“Last Day in Rome”
Posted by Favorite Daughter (penguindust)
Yesterday’s Report: Went to the Colosseum today, seemed like a good idea, since it’s close to our hostel and is the COLOSSEUM.
We encountered a rather hapless man named Glenn, whose dearest wish in the whole wide world seemed to be that we patronize his free walking tour. Feeling a little sorry for Glenn, who had a British or possibly Australian accent, we joined the six others he’d recruited (three Aussies, one Asian, one German). Glenn first paraded us around the Colosseum, telling us useful things we hadn’t heard before (apparently it was used as a brothel for awhile after the fall of the Roman Empire).
Then we all hopped on a bus (literally hopped) and went to see the oldest temple in Rome, the famous Mouth of Truth (Roman Holiday!), a church of St.Nicolas, the bones of St. Valentine, and some ruins of temples over which the church of St. Nicolas had been built. Then Glenn recommended that we buy cakes in the Jewish district, and oddly enough, took us to a hospital to eat them.
But it was a nice hospital! There was a turtle pond and everything.
After another questionably free bus ride, Glenn delivered us safely to the Colosseum again, where he totally hooked us up with a ticket booth with no line.
We wandered on original Roman roads amidst the ruins of thousands of years ago, and it was amazing. The Colosseum was truly awe-inspiring, and huge. I mean, we knew it was huge, they used to fill it with water and have naval battles, but really. Huge.
Then we had lunch at a charming little hole-in-the-wall around the corner, the Café Michelangelo. We ordered delicious calzones via Kiki, who has discovered that, between her fluent French, three years of Latin, and smattering of soap-opera Spanish, she can understand almost everything said to her in Italian, and, usually, cobble together a halfway comprehensible response.
Today’s Report: The highlight was our triumphant return to the Café Michelangelo, where the family who runs it greeted us with flattering enthusiasm. We ate pizza, and they brought us free dessert. When we left, the matriarch, grandfather, and adorable pre-adolescent boy named Paolo, all of whom we’d come to think of as our own, expressed sorrow that we were leaving Italy tonight. They kissed us on both cheeks, and said, “Ciao! Ciao! Arrividerchi!” “Bye!” said Paolo, proud of himself that he’d remembered the right word.
They waved until we were out of sight.
We also visited several basilicas today, and the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain! I know I keep saying this, but the Trevi Fountain is enormous. Simply giant. The Pantheon’s structure – the round roof with the hole in the center – was remarkable to behold.
Our night train to Paris leaves at six. We’re sorry to leave Rome, but not Rome in July.
UNSCHOOLING EUROPE tag