It was another early morning with everyone feeling awake a few minutes to 6:00am. Our goal for today was to hit up the last tourist sites on our to-do list; Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. It was going to be another scorcher so we knew we had to be there when the gates opened at 9:00…but still, we were awake at 6am…that was a lot of time to kill.
Middle Sissy FaceTimed us and that gave us an opportunity to give her the grand tour of our apartment including a view out of our fabulous windows. This morning she got a great Facebook show as the first floor butcher shop received fresh orders of assorted meats. In American, the land of Safeway and Costco, kids only know meat in the neat precut and pre-wrapped packages in the meat department or the pretty butcher wrapped packages from Whole Foods. Watching the young men below unload the carcasses was one of those “cock-your-head-to-the-side” moments. One by one a new truck would arrive, one with whole pigs, one with chickens, one with lamb. I imagine these were farm fresh and not some big corporate producer like Foster Farms (at least I hope not, ruins the image).
After we got ready, we crossed the alley to our now favorite morning coffee shop and then down the block to the market for milk and rolls. Check out the size of those puppies!
By 9am we were off and the heat was already thick. 30 minutes later with the sun even brighter, we entered the Colosseum, it was like…”WOW!” Not from the view itself but the heat radiating off the stone. You know, I’ve been to Rome before. However, never cared to go inside the Colosseum or the Roman Forum. I’ve often heard travel guides with the same sentiment and you know, they were right. You can see a lot of it from the street. I’m sure I would have had a lot of “bad Mommy” guilt had I come all this way and not taken the kids inside, but they kind of felt the same way. It was cool…it was big…it was old, but no one needed more than 20 minutes to see it. BAM, check that one off the list in less than 30 minutes.
Across the street, we weren’t so lucky with the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. It was another IKEA experience where you walked and walked and prayed the exit was around the corner. Don’t get me wrong, I can walk for miles sometimes. I’ve walked for 10 hours around Las Vegas…shopping. But walking 1 hour in extreme heat, humidity, downward sloping stairways and on uneven stone roads…it’s a wonder I didn’t break my ankle. Ben was a true Scout, he kept going and going, many times ahead of me to see if one walk way led to an exit or a dead end. I reiterate…much of this can be seen from the sidewalk. Theoretically it would have been lovely to linger, sit under a tree and read a book. Perhaps it would not have been so bad had it been at least 30 degrees cooler. I got some cool pictures at least.
We were finished and backing the apartment, hiding from the heat, by noon. I gathered the laundry for the laundry land and made a nice pasta lunch. I have much commentary on Italian day-to-day life and why I find it so attractive,but that will have to be another post.
By 6:00pm, things cooled down enough for a evening walk to find dinner. We climbed the Spanish Steps and tried to find one restaurant but it turned out that Google Maps had mis-marked it’s location. Bummer. We eventually cruised up Via Veneto and found ourselves at the Hard Rock Cafe. That place was busting at the seams with Americans…even funnier to me were the number of children between 10-14. I suspect they too had grown tired of pasta and red sauce.
The stroll back with lovely. We took a short respite on the Spanish Steps to enjoy the sunset view, people watch and offered to be picture-takers for couples posing on the steps. On the way back, that’s when we followed the large crowd of locals to the Piazza del Popolo.
Tomorrow, we attempt to venture out to the sea.