Monday, April 7, 2014

Friends, Romans, Countrymen


It is history coming to life, at least in your imagination. Chariot races in Circus Maximus, gladiator fights and Naval battles in the Colosseum, images of Caesars and Senators walking in togas on marble mosaics amid columns and statues of Palatine Hill fill your head and you are seduced into this bacchanal life.

"Cameriere, piĆ¹ vino, pizza e  Dean Martin",  this is so much fun.

We are now experiencing a bit of "Spring Break", more people/tours at the monuments, so glad we visited those early now we have some small galleries, villas and such to avoid the masses. I can't imagine what June-July-August is like, Vatican museum lines must be hours of waiting and packed. When you do come to Rome, March and April (not during Easter) is a good time to come. You can still find out of the way places with the locals and only Italian being spoken. The people of Rome, even with constant tourism, were wonderful. A completely captivating city. Molte Grazie!

Our cliche photo - "Tourists with a famous monument in the background"


Our month in Rome is over.  "We Came, We Saw, We Conquered", a phrase Julius Caesar coined - I think I'll change it a bit to suit us - We Came, We Saw, We Ate, We Drank, We Ate, We Drank... and now it's time to go.

I love Rome - Amo Roma.  A very busy vibrant city mixed with locals and just as many tourists, I can see why it is one of the most visited cities in the world.  We were able to see most of the beautiful museums without big crowds, walk all the neighborhoods, revisit history we long forgot, and learn new things past and present about a city and it's people that have been around since 753 BC.  

A few ancient Roman Emperors - Marcus Aurelius on horse, Hadrian in white, Caesar Augustus in bronze, The big head is Richard, oops, I mean Constantine

Modern Romans -  Gelato for all ages, futball in the streets, the tail end of the 2014 Roman Marathon, Pinsere Pizza - best take away in Rome (in our hungry opinion), and of course bottom right - discussion of the state of the Italian economy with our 2 favorite waiters at the best Trattoria in Rome, Vecchia Roma.

We learned how to make Amatriciana and pasta with David Sgueglia della Marra - owner of "A Cooking Day in Rome" - Simple for us simpletons - Guanciale (cow cheek), onions, tomato sauce, wine, and lots and lots of Pecorino cheese.

Ancient Rome Sites - Colosseum, Imperial Forum, Arch of Constantine and Palatine Hill

A nice day trip when Rome gets crowded,  Ostia was a harbor city of ancient Rome at the mouth of the Tiber.  Earliest Ostia was 1400-400 BC.  During its hey-day Ostia was densely populated .  Walking through this city of ruins we found fascinating how much is still standing.  Pictured are baths, a theater, Richard is looking at the communal latrines and standing behind a bar ordering 5 beers.