Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rome, Via Appia Antica

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We sadly headed out from Florence the next morning (the 19th) by train and arrived in Rome before lunchtime. We knew Rome was packed full of sites to see but weren't sure what to expect as to the walk-ability of it all. Luckily our hotel was really close to the train station, so we just walked over a couple blocks. We stayed using points at the Boscolo Exedra Roma, which is quite impressive. It was almost too huge though! I felt like it took us at least 10 minutes just to get from our room out to the street. I definitely felt fancy staying there (the guide we had the next day told us Ocean's 12 used it for filming) and the location was overall very convenient.
We were excited to explore the hotel when we first got there...
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up on the rooftop...
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After grabbing a quick lunch at Bufala e Pachino (that we loved for price, convenience and tastiness) we walked over to the National Museum of Rome, which was huge! It was a great museum. Lots more sculpture to see and tons of enourmous mosaics that were made of the teeniest tiles to create some beautiful artwork. One of my favorite parts (aside from Mike being hilarious) was an exhibit of Roman money that had ancient Roman coins progressing throughout the years all the way to currency of today. There were also some cool exhibits where they actually set up the wall frescoes and the mosaic floors in the floorplan of the homes that they were found in. It is crazy to see the actual photographs of how they found the ruins and then get to see the artwork. I can't get over how much detail was put into every room of the homes!
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He totally jumped in and did this at the last minute...I die laughing everytime I come across it haha! We thought the facial expressions were hilarious on this row :-).
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molds to make coins
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When we finished in the museum we walked over to the train station to get a taxi and had him drop us off at the very end of the Appian Way, at least as far as he could drive down it. We walked down it a bit and then turned around and started back towards Rome. Our plan was to walk it all the way back to Rome but there was a section that wasn't safe to walk with cars driving back and forth so we took a pedestrian walk that ran parallel to it for that portion.
We stopped to look at some old churches and buildings along the way and also stopped and went into the Catacombs of St. Sebastian. You had to go through with a guide (we understood once we started why...it would be very easy to get lost in the dark maze of tombs down there!) and unfortunately we ended up with a boring guide, but the site itself was very interesting.
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(since we couldn't take pictures in the catacombs I found this pic online) and we exited out through the chapel that is in the following picture.
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The walk was long, and we got a little lost, but we had fun together just exploring. We walked past the Baths of Caracalla and up around Palatine Hill, then continued up Capitoline Hill ending at the Victor Emmanuel Monument. By this time we were pretty beat and getting very hungry :-). We hopped in a taxi to the Trevi Fountain (which was surpringly ENOURMOUS and EXTREMELY crowded!) and then walked over to the Spanish steps, which were under construction so no pictures. We found one of Rick Steve's restaurant recommendations for dinner, Il Gabriello, and were lucky enough to get a table without a reservation. Everything we had was delicious and we ate way too much but we had earned it :-)!
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everywhere you turn there is some other huge old amazing thing!
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