Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 2 in Rome

Ancient Rome was the big plan for our second day there. We started the day checking out Il Vittoriano, a monument built to honor Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy. Apparently it's a controversial monument, but if affords a great view of the city, so we took it all in. First we wandered around the monument itself, seeing Italy's tomb of the unknown soldier (at least, I'm pretty sure that's what it was) and a big statue of a guy on a horse - I will assume that's Victor Emmanuel II.

The main part of the monument has a nice view of the city, so we weren't sure we wanted to pay extra to go up the elevator to see more. However, Julie and Terrell convinced us that the view was not to be missed from the top, so we decided to go up. While finishing up on the main part of the monument, Stella found a fun place to play before going up the elevator.

When we arrived at the top, we were greeted with a spectacular view. We could see all of the major landmarks in Rome: The Colosseum, The Roman Forum, Vatican City with Saint Peter's Basilica, etc. etc. We were lucky to be traveling with Terrell, who served part of his mission in Rome and was, therefore, able to point out all of the sites of interest and translate for us. Here he is in action:

The view from the top:

After checking out the view from the top, it was off to the Colosseum. This was what I was most excited about seeing in Rome, so I was pretty stoked. The road to the Colosseum from Il Vittoriano went right by the Roman Forum, so Tracy & John, Gaylene, and Mr. Frisby & I opted to walk down so we could see the Forum as we went. My parents and Julie & Terrell rode the bus down, so we met them at the entrance.

The city passes we had bought the day before allowed us to skip the line to get into the Colosseum and this proved to be well worth it as the line was HUGE! We went in, walked through one of the gates into the amphitheater, and I was immediately very impressed. Let me just say that the Colosseum did NOT disappoint. It was probably my favorite thing we did in Rome. Except maybe the gelato.

Our group decided to split up so we could explore at our leisure. After we got in, we determined a meeting place and time and then headed off in our separate directions. I think we spent about an hour in the Colosseum and I enjoyed every minute. I probably could've spent even more time there just wandering around and checking things out, but we had more to see in Rome.

After wandering around and checking things out, I decided that it would've been really cool to see what it looked like during its heyday. Although, I wouldn't have needed to see any of the gladiator fights. Too barbaric for me. At the appointed time, we met up with everyone else and headed back out. There are lots of street vendors and food stands just outside the Colosseum, so we picked a food stand and picked up a quick and very terrible lunch which we ate in the shadows of the ruins.

After our quick lunch, we headed toward the Roman Forum. We passed the Arch of Constantine which looked pretty cool, but was mostly obscured by scaffolding, so it was hard to tell for sure. Remember how we seem to be scaffolding magnets when in Europe? You should probably never travel with us if you don't want major sites obscured by scaffolding everywhere you go.

Mr. Frisby and I wanted to check out the Circus Maximus where the ancient chariot races were held. It was only a couple blocks out of the way as we headed to the Roman Forum. Nobody else was interested, so they waited in a shady spot while we dashed the couple blocks to see it. There's not much there, but you can see some of the ruins which appear to be under construction to rebuild them or something. It should be pretty cool in the near future.

We dashed back to where everyone else was waiting and then headed to the Roman Forum. Here we are on the road between the Colosseum and the Forum:

Upon entering the Forum, we were immediately greeted by the Arch of Titus. No scaffolding on this one.

The Roman Forum was cool. Lots of ruins everywhere that you just wander around. There's lots to read about the ruins along the way, but I can only handle so much of that before I get too bored. Mr. Frisby is a faster reader than me, so I would usually just tell him to read stuff and then summarize for me. He's a great husband.

Now, this is where my memory gets a bit fuzzy. After the Roman Forum, we split off from the rest of our group. They were headed to a couple sites that didn't really interest us, so we decided to head back to the hotel. I'm guessing we wanted to try to get Stella a nap. We also wanted to check out a tiny tie shop that was right by our hotel, so I think that was the day Mr. Frisby bought lots of ties. We had plans to meet up with the others at the Trevi Fountain to get dinner. At some point before meeting up with them, we decided to get some gelato at our favorite spot and eat it in the shadows of the Pantheon.

We met up with the others and started looking for a place to eat dinner. It was just us Frisbys, Julie & Terrell, and my parents. I can't remember where Tracy & John and Gaylene were. Mr. Frisby and Stella waited near the fountain while we checked out nearby restaurants and he snapped some choice photos.

That night we got lucky and found probably the best restaurant of the trip. You can't really see it well in this pic, but that's it.

It was delicious and it was authentic. And we were introduced to buffalo mozzarella. It's made from the milk of domesticated water buffaloes and it is way better than regular mozzarella. After an excellent meal, we called it a night and headed back to our hotel to rest up for our final day in Rome.

1 comment:

MomandDad said...

great blog. Thanks. This is really helpful in remembering our trip.