Happy birthday Mum
July 10 th
Discovering Ancient Roma
Whilst Stan and Karen forged off in search of modern art, Alex, Cassie and I plunged ourselves into ancient history. We took a guided tour of the Colisseum, Roman Forum and Palantine Hill.
Our guide, Mariella, is an archeologist so this is her favourite place. Since the economic crisis jobs in this field are hard to come by. It's an impressive site pl, so big and the fact that it was built without machinery, by slaves over 8 years and it lasted so long is quite amazing. Most of the damage to the buildings has been done by people rather than weather or environmental factors. Looting for building materials especially bronze, lead, marble and ready made bricks was rife especially in the Middle Ages, as the locals built their own homes and temples. The Popes were just as guilty in having statutes melted down and stealing of artworks for their own palaces.
It was a good tour, just felt quite long in the heat and crowds. The rest of our group were all Americans! The guide assumed we'd all seen the movie " the gladiator ". I was embarrassed to admit that I had not, as I can't stand Russell Crowe and we were the only Aussies in the group! Must watch it now, she thinks it's a fairly good representation of life at that time.
Later that afternoon we checked out the Panthenon, Piazza Navona ( Stan's favourite), ate more gelati and the most significant event was that Alex found a dress that might be the one for her house dinner. So maybe it hasn't come from Paris, but saying it came from Rome is still pretty special. I also found a nice frock, although the pushy salesperson almost put me off it.
More pizza and pasta for dinner, a wander through the night markets/ cafes along the river Tevere, where poor Karen tripped on the slippery stairs. Another late night.
Interestingly there has been a thunderstorm with rain every afternoon, very tropical. We have managed the public transport system, although the metro is not as extensive in central Rome as in Paris or London. The bus network is confusing, and our closest line very crowded. We got on this tiny bus, then as more passengers squished on, an older lady was emphatically trying to get Karen to move into a space that did not exist, before she tired on a pink haired girl sitting down. Very funny ( and smelly). No one ever checks tickets. Gypsies and beggars are everywhere but we managed to avoid them.