Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rome Day 3: Colisseo, Trevi Fountain

By Justin Cruz

June 22, 2012

To start day three, we ate pastries at the cafe we had for the last two. Then we went for a long walk through the twisted, cobbled streets of Rome. Our destination: The Collesseum. Along the way, we made a couple of stops. First, we stumbled upon a street market in a little square not to far from our apartment. It wasn't unlike the farmer's markets you'd find on certain days around San Francisco, and just as crowded. Then, we chanced upon another nice surprise: the remains of the Teatro di Marcelo.

The first of a few relics we saw that day, it was already one the most impressive. After a half hour or so of admiring the remains of the theatre, we went back to the streets, and set out for our next checkpoint: Capitolini Hill. There, we found yet another unexpected landmark. The Piazza del Campidoglio. A beautiful square designed by Michaelangelo, sitting in one of the more spectacular parts of the city. Set around a statue of Marcus Aurelius, lying in front of amazing buildings, and surrounded by impressive sculptures, the Capitol Square was the highlight of the day.

From there, we went to the Collisseum itself. Even from afar it stood out as the most stunning landmark outside the Vatican, and none of us could wait to reach the aweinspiring beast of a structure. That didn't stop us from taking a break for some fruit at a stand on the roadside. Once we were finally there, we took a few minutes to take in the impressive sight of one of the world's great wonders, and to have a look at statues and archs in the surrounding area. Once we were ready to enter the Collisseum, we discovered the disappointment of the day: it was closed due to national strike.

Despite that, it was a wonder to behold, and I have to say that I'm glad we visited it, even if we couldn't actually go in. From there, we started our quest home, stopping for two things: lunch (which was delicious), and a parade. A strike parade, one that, once again, we didn't expect to find. As fun as it was to watch, our hunger kept us from staying long, so we went to look for a place to eat, stopping at the first resturaunt we saw. It was a small familly owned place, and while we didn't know what we were ordering (the waiter that took our order barely spoke any English), the food was fantastic.

Once home, still not set internally to the time zone, we all took a long rest, waking that evening at around 8:00. Then, out we went for an evening stroll, on our way to the Fontana di Trevi. Rome is one of those cities where no matter how impressive it is during the day, it's a hundred times better at night. The walk through the streets we go on every night is the part of the day I look forward to the most. The maze of streets coupled with the look of the city lit only by it's own light makes for a remarkable experience.

The fountain itself was was really something. Crowded as one would expect, but worth the visit. We all did the tourist thing to do and threw a coin over our shoulders into the water, each of us hoping that a return visit to the city would indeed be in our future. Then back home we went, and still tired from our long day even after our midday rest, we all went to bed, satisfied from a day of sightseeing in one of the world's most attractive cities, but also glad to be out of the heat.

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