Tuesday, 6 March 2018
I woke up pretty refreshed and had the rest of yesterday’s grocery shopping for breakfast. It was POURING outside, not just a drizzle like it was yesterday, but full-on torrents of rain. But oh well, whatcha gonna do….I headed out anyway. I took the bus to the remains of the Caracalla thermal baths and tried to find the entrance. I walked all around the site, but just couldn’t find an entrance….
but I got some nice views. Since I was pretty much able to see most of the huge structure from the outside (and never found the entrance) I ended up leaving without going in.
I headed to Tastecchio market next. Pretty nice, great selection of all Italian produce and home to a legendary sandwich shop called …. where I got a Poppatelle di nonna (Grandma’s meatballs) sandwich to go. The plan was to head back to the hostel and rest for a bit….which ended up taking over an hour. I waited at the bus stop for Bus 170, whiich supposedly runs every 10 minutes, except it just didn’t. And when it eventually rolled up after 35 minutes it was PACKED. With a LOT of wet people….
But I did make it back eventually and sat down to enjoy my sandwich. Which was so simple, but really good. Awesome fresh tomato sauce and tasty meatballs.
After a nap I headed to the national museum, which was pretty decent. I especially liked the reconstructed Roman rooms, interior design and all that. The ticket is €10 for just this museum, or €15 for a total of four sites. I got the combo ticket and I think that’s the better value, I would have been kinda disappointed if I had paid 10€ for just that place.
A quick stop at termini station for some pizza, expensive but oh so good and then I headed to my second free tour of this stay. Rome’s ultimate, it starts at Piazza del Popolo and goes through the backstreets of Rome, ending at Castel del’ Angelo.
Joeb, our guide, was AWESOME; Originally from Philadelphia he has lived in Italy for 20 years and has not only historical knowledge,but also some everyday tips for surviving in Rome. The whole tour lasted more than 3 hours (some of it in pouring rain); and we were fed with so many interesting facts that I can remember maybe half of them.
But some things I learned from this tour:
- Peter,one of the statues at Porto del Popolo (the people’s gate) is like heaven’s bouncer; no matter who you know, if you’re not on the list, you ain’t gettin’in (to heaven, that is)
- Rome is obsessed with water, which is why Neptun is still one of the city’s observed pagan deities….and if you look at Piazza del Popolo from above, the three major roads visible will look like Neptun’s trident
- before drones there were donkeys; a donkey breeder of antiquity was like the owner of freaking Amazon
- ancient Romans liked to settle conflict by ‘bringing the peace’..sometimes so much peace that absolutely no trace of your enemy was left
- Quote from Jobe:Yeah, have you listened to the fascist proclamations of Mussolini,all he basically said was that he would ‘make Italy great again’, yeah; i know, that joke was a lot funnier before 2016
At the end of the tour my head was full, my feet were tired and all I wanted was some food….so then I headed to La Fiaschetta for some awesome (though somewhat pricier) bruschetta with buffalo mozzarella and anchovies, followed by pasta cacio e pepe…..heavenly. And the house wine was awesome too.
I headed home and low and behold I actually ended up having a conversation with one of my roommates, a nice guy from Brasil.What is it about late night conversations with strangers….you usually are more open with them than even your friends back home…
And I was glad to be able to dry out all my stuff…it was one rainy day.
Keeping you posted..