The last day of the trip was my favourite. That is possibly something to do with the fact that I started it by eating tiramisu. Maybe. We packed our bags ready to leave and left them in the apartment til later.
We started out with coffee, obviously. I was doing a great job at attempting to develop a coffee habit. Their cappuccinos don’t come hot, which confused me. I think it could be to do with the fact that coffee is very functional there. People don’t walk around with huge coffees in takeaway cups. You have a small cup standing at a bar or sitting in a cafe and you drink it quickly before going to work in the morning, hence it comes lukewarm, instead of hot. Anyone know anything about how Italians drink coffee who can prove or disprove my theory?
Anyway, after coffee and tiramisu, we headed around the Colossuem to the Palatine Hill, where all the rich people and emperors lived.
The weather was beautiful and I think the area surrounding it is still quite upmarket. Something about it felt different, nicer. There was a sports ground near the ruins on Palatine Hill where tanned older gentlemen ran around the track in pairs, looking like retired film stars.
We went to the Baths of Caracalla, the ruins of the world’s largest leisure centre. It is so immense, you can’t quite take in what you are seeing.
The entire thing was for bathing. It had all those cold rooms and hot rooms and parts where you swim and parts where you plunge before going into a different room, etc. The complex was on two floors and also had shops and other things in the building.
Entire sections of the mosaic floor are still in place and there are huge chunks of mosaics from the second floor dotted around from when the upstairs sections collapsed.
After this, we kept following the Palatine Hill down to the Circus Maximus, where the chariot races used to take place. It was the world’s largest arena. (There are lots of ‘world’s largest’ things in Rome.)
Both ends have building work going on, which looks a bit like reconstruction work on the ruins of the seating area but we couldn’t see for definite. This is what the chariot race scene in Ben Hur is based on, if any of you have seen it.
After this, we headed through Roman Holiday territory, past the Mouth of Truth that Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn go to, and to the Teatro Di Marcellus. This might have been the thing that I liked the most, in terms of old and new Rome meeting. The two thousand year old building has a new section built on top if it, two floors of apartments.
I really REALLY want to live there. How amazing would that be?
Once we had spent a while wandering around the old porticos, we were in what had once been decreed a Jewish Ghetto and the Jewish people who lived there had all their rights as citizens taken away from them. There didn’t seem to be a reason apart from that the emperor at that time had decided it.
We were right next to the Tiber by this point so we stopped for a quick espresso and ice cream break. I had tiramisu flavoured ice cream. Danda had an ice cream who’s flavour we couldn’t read on the label and that he loved. He said it was the best ice cream he had ever tasted.
We headed to Tiber Island next, which has always had a connection with medicine. Even now, it still has a hospital run by nuns. On the other side of the river is Trastevere, where we had lunch. Friends had recommended the restaurants in this part of town so we stopped in the first place we saw, Ristorante “la Cornucopia”.
We shared a tomato and mozzarella salad then had a sea bass dish, which looked a bit normal but tasted phenomenal.
There we were, the sun was shining, we were surrounded by greenery, street musicians were serenading the diners and my lunch was amazing. That was probably my favourite moment of the trip. I was just revelling in the luxury of being able to do nothing for a while.
Soon after this, we had to think about making our way to the airport so we walked back to the apartment to get our bags and headed to the tube station next to the Colossuem.