Rome is a fantastic city that is practically bursting at the seems with art, architecture, roman ruins and churches. Unfortunetly there is a whole city surrounding it. A city full of Italians. Italians who do nothing but talk on their cell phones. Who drive as if they just learned they had a terminal illness and safety didnt really matter any more. The city also seems to have only three kinds of shops. Eateries, tourist gift shops and clothing stores. (with an occasional laundrimat/internet cafe mixed in.)
We toured the Coluseum yesterday. Simply awesome. It stands as a vestige of a once truly great empire, although to see it today it seems only to want to fall over in peace. To expire gracefully as all the other ruins have, having seen the best and worst of their times. The forum is a jumbled mess of several centuries all laid out and rather confusing. Impressive nonetheless. But one of the most impressive sights is not frequented by the throngs of Japanese tourists or sweating Germans. It is across the street. Trajans market was a massive place of commerce with hundreds of stalls spanning a vast courtyards and a three story building. It was, in every sense of the word, a mall. This is where I would have been spending all of MY time as a citizen of the empire. The sight is also in very good shape.
Today its off to the Catacombs to see piles of dominican monks laid out in interresting geographical patterns for reasons that escape even catholicism. We have books a tour out to Pompeii tomorrow. I have never in my years of travelling been with a tour group. But it will save a LOT of hassles, fighting with the trains, getting a guide etc. We think we will try to get to the port city of Ostia on Sunday before hitting the Vatican on Monday.
Veni Veggi Victels
"We came, we had a salad, and a nice sandwich"