Sunday, 3 April 2011

Exploring Rome

March 19, 2011
They have a great breakfast bar at Hotel Turner. We ate a hearty breakfast and then headed for the tour bus.
The arch of Constantine is not that impressive due to the fact that it is right next to the Coliseum. it would be much more impressive if it were in your back yard with nothing huge to dwarf it.
                                    Arch of Constantine as seen from 2nd story of the Coliseum
The Coliseum, on the other hand, is quite impressive. We waited in a fairly long line for tickets, and finally got them and rented walking tour players, which come with maps. You walk to the first number on the map and press the corresponding key on the tour player, and it tells you what you are looking at. We found we could use the earphones from the tour bus with these and it made it easier to hear.

Rachel and Alden walking around in the Coliseum
There was a lot of info on the Coliseum that I won't take the time and energy to put on here.
The most impressive thing about it to me was the sheer size of the structure and the system of underground tunnels and elevators used to put on the shows there.

rachel and Alden sitting on a column in the Coliseum

After the Coliseum we hopped back onto our tour bus and jumped off again at a jewish ghetto. We wanted to visit the synagogue there, but it was shabbot and there was a bar Mitzvah occurring.They wouldn't let us in. There were a great many people inside celebrating, and it looked quite festive.

We hopped back on and off the tour bus and we were at Trevi Fountain. This is supposedly one of the most photographed places in the world. It was also the site where the movie "Three Coins in the Fountain" was filmed. The legend is that if you throw a coin in the fountain you have a two out of three chance of finding true love, and a one in three chance of getting either married or divorced. 
Bob and Alden at theTrevi Fountain
We left the Trevi Fountain and wandered around a bit and stumbled upon an anti-nuclear rally. Lots of folks there being enthusiastically anti-nuclear. A great rock band playing good music (no doubt also anti-nuclear).
it was also a protest rally against the president of Italy because he was caught hiring 16 year-old hookers.

We then got on the wrong bus and went way off in the wrong direction. Some folks put us on the metro so we could get back to our hotel. Alden missed his train to Florence. He had to convince the ticket agents to trade his old ticket for a new one on the next train.  Rachel and Bob went to the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel. When we got there we found that it had closed at 4:00, and we arrived around 6:00.
Oh, well.
We jumped back on the tour bus and rode it around the circuit to see the city lit up at night.
 We went to the "supermarcato" at Termini and bought groceries. Went home and had fabulous dinner for cheap in our room.

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