Across the River/ The Colosseum/Vesuvius and Pompeii
Oct 11, 2010
|8th of October
We started off slowly and had leisurely breakfast on our first morning in Rome. We decided to explore the area and walked from our apartment, across the River Tiber and arrived at Piazza del Popolo, with its huge square and massive fountain. We walked to a corner of the square and went to our first of many magnificent churches in Rome. It was Santa Maria de Popolo, after the square. After looking at the many works of art, we left the Piazza and walked to the Spanish Steps. We sat for a while, watching people take water from the fountain and before stepping down to drink ourselves. The water was cool and fresh. From there, we then headed down Via dei Condotti, where we found the Ferrari shop. We then walked to a Piazza by the river and sat down at a restaurant called Recafe Even though it was well into the afternoon, I ordered The Breakfast Pizza. It had ham, egg and mozzerella cheese. After lunch,we wandered through the narrow streets until we stumbled upon Piazza Novona. It was gelato time....and it was yummy. After looking at the various fountains in the Piazza, we stopped in at a toy shop and picked up a large puzzle of the Colosseum. We then walked back across the river to our apartment. We were supposed to go to the U2 concert that night.Unfortunately, Mum got ripped off by a group of con-artists, who sent us a receipt for tickets and never completed arrangements to deliver them. They even called us in the afternoon to pretend they were trying to arrange a time to meet us with the tickets. It was disappointing, although we could see some of the fireworks from our balcony. We went out for a late night gelato instead.
9th of October
on Saturday morning, we ate breakfast, got out of the apartment quickly and walked to the Vittoria Emmanual Monument and had a look. From there, we walked to the Palatine and Forum where many ancient Roman buildings had been excavated. We explored them for a bit. We then walked to the COLOSSEUM. The good thing about going to the Palatine first is the line for tickets was only about ten minutes. Fortunately, Mum had read a guidebook that told her the ticket to the Palatine also covered entry to the COLOSSEUM. When we walked over to the Colosseum we went down the express line because we already had a ticket and missed an hour and a half wait. We were all very happy. The Colosseum was amazing. Particularly when you consider how it is so old and so big, and still there. We walked around and took lots of photos, by which time we were hungry. We wlaked back toward Piazza Navona and had a pasta lunch at a restaurant called St Eustachio. It tasted really good. We walked home and watched a movie till dinner. We had antipasto again because we didn't have any other food. We watched the end of the movie before going out to the Gelataria down the road and having a late night Gelato again. It was yummy....again.
10th of October
Sunday we booked a trip to Pompeii. We got up early, had breafast and made our way down to Piazza del Popolo by 7.15 am. We got on a special tour bus and relaxed as back seat rebels on the really long three hour bus journey to Pompeii. When got to Pompeii, we found that there was a protest outside the main gates meaning we could not enter from that entrance. People were protesting about the amount of rubbish around the area and how the disposal of waste is managed generally. And the people had a point, the area around Pompeii was pretty disgusting. Litter everywhere. Fortunately, our guides had a plan and we then drove to a minor entrance and started our tour there. First, we saw a house that was owned by a relative of Julius Caesar. It was really big and still had some art work on the walls and some human bones in another room. We also saw the Forum a meeting place where all the trading would have been done. It was open and was my favourite bit of the tour. This was followed by a whole lot of objects from the ruin that were just stacked up in a large shed. They included casts of the remains of people and a dog that had died the day Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.
We then had lunch at a pizza restaurant. It was like eating bread with soup on top but tasted alright. Next we drove up to Mt. Vesuvius. This was the coolest thing I have done on the trip. We had to walk up hill for about half an hour from where we dropped to get to the top. When we got there, we could see some vents in the crater were still smoking. Still it was very tiring just getting up. By the time we were on our way home it was 6pm. We didnt get home until almost 10pm as the traffic coming in to Rome was a disaster. We skipped dinner and went out for gelato down the street.
Still unable to post photos. We will not be able to until we get to Toulouse.