Time for another “Roma” update: We just finished day two of touring the eternal city with guides and on our own. 20,553 steps on my pedometer is quite respectable – I did’t get to check yesterday’s final number, but it must have been quite high as well judging by how fast we fell asleep.
We started yesterday with a three hour bike tour. Fabio was fabulous! The way our guide navigated the streets, threaded us in and out of traffic and imparted historical information was impressive. There were only four participants (the image above was taken today after I realized that I forgot to take a picture of our group yesterday) and the pace very agreeable.
We briefly stopped at the theatre that was converted into a palazzo during the Middle Ages adjacent to the remaining columns of the Temple of Apollo before we arrived in the former Jewish Ghetto with its architectural landmark, the synagogue. The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Campo de Fiore with its daily market, and the fountain of the four rivers concluded the tour and left us full of great impressions, longing for more. We walked back to the Trevi Fountain only to be overwhelmed by the people and noise that come with such huge crowds.
A restful afternoon left us rejuvenated to catch a bus to dinner near the meeting point for our scheduled “Dark Rome Tour”.
No, this was not our guide – we avoided the “umbrella in the air, makeshift flag” tour leader at all cost! Instead we met Massimo at the steps of San Andrea Della Valle near the Largo di Torre Argentina.
Massimo immediately engaged our small group. We began with short introductions and a correction to the advertised tour. ” this is not a ghost tour. I will not tell you legends – this is a tour that will bring you drama and history!” were Massimo’s words. This was great news for us – as we wanted facts and more history!
The full moon was our constant companion as we walked through medieval Rome, spanning nearly five centuries. When we parted at Castel San Angelo at midnight we were felt that the night tour was even more informative than the morning bike tour. Massimo was so enthusiastic about each historical fact. He brought to life popes, noblemen, women and historical locations with his lively storytelling – it was hard to believe that we had covered so many kilometers in 2.5 hours.
Our feet a bit worse for wear, we purchased an all day bus tickets and began our own exploration at the at sanctuary and ancient ruins at Largo di Torre Argentina. We expected countless felines sunning themselves but only a few cats made their presence known.
This was followed by another visit to Piazza del Campo di Fiore, the market. We spent time walking among the fruit, vegetable and delicatessen vendors. We watched people – mainly tourists like us… Romans do their shopping early in the day when the offerings are at their freshest!
Eventually we began walking toward Trastevere, one of the destinations of our choice. Here are just a few images I captured with my iPad… Images from my camera will have to wait till I get back to Canada.