Our first full day in Rome was spent seeing some of the most famous sights in the world. We started with what Rick Steves calls the “Caesar Shuffle.” First, the Colosseum, an absolutely breathtaking and beautiful arena. I highly recommend you plan to take the English tour of the lower grounds. We didn’t know what time it took place so we didn’t plan to be there at the right time. To participate we would have had to wait around for another two hours and we just didn’t have that in us, though I hate we missed that tour.
Here is a picture of me with my fantastic students who absolutely love history as much as I do! I had downloaded all of their iPods with the free audio guides by Rick Steves and we listened to these simultaneously. It was really neat to watch their little heads all turn at the same time or to see them laugh at the jokes as they listened.
More shots of the Colosseum. After the Colosseum we walked through the Forum. So very much to take in that I was a bit overwhelmed. A true student of history would want to spend a week on the Forum alone… with four kids, an hour was plenty. This was a view of the Arch of Constantine taken from within the Colosseum. Quick note of warning: We packed a simple picnic lunch to eat after the Colosseum but before the Forum. We parked ourselves at the base of the Arch of Constantine, just behind Carson’s hat in the following picture. Just as we were finishing up our meal the police came and shooed us away. OOPS! Walking up to the Forum area, letting Parker stretch his legs. My boys posing with their shadows at one of the super important ruin sites that I can’t remember anything about. If I’m not mistaken, this is the hut of Romulus and Remus. Rome was founded by Romulus and there is a fascinating legend about these two brothers. Surely Matt was not doing anything mildly inappropriate to make all three smile at the same time. Surely not. I’m fairly certain my husband wouldn’t make inappropriate sounds in public in order to evoke smiles from his children. Nope. Not Matt. Throughout the Forum are several of these water fountains. It was a fairly warm day and so they filled their water bottles several times. The Arch of Titus. Powerful story behind this monument and I hope you’ll go read about it. The boys and I studied it in depth and spent quite some time looking at it.
Once the boys had had their fill of the arch they played a few hands of rock-paper-scissors. We went back to our apartment after we saw everything we needed to see in the area for a good time of rest. That evening I got to take pictures of several monuments in the dark. I wish I had had my tripod, something I had left behind in Germany. I still got a few good shots and am so glad we did the night walking tour. Well, I say “tour” but don’t mean that we took a formal tour. Rick Steves has this tour mapped out in his book and we just followed his directions.
The Pantheon: The square just outside the Pantheon was one of my favorites in all of Italy. I really thought it, as well as this fountain, was beautiful. Of course, who can go to Rome and not see the Trevi Fountain?!? We enjoyed our visit but I wish I had better pictures of it. There were so many people and I didn’t have my tripod… excuses, excuses… I know.
The Spanish Steps. Very few of the pictures I took at Piazza Navona came out well because it was very dark. But I made this one work because of the dessert we had there. We had heard about tartufo and the descriptions made it sound amazing. It absolutely was.
What I think we’re doing today:
Today is our first full day at the beach and if I have anything to say about it, I’m going to suggest we head as quickly as possible to the nearest “all you can eat” seafood buffet. Know what my favorite is? Crab legs!