We arrived at noon on this lovely sunny day and caught the subway/bus combo to our apartment in the beautiful Monte Verde region of south-west Rome. This neighborhood might be comparable to the Hollywood heights of L.A. We would explore it later. Getting there took us past Circus Maximus and the Colosseum…. I was bouncing in the bus seat with excitement! By the way, roughest bus ride of my life (accounting for much of the bouncing). The shocks on the buses are all beat out from the cobblestone roads.
After a quick settle into our apartment, we headed back downtown to the old city for an afternoon of exploring. Easy walking and tolerable crowds (unlike previous cities) we first came to the ruins of Trajan’s market. Built in 100 AD by Emperor Trajan, it is a multi-leveled market-administrative complex and is considered the world’s first shopping mall.
Next we slipped inside Chiesa Santissimo Nome di Maria al Ford Triana (that’s a mouthful) for a cool moment to marvel at the guilded altar and frescoed dome.
Immediately next door is the beautiful monument and museum to Victor Emanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. The building is gorgeous, covered inside and out with statues and marble porticos. Around to the back of the museum, we climbed the rampart to Capitoline Hill and the Piazza Nuovo and got a sweeping views of the Roman forum. So incredible and evocative in the 2000 year old history that lays in ruins in front of you. If time prevails, we may be back later for a tour.
The afternoon was waning and tummies started rumbling for dinner, so we retraced our walk to the bus stop for home. On the way, we got great shots of the Colosseum fully illuminated in the sun (we are touring this tomorrow), Constantine’s Arch (315 AD and the largest triumphant arch in Italy), and Circus Maximus where chariot races were held.
A fantastic start to our visit of Rome. Ryan is in his glory. There is a bounce in his step we have not seen until now and he is impatient for us slow pokes to keep pace with him. It’s so nice to see him living his history dreams.