Rome Rocks! —Day 2

Posted by on Aug 5, 2011 in Fun, Vacation | No Comments
An Angel.

An Angel.

We closed the second night of our Rome visit listening to the amazing voice and guitar of SandsAcoustic. Before, we had climbed the top of Castel S. Angelo – which currently is open at night – and enjoyed a view of Rome at night. The building itself is quite astonishing too. So my two top sights-to-see did not disappoint me: the Pantheon and the Castle of Angels.

We started in the morning with a bus tour around the city. From the available alternatives, we chose Rome Open Tour which has green buses (for no particular reason). It has a stop quite near to our lodgings and their ads where the first we saw. So we walked through Via Di Ripetta (quite slowly as there are many small interesting shops) to the Mausoleum of Augustus (Mausoleo di Augusto), a large tomb built by the Roman Emperor Augustus in 28 BC. Unfortunately you can’t get in and the fence limits the view, it looks quite astounding.

Mausoleo di Augusto

Mausoleo di Augusto

The bus took us to Termini, the central station, where we might go again on Sunday to see the Terme Di Diocleziano (a public bath from Roman times for >3k people) from around 300 AD with the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (which Michelangelo built later in the frigidarium inside the baths, which cover 120ksqm).

Santa Maria degli Angeli

Santa Maria degli Angeli

After enjoying the view over the city from the Piazza del Quirinale and passing the awesome Typewriter (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II) we came to one of the most famous places in Rome: the Colosseum. Even though I knew it was huge, it’s still impressive.

The Colossesum

The Colosseum

And although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, these millennia-old buildings have some quality or atmosphere that century-old ones don’t. It’s more than knowing how old they are, more than the damages they have (quite obvious on the Colosseum) and more than the astonishing details that still function … Did you know that the rain coming into the Pantheon through the central 9m hole in the dome is still drained away by almost imperceptible holes in the floor?

Pantheon rainwater drain

Pantheon rainwater drain

On to the Vatican our bus went, passing more sights than I care to list… My favourite being Castel Sant’Angelo, Hadrian’s Mausoleum, which we accidentally passed again at 10pm. Noticing crowds and music, we curiously approached to find it open! A reading of Dante and Shakespeare was due in half an hour… Such luck!

Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo

We went to the top first, shooting a few photos of Rome by night from above, then sat down and relaxed and listened…

Which we continued a bit later on the Tiber’s bank, deciding quickly for a late beer when we heard the amazing voice and beat of SandsAcoustic coming up from the river… I’ve seldom heard one woman with an acoustic guitar create a quality of sound (supported by a bass) comparable to what Francesca Paganucci sent out into the night…

To fill in the rest of the day… We went to the Piazza Navona (less impressive than expected) and found on the way the Pasticceria Cinque Lune with absolutely divine sweets…

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We followed the hallowed path to visit Giordano Bruno in the Campo dei Fiori, which was recommended to have a coffee there by my awesome friend @cuxdu… We had beer instead, and enjoyed some tap-dancing, before we dived into a net of narrow streets with awesome art shops… On the way to Castel Sant’Angelo we found dinner somewhere..

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