Friday, April 10, 2009

Regal Rome

Next on the itinerary was the eternal city Rome. Rome, the city founded by Romulus and Remus, the city that ruled most of the known world in its day. The city with a country inside it.

My hostel in Naples and Rome have been different than most of the places I've stayed at so far. They were both a bit out of the centre, about half an hour bu public transport. this had the effect of making me spend more time away from the hostel and have longer days of sight seeing. This combined with a late sunset (7:30ish) meant even on slack days I was doing 5-6 hours of walking around (I noticed on the train I'm a bit sunburnt now). I checked in about 1 o'clock and headed back into downtown Rome around 2ish. I first visited a church which had an exhibition on Galileo The exhibition kept bringing up the fact that Galileo was not an atheist, which I wasn't aware anyone was claiming to be the case. Then I kept walking until I got to the Spanish steps, where I saw some guys offering a free walking tour starting in about 15 minutes, so I went along on the tour. It took in a few squares, went past some churches, the column of Marcus Aurelius, the Pantheon and finished at the Trevi fountain, where I duly threw in a coin to ensure I would one day return to Rome. After the tour I called it a day.

On Sunday I explored the area north of the Colosseum. This took in a few of the forums, Trajan's column, the monument to Vittorio Emmanuel II, the 1st king of Italy, which shows the Italians haven't lost it when it comes to building grand elaborate monuments, a few churches (of course) and later headed up to the Pantheon again to see it slightly less crowded (the day before the tour got there just after a mass had finished) and then on to the Piazza Navona where I bought Mum's birthday present.

Monday I stayed at the hostel until noon as I stayed in to call Mum up to say Happy Birthday. In the afternoon I crossed the Tiber and caught a few sights along the river. I had lunch just in front of the St Peter's, then followed the Tiber south and finished the day by circling the Colosseum

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