Getting to know Rome - It's tour day!

Trip Start Jun 02, 2013
Trip End Jun 29, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The plan for today is a tour marathon.  While Diahann and Ron have visited most of these sites, they are well worth revisiting with Kaylan and with Lisa and David as well.  The morning tour focuses on Rome's antiquities - the 2000 year old stuff like the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Palatine Hill.  While the afternoon tour visits many of Rome's "new" classic spots, like 300 to 500 year old churches, fountains, monuments, and other masterful works of art.

We begin the morning tour by meeting our guide, Claudia, in a small piazza above the Metro stop near the Colosseum.  Claudia gives our group a general orientation and leads us across the street to the main entry point for the Colosseum.  The proper name for this structure is the Flavian Amphitheater, but the locals of the time gave it the nickname "Colosseum" because of its proximity to a 100 ft. tall (colossus) bronze statue of the emperor Nero.  The building could seat approximately 50,000 patrons and structurally reminds one of any present day sporting arena, complete with "luxury boxes", numbered gates, sections, rows, and seats.  The edifice is a classic example of Roman architecture and engineering, both inside and out.

As our tour continues we exit the Colosseum, then pass through the small piazza where the giant bronze Nero once stood, past the Arch of Constantine, and into the ruins of the Roman Forum.  Occupying the lower area between Rome's famed seven hills, the Forum was the heart of ancient Rome, with its large meeting halls (basilicas), temples, memorial arches, and government buildings.  With a little imagination it is easy to picture what Roman life might have been like during those times.  We conclude our antiquities tour by climbing up the northeastern flank of the Palatine Hill, the hill upon which legend says Rome was founded.  It is also the hill upon which many of Rome's ruling emperors chose to build their imperial palaces.

At the conclusion of our antiquities tour we take Rome's Metro (subway) north across town to the Spanish Steps where our afternoon tour begins.  But first it's time for some lunch at Pizzeria Ciro as recommended by our morning guide. (Oops - forgot food pics.  Sorry!)

Anna is our afternoon guide and leads us from the Spanish Steps and the Sinking Ship Fountain at the base, through the Piazza di Spagna and then into Rome's fashionable shopping district near the Via del Corso.  From there it's on to Trevi Fountain, then back up Via del Corso and a quick stop for an espresso.  Then it's west to the Pantheon, Piazza Navonna and Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers, and on to the small, obscure Church of San Luigi dei Francesi where we are able to view 2 original Caravaggio paintings. We then turn south and head to the Campo de' Fiori where our tour ends.

We end our day with a stop at one of the wine bars (Il Piccolo) we sampled last night.  We refresh our tired selves with a bottle of Moscato d'Asti (Lisa's favorite and now Kaylan's too) and a few plates full of aperitivi. We try our luck at using the bus to get home and meet with success.  Sleep comes quickly tonight.   Buona notte!
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Karen on

Keep writing!! Really enjoying the pictures too. Looks like you guys are having so much fun. Looking forward to your next entry.

shirley on

Love reading your wonderful entries and viewing your pictures. Keep sending us updates of your trip. So glad you are having a good time.

sierra on

I love reading your posts each day. Wish I could be your adopted daughter next time! ;-) Can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for you all. Safe travels!

Lauren on

Thank you for continuing your writing! I've found your entries to be informative and they have even sparked me to look up the things I didn't know.... so I'm learning a lot through you. Thank you for taking the time to write about your travels so eloquently and for sharing such beautiful pictures! I look forward to hearing more as your trip continues. May you have good weather!

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