so we entered this area and strolled through it over about one hour.  Without a formal guide (written or verbal) we took in the detail and beauty of the place without getting “bogged down” in lengthy descriptions.  One could spend a day in this place without learning 1% of what it was all about.  Indeed, you could spend weeks in Rome just concentrating on the basilicas or the archeology or the fashion shops.  It is an experience in so many ways.

From the Rome Forum we paid for the combined Palatino/Colosseum tour and set off to walk around the Palatino.  This must have taken another hour.

We were getting a bit peckish (now around 2pm) so we walked toward the Colosseum in search of a place to eat.

Seeing the v from the outside is one of those “must see” experiences.  It really is very special.  We took some time to walk around the outside before settling on a place to eat – a nice little cafe across the road from the Colosseum.

With our bellies full we set out to tour the Colosseum however, on arriving at the entrance we were told that today’s entry time had expired – “come back tomorrow”.  Fortunately our tickets are valid until 1.30pm tomorrow!!  We were a little disappointed but we took it in our stride and set off for the Trevi Fountain.  More walking.

The walk through the endless number of piazza’s and the occasional “peek” inside one of dozens of staggeringly beautiful cathedrals (basilicas) was wonderful.  For us, the “Rome Experience” is one of immersing yourself in the street-life.  The sounds, the smells, the sights – they are all wonderful.  It is a fascinating place and well worth a visit if you have not been here before.

We found the Trevi Fountain after a few diversions (lack of a decent map) and took plenty of photos of this beautiful monument before continuing on to the Mignanelli piazza.  The sun was starting to set as we approached the Mignanelli piazza so we took in the sunset as we continued walking toward another beautiful piazza – piazza del Popolo.  The walk to del Popolo. piazza was along an elevated road so were able to take some photo’s of the sun setting on the Rome skyline – very special.

del Popolo. piazza is beautiful – like all the piazzas in Rome and it provided us with more photo taking opportunities.

Wanting to continuing “absorbing” Rome at night we continued walking the streets in search of some places to take night photo’s.  We opted to find the Tevere river and use it as a backdrop.  A good choice.
The night lights on the various buildings mixed with the river provided us with some excellent photo taking opportunities.  We photographed a range of the pontes (bridges) that cross the Tevere river along with the Saint Angelo Castle.
Our camera lenses were starting to “fog” up with the cold air and The Princess was starting to get a little cold too so we found a wonderful little restaurant and settled into a lovely supper.  Just what we needed to restore some of the body heat and energy.

The restaurant was on a bus route to the Termini so we were able catch an express bus back to the Termini before boarding the No 90 bus back to the area that our hotel is located in.

Into bed around midnight – tired but full of wonderful memories of our first day touring Rome.

Until tomorrow!!

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