Day 1239 (Rome)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rome, Italy

Our last full day in Europe was busy.  We woke up around 7, had breakfast downstairs (which was fantastic, lots of food, lots of choices, everything wonderful from breads and pastries to eggs, orange juice, bagels, bacon, toast, cereal.

Our first stop was the Colosseum.  It was free Sunday and the line was long by 9 a.m.  We had other sights to see, so we didn't go inside.  Instead, we walked the perimeter of the amphitheater, then walked to the Arch of Constantine and Arch of Titus.  Being around these ancient buildings inspires the kind of historic awe that's hard to describe.  This place is so famous and brings to life a civilization that lasted a thousand years but is no more.  It puts life in perspective.  In the end, we're all reduced to ruins and rubble when enough time has passed.  

Colosseum, 80 AD

Arch of Constantine, 312 AD

Arch of Titus, 80 AD
We took the metro back to Termini Station and the B line to the Spanish Steps, which were closed, so we continued on to Trevi Fountain.  The place was packed and I must say the fountain looked utterly spectacular.  I later learned the fountain had been recently restored and reopened seven months ago.  The water looked so clear and the sculptures looked so clean.  I threw my coin over my left shoulder, so I should be back soon enough.

Trevi Fountain,1762

We walked through winding streets until we reached the main attraction of the trip, and one of the most amazing buildings on earth, the Pantheon.  I was in awe walking inside.  Any building that can remain standing after nearly two thousand years is worth visiting.  We paid homage to Raphael's tomb and sat at a bench for about 15 minutes, taking in the quiet and the sliver of sun from the central source of light.  It was a magical moment I won't forget.
The Pantheon, 126 AD

After the Pantheon, we entered a few churches along via del Seminario on our way to bus 40, including the Saint Ignazio church, which has an extraordinary interior.  The ceiling frescos by Andrea Pozzo are breathtaking in their beauty and magistry. Alice purchased a few more rosaries for friends and I bought two for my former coworker Cheryl. 

On our way back to our hotel, we took Bus 40 on a scenic drive around Rome, passing by the enormous Museo Centrale del Risorgimento.

We reached our hotel around 3 p.m. and took a short nap.  Alice and I then visited the National Museum of Rome just two blocks away.  We saw so many amazing Roman frescos, statues, busts, and this famous bronze sculpture of a weathered boxer at rest. 

Boxer at Rest, 330 BC

The Hellenistic Prince, 330 BC
Pixel art, circa 10 BC
After walking around the museum for an hour and exploring the coinage college on the basement floor, it was time for dinner.  We headed back to our hotel, collected Austin (who needed a little alone time), and went out for pizza.  We liked the Condor Restaurant so much we went back again.  The food was yummy as always.  The pizza was simple and tasty.

By 9 p.m., it was time for bed.  The Warriors were playing the first game of the final series against Cleveland that morning, but we were too tired to watch, and weren't even sure if the game was on.  Sure enough, it was on one of the Italian stations.  We watched the last ten minutes of the game, but it was already a rout.

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