I just got back from an amazing ten day vacation in Italy with my folks! This is Day 2 of our trip.
On Day 2, we hit the ancient sites. I majored in Classical Civilizations in college, so I get really excited about ruins. I was just as excited to see the Colosseum and Roman Forum as I was when I first visited Rome!
A full description of our busy day and pictures after the jump!
We started our day by walking from our hotel to the Colosseum. We had the Roma Passes, so we were able to walk right in, bypassing the enormous queue. I think that alone makes purchasing the Roma Passes worth it!
After we left the Colosseum, we walked up to the Palatine Hill. Mom and I missed the Palatine Hill last time we were in Rome (most likely because it was approximately one million degrees last time we were in Rome), but we wanted to make sure that we hit it this time around. It’s one of the oldest sites in Rome, and, according to mythology, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf.
We then moved on to the Roman Forum, which is probably my favorite attraction in Rome. There are so many temples in such a small area, and it’s fascinating to me to imagine what it must have looked like when Ancient Rome was thriving.
Then we walked past Caesar’s Forum and across the street to peer over the remaining Imperial Forums and see Trajan’s Column. From there, we could see Trajan’s Market, so we walked around and visited the museum located in the restored markets. The artifacts were interesting, but the best part was the amazing view from the top.
We were all pretty tired, but we walked over near the Pantheon and began hunting for lunch. We finally settled on outdoor salads (and wine! we were in Italy, after all) at a little placed called Entoteca Capranica, which was, not surprisingly, located on Piazza Capranica.
After our restorative lunch, we visited the Pantheon (successfully, this time). I have to admit, I was much more impressed with the Pantheon on this trip than I was on my last trip to Rome. Last time, we visited the Pantheon after a hard rain, and the center of the floor was roped off. We must have also visited later in the day because I remember it as being very dark. On this trip, there was plenty of light inside the Pantheon to be able to fully appreciate it.
We then spent some time walking around Piazza Navona and fighting the crowds at Caffe Sant’ Eustachio for espresso. We then stepped inside San Luigi dei Francesci and Sana Maria Sopra Minerva. The former has some impressive Caravaggio paintings, and the latter is important because it houses the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena and was where Gallileo renounced his thesis after being tried for heresy in the adjoining monastery.
We then walked over to the Vittoriano and climbed the steps to get a look at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. We thought about going up, but we were pretty tired from walking around all day, so we decided it was time to head home.
We had planned on having dinner at Da Baffetto, but we were thwarted. After waiting for quite a while in the queue, we saw them admit a huge group through the side door. It’s not that spacious inside and, predictably, the line stopped moving after the group entered. We abandoned the line and ate instead at Taverna Parione. It wasn’t pizza, but it was tasty nonetheless.
Coming up next: We go to Ostia Antica in the rain!