Grazie, Roma.

We’ve spent the past few days walking and seeing the sights of Rome.  There is so much to see…and in these eight days we’ve seen a lot!  More baroque churches than we can count; ancient Roman ruins everywhere; elaborate fountains on every corner and pizza; columns and columns and columns…and the list goes on.

We love the pizza, the gelato, the sights…but not the Metro.  Seemed like every train was like line #4 in Paris: packed to the gills.  On the Metro was where we encountered the pick pocket team. That was a little dicey, but they got nothing from us!  The picture below is taken while waiting on a Metro train.  You’d think, by the lack of people on the platform, that you’d be getting onto an empty train.  Not so!  In fact, most of the people of Rome are already on that train and there will barely be room for one more!

 

Rome is a city of almost 3 million people.  And it seems like every single one of them was walking the street with us on Sunday, especially in the Campo de Firoi area!  That entire piazza was packed wall to wall.  We managed to find a Tavolo to rest our feet and sip on some wine before heading on to Castel Sant’Angelo.  This was originally Emperor Hadrian’s tomb, then it was the popes’ fortress, then a prison, and finally now it’s a church.  This place is huge!!!!

 

We did luck into a Praetorian Guard re-enactment at the Pantheon.  Dumb luck that!  There were Senators, Ladies, Centurians and lots of Praetorians.  It was cool to see them do their close-order drills.

 

And the hills….can’t forget the hills.  Rome is built on 7 hills.  Our hotel is atop the Quirinalis…which we have walked up and down maybe twenty times.  (Okay, maybe not that many..but a lot!)  We’ve also been on every other hill at least once or twice.  That’s a lot of hill climbing to say the least!

One of the strangest sights we’ve seen was under the Church of Santa Maria della Immacolata Concezione.  There you’ll find the bones of about 4000 Capuchin Friars laid out in “artistic” style.  They aren’t sure exactly who filled these six crypts with these works of art; they just know it happened between 1732 and 1775.
 We’ve seen so much here…yet so little.  We saw lots of churches, but not even one tenth of the churches there are to see.  And…even the churches we visited hold so much that we left many works of beauty and treasure unseen.

 

And, we’ve had some incredible meals here…including pizza of course!  Lots of pastas, lots of wine, and lots of fun waiters.  Our favorite was near the Pyramid of Cestius at a taverna.  He didn’t speak English and we couldn’t say much more than “grazie” and “ciao”.  This gentleman was also serving a large party and every time he’d take them a dish he’d bring it by our table first.  He’d point at the food and say what it was.  We still weren’t exactly sure what we were getting, but he basically told us what to order and so we did.  It was wonderful!!!!  Deep fried zuchinni blossoms stuff with cheese, deep fried olives, a fish pate and Aleta had a salad with unknown red mushrooms.  All delicious!  Afterwards the waiter took Aleta to the back and helped her pick out a dessert for all to share.

 

Yes, lots of great memories made here…sights, food, wine and people.  It was a great way to continue to celebrate Monte and Aleta’s 30th wedding anniversary.

 

We did toss coins into Trevi Fountain so you never know…we might be back!
Grazie, Roma.  Grazie.

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