On our last full day in Rome we ventured out to find the remaining quintesentially Roman things to see. Basically – all those things that you see in every guide book, that we hadn’t seen yet and would feel like we lacked something if we missed.
We got on this really cool mini-electric bus to ride through town over towards our first stop, the Spanish steps. The bus ended up being a pretty cool way to see a lot of the city. It was so small that it bounced along many twisted narrow cobblestone roads (that I wouldn’t have thought a car could even drive down) and see so many parts of the city.
From there we wandered over towards the Trevi Fountain. Since this was really the only sunny day we had in Rome, we stopped for some Gelato just before we got to the fountain. I’m pretty sure we spent about as much time deciding on flavours as we did actually consuming them.
We also got to the Pantheon. It was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa (hence you can still see his name on the outside) and was build in the 1st century as a temple to all (pan) the Roman gods (theos). It’s been a Catholic church (at least in theory) since the 7th century – meaning it’s been in constant use for 20 centuries – and also was spared when so many other pagan temples weren’t. The only thing that I’ll say about it is this: the dome is made of concrete, and was the largest unreinforced concrete dome when it was built —-and IT STILL IS – 2000 years later.
We wandered through some more piazzas, and it was starting to rain and get colder – so we found the same bus route, and took our little mini-bus back towards the apartment.
After we warmed up and dried off we weren’t sure what to do next. We had seen all of the major items that we wanted to, and didn’t have tonnes of time left. There was one more church that had some kind of archeological dig underneath it that we had walked past a few times, but we thought perhaps we should check to see if the kids were up for it. So I asked “who wants to go see another old church…” – I didn’t even get to the “..or who would like to do something else” part before I was interrupted with “Yeah” “ME” and “I Do”. Kids after a nerd’s own heart.
San Clemente was this AMAZING church where there is the ‘new church’ (built in the 12 century) – which up until just 150 years ago they though it was the original church. Then an Irish priest started digging under the church and found the 6th century church – incredibly intact. Then under that – they found a 2nd century building! I have no idea how they ever get Metro lines dug under this town. It seems you can’t stick a shovel in the ground more than a meter before you hit some 2000 year old treasure.
San Clemente was on the street that lead right up to the colosseum – and it was just starting to get dark when we came out, so we thought maybe we’d head back over to look at the Colosseum one more time.
Early the next morning we headed for the airport and back home.
All I can say is – if you can get return flights to rome for €50 each (including all taxes and charges) – I highly recommend you go.