An April 2005 trip
to Rome by am331
Quote: My husband and I visited Rome and Florence for our honeymoon and took a day trip to Naples and Pompeii.
We went in April of 2005. The weather was great and it was not too cold, and we only wore light spring jackets every day.
Day One: We arrived in Rome at about noon and took a taxi to the hotel. Then we rested for about an hour before heading out. Our first stop was the Trevi Fountain, which was right next to our hotel! The tradition is to throw a coin in the fountain with your back turned to it, and this ensures your return to Rome. We both did it, so I guess we'll be back in Rome sometime! We also stopped for some traditional Italian pizza (yummy!) and gelato (sort of like sorbet/ice cream; my husband just loved it!). Then we walked to the Pantheon, an ancient monument to the Roman gods. It was free to get in (rare!) and really old looking, and from there we walked to the Piazza Navonna, where there is a famous fountain representing four famous rivers, one of them being the Ganges! (I forget the exact name of the fountain), and it's right next to this famous flower and fruit market called Campo di Fiori, but since it was about 4 or 5pm, the market was over and there were only a few flower stalls left (darn!). We were pretty tired by then and walked back to our hotel to rest before dinner. We ate at this place called Ara Pacis, which we had read about, and it was our favorite dinner during the whole trip! (See review.) Dinners in Italy were expensive!! They charge you just for being there (a sitting charge!) and for water and everything!
Day Two: The next day we decided to start by going to the Colosseum. It was an amazing site! We paid a little extra to have a tour guide describe everything.
When we finally reached, they would not let us even cross the bridge leading to the Vatican area, unless we wanted to stand in the long (18 hours for some!) line to see the pope's body in St. Peter's Basilica. We just walked around and left. I was really sad that I could not even see it.
Next stop, Florence (see next journal)
Hotel | "Hotel Accademia"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 16, 2005
Piazza Accademiadi San Luca 75
39 06 69922603
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 7, 2005
L. go D. Lombardi
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 7, 2005
Hostaria Romana Ristorante
Via del Boccaccio 1
+39 (06) 4745284
Attraction | "Colosseum"
The Colosseum, also called the "Flavian Amphitheatre" after its builders, the emperors Vespasian and Titus, both of the Flavian family, started to be constructed around 70 AD and was completed in 80 AD. As they love to tell on the tour, its opening was celebrated with 100 days of games in which thousands of animals and gladiators were killed. Occasionally the Colosseum was flooded in order to stage small naval battles. The emperor had his own entrance to the Colosseum, and from his private box seat he decided the fate of defeated gladiators. The Colosseum was used regularly for almost 400 years and has been through every natural and man-made disaster imaginable.
Its architecture is elliptical and is constructed of brick and a relatively soft, porous rock called tufa, although its exterior is covered in marble. The floor of the arena was wood covered with sand, and beneath the floor was a maze of passageways and temporary holding pens for the animals and gladiators. When it was time for a grand appearance, a hand-operated "elevator" of sorts was used to pulley the men and animals from the basement up to the arena floor. The walls of the subterranean passageways can still be seen today (see photo).
Each story of the Colosseum represents a different period of history in its architecture. The lowest level have Doric columns, the second level Ionic columns, and the third has Corinthian. One of my favorite parts of the history was learned about the Vestal Virgins. These were young girls who devoted their lives to the Goddess Vesta, goddess of the hearth, and as virgins, they were afforded the best seats in the house. As the priestesses of Vesta, they were charged with maintaining the sacred fire within the Temple on the Forum Romanum. They were the only female priests within the roman religious system and vowed to live in chastity for the 30 years their tenure lasted. The punishment for breaking the vow of chastity was death by burial alive, the only way to kill a vestal without shedding her blood. Definitely go for the paid guided tour! We thought it might be a rip-off at $10 per person, but it was worth every penny, especially since nothing inside was labeled.
Piazza Del Colosseo
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 7004261
Attraction | "Day Trip to Naples and Pompeii"
The walking tour lasted about 2 hours. It is amazing how much of their life you can appreciate by looking at these ancient artifacts and preserved bodies in their state of shock and panic. The ride back to Rome takes about 3 hours, and there is a mandatory stop at a coral and cameo factory (I'm assuming they partially sponsor the tour).
Overall, this is a most enjoyable and educational tour. You will LOVE it! It's also a little bit off the beaten track of the usual sites.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2005
Ancient City of Pompeii (Pompeii Scavi)
Attraction | "The Pantheon"
The entrance is through huge bronze doors, and the interior is a circular room with Catholic alters and artifacts. The dome has a span of 43.2 m (142 feet).
One of the fascinating architectural aspects of it is the "oculus", a circular hole in the ceiling which allows in rain and sunlight.
It is open from 8:30am to 7:30pm. Admission is free.
Right outside the Pantheon is the Piazza della Rotonda, a lively square filled with cafes, bars, and restaurants. It is especially lively in the summer, when the Pantheon is lit from below and stands as an enormous reminder of the grandeur of ancient Rome.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 16, 2005
Piazza della Rotonda
Rome, Italy 00186
New Jersey, New Jersey