November 02, 2013

Rome Adventure, Part 3

Sunday our group changed plans just a bit; Mom's legs were sore and swollen from all the walking of the previous day, so she and Dad opted to stay in the bungalow and have a day of rest.  Thankfully it was a beautiful day, Dad had lots of reading material, and they were able to enjoy a peaceful, quiet day.

The rest of us went back to the same parking garage we had used the day before and decided to go to a different bus stop since we had just missed the previous bus; unfortunately, we ended up wasting a lot of time as the buses rolled in and then sat at the terminal for what we felt was an unreasonably long time, considering they filled up and people just sat there waiting while the driver and crew ate food from McDonald's...

At any rate, we finally rode the bus to the Circus Maximus and had our picnic lunch there overlooking the grassy area that hosted games and races thousands of years ago.  On the other side is Palantine Hill, which we weren't able to tour; hopefully next time!

From there we did quite a bit of walking, with the next official stop being in Trastavere on the Tiber River.

 We enjoyed some fantastic gelato in the courtyard outside a cathedral said to hold the remains of Bartholomew.  After consuming gelato and visiting with a lovely Italian family for a bit, we crossed back over the bridge and entered the Jewish Ghetto.

This was a fantastic bit of history!  There is much that can be said about this, but I'll just write about the couple things we learned that I found most interesting.  The Jews were initially herded into this area of about three hectares in the 1500s, and it was because of this ostracizing that they were saved from the effects of the Plague!  Isn't God good?!  The picture immediately below shows the interesting contrast between the Jewish living quarters on the left and the line where the ghetto ends: note the buildings are the same height, but there are 6 floors in the Jewish building vs. three floors next door...

We bought some kosher snacks to share as we walked to our next stop, the location where Julius Caesar was assassinated.  It has become a haven for stray cats, with local volunteers taking care of the many felines roaming around the ruins.  The kids enjoyed watching and counting cats, while a few reenacted the "E tu, Brute?" scene!

More walking! Puttering around the streets in a foreign city is always interesting to me! We grabbed a couple of meringues from a bakery to try as we walked, discovered a museum with a Leonardo daVinci exhibit (we didn't go in but looked at a few displays outside), meandered over a bridge, and finally caught the last bus back to the terminal, more than ready for a good dinner.  Unfortunately, the restaurant meal was again disappointing--the food wasn't bad, but the portions were smaller and the prices higher, and the service was definitely not as good as the previous night's.  The last adventure of the day was having to get the Suburban jumped because the parking garage attendants had left the key turned in the ignition all day.  Thankfully, it only took about a half an hour with a screaming baby before we were able to escape. :-/  Otherwise, it was another wonderful day of sightseeing and memory making!

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