Monday, April 20, 2009

Day Four: Monday

We opted to buy the combination tickets for the Colosseum, Palatine, and Forum and save a few Euros, but they are only good for two days. So after breakfast we decided to head on down to the Forum since it was our last day to do so. We’d been very lucky up until that point with easily finding our way to the sights and stumbling into unexpected gems and destinations, but our luck stopped in its tracks on that morning. We ended up walking about a half-mile out of the way (all up-hill, I might add) trying to find the entrance to the Forum, so we had to backtrack. But once we did get into the archeological site, it really was pretty awesome.

We found the Temple of Vesta and the House of Vestal Virgins, two of the things I wanted to see, as well as the remains of the Basilica Julia, the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Antonius and Faustina.

The She-wolf.

This is the Capitol piazza. The statue, floor and all the building facades were designed by Michelangelo.

The forum.

Kaden playing on some ruins.

He liked that cool-colored rock.

The Temple of Vesta.

Stu sitting on some ruins in front of the Temple of Antonius and Faustina.

Kaden was not being a very awesome baby, but luckily we were outside and not in a church, so it was better than nothing. We took the opportunity to walk back up the Palatine Hill to get pictures of the Forum from above, as well as too see the views of the city that the Hill has to offer.

Here he is walking up the steps like a big boy.

The House of Vestal Virgins.

On our way back toward the general direction of our hotel, we stopped into another church, Bascilica S. Coma E. Damiano, which has glass windows (opened to the public in 2000) that show the “Temple of Romulus the Divine”. It is the only Roman temple “that exists in full integrity” besides the Pantheon.

This is a Nativity Scene that is a masterpiece of Neopolitan from the 1700s. It depicts the birth of Jesus and also shows people going about their daily lives for the times.

Kaden took a short nap on the walk to our favorite trattoria, where we became well-known and welcomed by “Fabrizio” and another waiter, who was straight out of The Godfather, and they brought Kaden a stack of freshly washed tablecloths for him to sit on as a booster seat. He woke up to enjoy a sausage and mushroom pizza with Mom and Dad.

We both became practically crippled walking as many miles every day as we did. By this day in particular, I was sporting 5 blisters as we stumbled around town like gimps on our pained feet and legs. So we relaxed in the afternoon once again before heading out for the evening.

After another failed attempt at a nap for Kaden, we went to get some gelato and did some more walking around the streets. We went to the bus station to get information about a ticket to go out and see some catacombs. Then we headed back to the hotel and up to the roof where they have a little terrace set up so that Kaden could play in a different (and safe) area. He’s become not as fond of riding in his stroller after being in there so much on long walks over the past few days. We ended up back in our room before dinner, giving Kaden a chance to color and us another chance to rest the toesies a bit more.

A view from the roof terrace of our hotel.

We decided we were going to try to take some evening pictures of the Spanish Steps. We intended to find another hole-in-the-wall trattoria to eat dinner. Instead we ended up here:

Oh yes we did! Asian food in Rome, Italy! It was really inexpensive, which was nice, and after as much Italian food as we’d been eating, it was a surprisingly refreshing change. Also fun, with as many Asians as I regularly communicate with in UAE, I understand their accents much better than the Italians here who speak English since it is an entirely new sound to me. Up until right before we left, when a French couple came in, we were the only white people there in a sea of Asian faces. It was so funny because just outside the door, we’d just been walking through Rome with its white-folks galore, and suddenly it was as if we stepped into Asia.

We did make it over to the Spanish Steps after eating literally ever bite of our meal (walking works up quite an appetite). Daddy walked up the steps (another stroller fail) and took some pretty good pictures from the top while Kaden entertained the crowd at the foot of the steps. He was clapping and dancing and blowing kisses to everyone and being rewarded with applause and photographs from the onlookers. It was the highlight of his day.

A Roman sunset.

Kaden entertaining the crowd, much to their glee. Look at the faces of the onlookers.

We headed back to our hotel to call it a night but couldn’t resist the urge to stop for some gelato on the way. And Stu stopped to take some pictures of the street.

1 comment:

  1. Kaden - what a ham! :) He's adorable. And the gelato? YUM!