One of the things that I love most about Rome is that it’s kind of like being in a time warp. You can walk out the door of your fairly modern hotel or cafe and come face-to-face with the ancient city walls or the ruins of an emperor’s bathhouse. The city has been destroyed and rebuilt several times on top of itself and there are just all of these layers to discover.
Yesterday, we toured the ancient sites. In the morning, we took a walking tour through the Colosseum, Imperial Forum and Palatine Hill. We had a great guide who had illustrations of how things would have looked during that time period, which is helpful in making sense of what has now become a collection of broken columns and rocks. It was quite a bit of walking, but luckily it was also the coolest day, temperature-wise, of our time in Rome (also, it was extremely breezy. I felt like I was covered in dust and grime kicked up by the wind at the end of the tour!).
Then, in the afternoon, we went went with another group to tour of the early Christian catacombs and crypts around Rome. The catacombs are interesting, but the real highlight for me was a visit to the Basilica of San Clemente, which is a 12th century church, built on top of a 4th century church, built on top of a pagan temple and remains of what is thought to be the early Roman mint from the 1st and 2nd centuries. The church is a bit of a distance from some of the other ancient sites, but it’s totally worth the trip. It’s like time travel, but in a really cool, non-Star Trek sense.
Our five days in Rome were fantastic. We packed them full of sightseeing and I already have a list of the things we need to do on our next trip here. I threw my coin in the Trevi Fountain so I am sure there will be a next trip.
Today, we are catching the train to Florence. If our next hotel has wi-fi, I will talk to you when we get there!