Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The City by Day and Night

Saturday morning, we got a little bit of a later start due to the fact that we had a little bit of fun reuniting and hanging out the night before.  Everyone was tired and the thought of getting up early and hitting the town was just not as appealing as it had sounded the day before. Sorry not sorry. 

Once we finally got up and going, there were probably about 15-20 (including multiple children and one stroller) of us who took the bus into town.  Mike and I, being kid-less, had never really traveled with a stroller.  I was amazed at how hard it is to travel with a stroller.  Even if things like the metro stations are stroller/handicapped accessible (which they aren't!), the streets are not.  Luckily, we were a large group with lots of hands to carry strollers down steps and up escalators, but it was definitely a sight to see!  It was totally worth it because we quickly got a glimpse at this beauty.






Half of our group was doing a guided tour, so we divided and headed our own way.  We had our buddy Rick Steves with us via podcast, so we opted out of the guided tour.  Melissa and Ryan, who we had been traveling with pre-Rome, joined us and we ventured inside.  I remember going to the Coliseum with the Russo clan when I was eleven, but I was excited to revisit it and see if it stood the test of time (and my terrible memory). It most definitely did.  It's pretty incredible, especially when you think about the lack of technology that the Romans had when building it. We all just stood there in awe imagining animals down on the ground and thousands of spectators watching from above.  Absolutely incredible. 










My memory of the Coliseum is from being up top and there is a reason for that. It's even more stunning than the ground floor.  Mike didn't go up top the first time he was there and it was so cool to watch him experience it for the first time. He said he was underwhelmed the first time with the Coliseum, but the view from the top changed his mind for sure.  I really felt like I was a spectator watching a major event.



So excited that this panorama came out well!













After a ton of pictures (there were even more than what I posted here.  You're welcome for not overloading you even more) and 30 minutes of Rick Steve's audio tour, Melissa, Ryan, Mike and I headed out to the Forum, which is down the street from the Coliseum.  I don't remember going here before and Mike had not, so it was a new experience for both of us, which was cool.   We started from the bottom now we're here! See what I did there?  But really, we started at the bottom and walked up to see everything from the top, which was cool and really allowed us to see the layout of what  center of public life in ancient Rome looked and felt like.



The boys....

Hi Melissa!


look who we found!

Once we followed the path up to the top of the overlook, we were greeted with incredible views.





I'm glad that we went to the top first because it really helped me visualize how the city was laid out.  Sometimes when we go to see ruins, I have a hard time understanding the layout.  After taking in the views from the top, we went down to walk around the ruins.













We had a little while before we were to meet up with the rest of the group for dinner, so we decided to grab a drink.  We found this awesome beer bar and were glad to grab a drink and rest for a little while before dinner. 

I had very low expectations for finding a restaurant that could hold 20+ people on Saturday night without a reservation, but somehow we managed to find a restaurant.  Mind you, we took over that entire restaurant, but it was amazing. It was fun hearing about everyone's day in the city since we hadn't met back up with most people.  I love hearing people's stories of their first visit to amazing landmarks such as the Coliseum because their eyes light up and they get so excited, as they should.  Always so fun.

After dinner, some people headed home while the rest of us explored the city at night.  Rome, especially the Trevi Fountain, is worth visiting at night.  The way the light shines on the fountain is incredible.






Claire and I had a little fun taking pictures of each other taking pictures....





And we ended our day full of sight seeing with one last glimpse of this beauty befor heading home.



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