Rome – churches, squares, and ruins everywhere

On the following two days, we ventured onto the other side of the Tiber. On Wednesday we did the northern half, while on Thursday we visited the oldest part of the city. Wednesday started a bit cloudy on the Piazza Venezia, we even had a few drops of rain around the Piazza Navona, but by the time we arrived to the Piazza del Popolo it was already too hot to stay in the Sun. The highlights of the day were the totally crowded Pantheon, the awesome but instanteniously melting ice cream we had at Giolitti, the Ara Pacis Augustae (the ‘Altar of Augustan Peace’, the only thing in Rome I had never heard of before our visit), and the small streets near the Trevi fountain (which was under massive scaffolding, so that we did not see at all).

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For the following day, we had a guided tour for the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum booked well in advance, in order to avoid the queues. After a rainy morning spent playing Catan at our apartment, we took off. It turned out that besides us there was only one more couple in our group for the tour, which was a bit of a surprise, but then in the next few hours I got the impression that there are almost as many tour guides in this region as tourists… In any case, the Colosseum was very impressive, especially all the different tunnels and passageways through the structure. Then walking around the Forum really gave us the feeling of walking around in ancient times – with very little imagination necessary. I wish we could have seen the Forum around Augustus (not the month). Before taking the tram home, we still had a quick look at the Forum of Trajan and Augustus, bathing in the orange rays of the sunset. For dinner, we went to the same local pizzeria as on the first evening.

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The next day we took the train to Florence, but that is something for the next post…

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