Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Last Day in Rome

Our stay in Rome was coming to an end and quite frankly we were most excited with the prospect of a week in Toscana but more about that in a week or two.
With only four days in Rome it was a matter of packing as much time into each day and our second last day was no exception.

Truly amazing, it was one of the things I most wanted to see in Rome – the hub of political and commercial life in ancient Rome. Excavations are still in progress today unearthing the secrets of Rome. Many of these ancient structures were first excavated in the 18th Century. We really needed more time to appreciate the full enormity of the Forum.

As we entered the Forum, our path was blocked by a swarm of tourists but as we ventured further into the Forum we found ourselves alone and able to absorb the many ancient structures and the amazing architecture.
The Temple of Antonius and Faustina is a more recent building (1601) but built on foundations from the 1st century AD. I wish we could have taken a full day to wander the Forum. I was so captivated by it all, that I forgot to take more photos.
So here's one I stole from Wikipedia.

Caesar’s body was cremated within the Forum after his assassination in 44 BC and we walked by the very spot, not to mention the house of the Vestal Virgins and the temples of Romulus and the sights of several Basilicas. It really was too much to absorb in one short visit.

There was to be some form of "appearance the following day and chairs were being set up in front of Saint Peters in the Piazza San Pietro as we passed by on our way to the Vatican Museum.

Now, I’m not catholic, I’m not even religious. I do however live by the ethics of certain life rules and the treatment of fellow man. I do however question why there are so many riches within the Vatican Museum. It’s difficult sometimes to judge who really were the biggest looters of the world’s greatest treasures, but at least these treasures are preserved for us to admire, however they are still looting us with the admission fees. Oh well, it was worth it to see Michelangelo’s “the Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel. And the ceiling – no words can describe his work, you need to be there.

Marble statue of the Tojan Priest Laocoon and sons in battle with 2 serpents.
1st Century AD 

As romantic as it was, what amused me about the Trevi Fountain was the crowd of tourists there (and we were part of it). Yes, I took pictures of the fountain but I found the gathering of people and their antics more interesting. People enjoyed the sunshine while eating Gelati and throwing coins into the water. I’m glad we experienced the Trevi Fountain and now four years on and reminiscing of our 2006 trip, I ask myself, would I return to Rome. With some trepidation, I say yes, but I would be more prepared to enjoy the history of ancient Rome while trying to ignore modern Rome.

The Trevi Fountain
And the crowds of tourists.

Maybe I will never return to Rome as I didn’t throw any coins into the fountain but many do as it is estimated that 3000 Euro end up in the fountain every day. It goes to help the needy of Rome I’m told.
Rome for me was a bit of a Love/Hate thing in many ways. I loved its history but couldn’t understand why someone would want to deface the historic architecture with graffiti. The city was too frenetic and we were looking forward to the rural Italy.

That would only be another 24 hours away, not without some drama – next Wednesday all will unfold.

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