What a day! Started with a stroll through the Roman Forum. We had a local guide who was great. So many things to see (old stuff according to Evan). There were a lot of ups and down, climbing some then going back down some. The ground was originally level, but Rome had a lot of fires and things were built on top of the rubble. Even since Rome fell, the piling continued. We saw a church from the 1500’s whose door was about 15 ft off the ground. The rubble had piled up that high and they didn’t really know what was under it.
After the Roman Forum we went to the Colosseum. We had seen a lot of pictures of the Colosseum, but the real thing is so much better. The guide had a book that showed the Colosseum as it is now, and then had overlays that showed what is originally looked like. (He used the same book for various parts of the Roman Forum.) It really gave you a taste of what the area was like for the Romans.
Both sites had a lot of people, the Colosseum more than the Forum which we went to earlier before the crowds got as bad. They are right next to each other so we walked from the Forum to the Colosseum.
After this we took the bus to the Underground Stadium of Domitian. Underground now, but it wasn’t when it was built. There was a 3-D movie running that showed the Stadium and many of the other places as they are and as they were. I was so impressed, I bought the DVD. I had no idea that Rome was so crowded. So many things so close together. When I thought about how many hundreds of years they had to collect buildings, I realized that we are doing the same crowding in Washington D.C. The Washington Mall is a perfect example with the additions of the Vietnam Memorial and the WWII memorial between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. We’ll get as crowded.
For lunch, which was around 2, we went to a trattoria and had Noodles with Pecorino cheese, then meatballs and potatoes, then a salad, then tiramisu for dessert Less than 3 hours, but this was lunch.
We went on a scavenger hunt while most of the people went back to the hotel to rest. We were looking for things to put on a pizza. This being Sunday and this being a great vacation, we didn’t go to a shopping center. We went to an area knowing for it’s little shops and cafes. We found our mushrooms, anchovies, water buffalo mozzarella, red pepper, a number of sausages and some ham. At 6:00 everyone left for the restaurant to make pizza. The restaurant was all set up for it with spots for everyone, floured boards, rolling pins, aprons – the whole works. We made our pizzas and they were cooked in a wood burning pizza oven. After the pizzas we had gelato and fruit. One of our guides made a nutella and banana dessert pizza. It was pretty good. Not nearly as much food, but plenty since everyone had made their own pizza.
Back to the hotel at 9:00 and it was still quite light, but by the time we were ready for bed it was also quite late.