Rome wasn't built in a day and it's pretty much impossible to see all that there is to see in a day as well. Since we were only a couple of hours away, the big kids and I took another day trip.
Now ... I admit to failure when I hit the road in the UK with all it's opposite sidedness. But it was most cost effective to drive into Rome and well, Rome is a town with no road rules.
Italians. Drive. Crazy.
That's all there is to it.
And city driving is crazier than anywhere else.
Road lanes are just a good guideline. Traffic lights are a mere suggestion. Motorcycles fluctuate between street and bicycle rules driving interchangeably from sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and the street itself. Everyone passes on any side and sometimes make their own way. It's nuts.
We left early in the morning to make the drive and headed straight for The Colosseum.
Which was more massive than we expected it to be. We came around there corner and were stunned by it's looming height.
Before going in, we had downloaded Rick Steve's transcript telling about the history of that place. We snagged a spot in the shade on what is considered "the cheap seats". These kids were glued as I read to them, bringing alive the gladiators, roar of the crowd, fear and excitement, Roman emperors, and Christian conquest
Reading that detailed description, we were sort of swept back in time.
Sitting way up in the balconies, we contemplated how a group of people could possible be so entertained by such cruelties. Yet, there we sat so far up and detached from reality down on the floor below. Not a whole lot different than our society really. There was a pretty great discussion on that between us.
Our ticket also included the Roman Forum so we headed on over there.
Again, we were blown away by the sprawl.
We sat again and read Rick Steve's history. We could almost hear Marc Antony declaring from the top of the stairs, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears!"
Everything feels so accessible. It's just right there. No car traffic. No outside noise.
We could have spent all day seeing every detail of the forum but the afternoon was getting late and we still had more we wanted to see and a long drive home.
We were hot. As we crossed through the streets to other sights, we passed an outdoor cafe with cooling mist-ers and inviting aromas.
Stopping for an authentic lasagna was a must.
While we sat there, a guy playing an accordion walked by and these girls faces right up.
We all had a good laugh because Celia literally teared up because her trip to Rome was suddenly complete.
I checked in with Newel and the little kids. He sent me this picture.
Back at home, Francesco had made them homemade pizza from the pizza oven for lunch so I guess they were doing alright without us.
After lunch, we made our way to check out Trevi Fountain.
We were sort of disappointed there. We had hoped to toss in our coin and make a wish but it had been drained for some work. Even so, tourists were crammed into that square shoulder to shoulder so we left pretty quick.
We headed down a side street and stopped to get a couple of rings from these jewelry crafters.
Further down the side street, we passed by some beggars with some pretty serious deformities. Christian took all the money we had left and distributed it between them. Walking along, he kept wishing we had more to give. I do so love that boy.
We passed some other beautiful buildings.
And stopped for a minute to rest tired feet and cool it in the shade on beautiful steps.
Before leaving home, we had a Roman Holiday party. Thanks to Audrey Hepburn, we just had to stick our hands into the Mouth of Truth.
No one lost a hand so we must have only told truths about ourselves.
By early evening we needed to hit the road. Walking back to the car, we passed by a drainage ditch where pieces of colonnade were being excavated.
Every inch of Rome is something from an ancient time.
It is simply amazing.
We jumped right into rush hour traffic headed out of the city. Shouted at by truck drivers, transversed by motorcycles, walked over by pedestrians ... even had a girl talking on a cellphone on a motorbike wearing heels create her own lane between our car and a passing train ... still, we made it out in one piece.
And that's Rome in one day.