Monday, September 7, 2009

Tour of Roma by Bus :)

Hey it's Becca again - I said I'd be writing more often didn't I? We got the shuttle to the Vatican, and Jane showed us where to stand in St Peters square so that it looked like there was only one row of columns (the Elliptical Eye).
Then we got on our Hop on Hop off bus and decided to do the whole tour through first, so we got an overview and could decide what we wanted to get off at. By the time we had done this it was lunch time so we decided to get off at Piazza Navona to look for lunch. The Piazza Navona has a fountain that has a statue on each corner, each of these statues represents one of the four continents that was known at the time that the fountain was built; America, Africa, Asia and Europe...poor old NZ and Aussi hadn't been discovered yet! It was too expensive to have lunch in the Piazza Navona so on our way to the Pantheon we went up a side street and stopped at a little family restaurant, the meals were very yummy - I had a salami pizza...mmm! It was very funny as when Hannah went to the toilet she thought the wash basin tap was broken because, well there was no tap! However when Josh went he discovered that there was a foot pedal, this is very common in Italy. Hmm reading back it doesn't sound that funny but trust me it was at the time...guess you had to be there!
The Pantheon was Dad's favourite site in Roma because of the fact that it has survived from Roman times intact, and the amazing architectural design...for those of you who don't know the Pantheon is a round building with a hole in the dome for light, when it rains that comes in too - they compensated for this by putting 22 small drainage holes in the floor. Hannah and I tryed to find all 22 but gave up after only 15 - we got bored!
After the Pantheon we walked up to Trevi Fountain. At the Trevi Fountain there is a tradition of throwing coins in - if you throw 1 coin in you'll come back to Rome, if you throw 2 coins in you'll come back married and if you throw 3 you'll come back divorced...we all threw 1! Mum and Jane then made us walk up to the Piazza di Spagna with the promise of a gelato sitting on the Spanish steps... while there we also saw the Broken Boat Fountain where we filled up our drink bottles. Mum and Jane did not live up to their promise but we did get a gelato and it was from McDonalds...I bet you're thinking why go to McD's when you're in Italy?? I will answer that with because it was the best McD's ever... it had REAL gelato...even better than some I've had from proper Gelaterias!! Jane took us past some dead monks...I am NOT going to explain - it was too gross...however if you want to find out about this part of our stop please Google 'Cripta Dei Cappuccini'. After we did that we got back on the Hop on Hop off bus to get to the Colosseum.
Some facts about the Colosseum: Built in A.D. 72 - 80, Romes greatest amphitheatre has 80 arched entrances, access for 55,000 spectators, gladiator fights (not anymore OBVIOUSLY - back in actual Roman times for that one), christians were executed here by various means including slaughter by African animals (lions etc.). This was Josh's favourite place. I just asked Mum what her favourite place was and her reply was "Ohh I can't decide!!" a couple of minutes later she decided to add this : "I enjoyed walking around the streets seeing the thousands of years of history and I loved the fountains." Man that took her a while to get out!! Back on the bus again we went past the Palatine hill, with the ruins of the Forum, the Forum was the political centre of the Roman Empire. We also went past Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) which was ancient Roma's largest stadium, venue for horse and chariot races, athletic contests and wild animal fights. Then it was back to the Vatican to catch our shuttle back to Camping Roma.
Agian thats all for today but expect to hear more from me soon! Byyee Becca!!

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