roma: bones, playgrounds, mass, & biscotti
Saturday the 26th of February
Day 2 of Rome was full of walking around, exploring, and eating good food: the three best things to do in a new city. We visited more churches, and I got to see a good portion of Rome’s “must-see”s, including the Pantheon, La Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish Steps, and the Coliseum.
But you know me. I get most excited to take pictures of the little things. Like this darling tiny orange car!
And the perfect miniature boot in this shop window display…
And the tiny little silk elephant hanging from this shop’s door handle!
(ps: click any of these photos to enlarge!)
Not only did we stop by all sorts of big tourist areas, but Katie also found a few sites less frequently traveled. The Capuchin Crypt was super interesting to see while bordering on incredibly creepy… the wikipedia article explains it well, but it was basically a series of rooms decorated with the bones of old dead monks. And decorated really is the proper word… individual bones were stuck to the ceiling in artistic formations. It was absurd but really, really cool! Unfortunately no pictures were allowed inside :(
Then we got lunch at a deli… my sandwich was hard salami with fresh mozzarella. It was such a simple sandwich but it was so perfectly delicious; that simplicity is one thing we Americans don’t understand and I’d say it’s what makes Italian food so wonderful. I also had a delightful peach juice box :)
We ate in a park near the Coliseum, and then I found a playground!
I loved the block with the 4 popsicles and took so many pictures of these that an Italian guy came up to me:
him: something in italian that sounded like a confused question… my guess: why are you taking a picture of this?
me: i like the ice cream! (pointing)
him: gelati? (a word i understand! because it’s an important one.) more italian
While I could get by using my Spanish knowledge to read signs and such, I can’t understand spoken Italian at all. And making conversation with Italian dudes who hang around playgrounds wasn’t high on my list of priorities. So that’s when Katie and I left the playground.
We also went to the Basilica di San Clemente, which is a basilica on top with two layers beneath it. The bottommost layer was initially a Roman house of sorts (1st century AD!) that was used by the Christians for Mass when it was illegal to practice Christianity in Rome. Going down through the layers was incredible, like stepping through time. We saw old remnants of frescoes on the walls, a small ancient water supply way, and old pottery. I can’t imagine having to go to Mass underground! And with such huge risks! I owe my religion’s survival to some amazingly brave people.
We got to go to an Italian Mass on Saturday night at a church just around the corner from Katie’s apartment. It was a tiny church; there were less than 20 people at the service, and most of them were nuns. They handed out a leaflet with all the Mass parts in Italian, so I could even read along with everything! It was a really great part of my trip; I love how the Catholic Mass never changes, no matter where I am or what language they speak there.
Dessert dinner! We ran by a bakery on our way home and picked up way more pastries than intended (this was just my plate!). Katie made a great salad and then we had pastry sampling time. I actually saved most of these for later, it was a great show of self control on my part. Although, for all their glorious food, Italian desserts don’t hold a candle to France.. or Germany.. or Spain. That’s my vote.
No explanation necessary.
It was a beautiful day in the ancient city!