June 13, 2011

Checking out the Colosseum (Day 3, June 12)

Today was the actual start of touring and the plan was to visit the Colosseum late morning, so we didn’t have to rush. The Vatican was also supposed to have been today but it being Pentecost Sunday, everything would be closed, hence we will go tomorrow instead.

We were provided nifty little headsets and at the Colosseum, we were met with a local guide named Emilia who provided a running commentary of the sights as she walked us through the Arch of Constantine, Palatino and Colosseum.


There was a long, snaking queue to get in but we had a group reservation hence we just whizzed in. She related some background information and stories, then we had some free time to explore. It was high noon and the sun was directly overhead, very glaring for photos!

Once the group met up, we took a short drive to Circus Maximus but it looked a bit sad, compared to how it could have been in gladiator times with chariot races and other spectator events.

We opted to hop out after seeing it, and made our way to the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, which is famous for the Bocca della Verita or Mouth of Truth, that was featured in Roman Holiday.

Of course my trip wouldn’t have been complete without this ‘pilgrimage’ to where Audrey Hepburn once stood so we joined the queue and waited our turn to snap a picture, for the small cost of 50cents euro, before taking a quick look at the church itself.



That done, we crossed the Tiber River and wandered around Trastevere, a charming area known for its restaurants and cobblestoned streets.


Had lunch at a trattoria, aglio olio for ma and a set meal for me. Ma bought some arrabiatta spice mix at Campo del Fiore yesterday and has been bringing it everywhere to add some chilli to her meals!

I ordered the wrong set, thinking I was just going to get a bruschetta, lasagne, drink and dessert for 10 euro but I picked a menu that came with a second plate or second main course and when I thought I was done with my lasagne, out come a plate of pork and oxtail! The waitress was nice enough to doggy bag it, and Ma gave it to a gypsy beggar.


We went into the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere next. The church interior was beautiful and Ma went nuts snapping away. If you think I’m trigger-happy, guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!


After exiting Trastevere, we walked along the river to Ponte Garibaldi to take pictures of Tiber Island before crossing the island and walking back to the hotel. Naturally mummy got distracted along the way, taking to take pictures of everything and anything! And I thought I was bad, she’s way worse!



The sky was a gorgeous blue though so we happily snapped away at roofs and sculptures as we passed by Marcello’s Theatre, the ‘wedding cake’, Campidoglio and Trajan’s Column.


Stopped to tapau some dinner back and once on Via Nazionale we entered a couple of shops that were still open. I bought a top and Ma bought a tee.

Am so pooped and my feet are aching. I don’t know where Ma is getting all her energy from. She’s been taking glucosamine, makes her like an energizer bunny, she doesn’t feel tired from all the walking! We were on our feet for practically 9 hours today!

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