When In Rome…
I’m not sure where the phrase originated from, but we are enjoying the excitement and romance that is Rome. As I pondered that phrase, I began to wonder what exactly it means. Is it that there was something that you were asked to do when you came to Rome that was not appealing so you were told by your parents, “when in Rome, do what the Romans do?” – or is it that we sometimes take life too seriously and when we come to Rome we are to succumb to all its charm and “do as the Romans do”? If you know, send me a note.
Nonetheless we arrived in Rome and checked into our apartment. Haley and Dottie did all the leg work on our accommodations in Rome and WOW did they hit a homerun. We are about a 2 minute walk from the Colosseum, the place is spectacular! – and we have a courtyard garden leading up to our door. Absolutely incredible! I don’t know how they did it and stayed within the budget, but we went out for a night on the town to celebrate. After dinner, we did a night walking tour of the city starting with a FREE Rick Steve’s podcast tour of the Pantheon (check em out – way cool and way free).
The Pantheon is just under 2000 years old and is Rome’s best persevered monument. It is in fact now deemed a church and is the only church in Rome that is owned by Italy instead of the Vatican – no need to cover your shoulders or knees at the Pantheon. It is completely free and it is completely awesome. The Pantheon dome was the largest in the world for almost 1500 years until the Renaissance introduced the dome in Florence and the St. Peter’s Basillica in Vatican City. It is mathematically perfect in some many different ways. The dome is as high as it is wide – 142 feet from floor to rooftop and from side to side. Picture a basketball set inside a wastebasket so it just touches the bottom. Another noteworthy item is that Raphael, the painter, was buried here. He was loved by many and his tragic death at 37 led the Pope to have him buried in the Pantheon with the inscription, “In life, Nature feared to be outdone by him. In death, she feared she too would die.”
We then went to the Trevi Fountain. You can sense the excitement before you even turn the corner. The noise picks up dramatically and there is a certain anticipation in the air. It is the most famous and most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. The fountain derives its name from the word for three roads (tre vie). It was built to symbolize when the Roman General Agrippa discovered a water source and built the first acquaduct for Rome.
Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain you are ensured a speedy return to Rome. If you throw two coins in, you are ensured to fall in love in Rome. Haley and I threw in our coins six years ago and it served us very well, so we tossed in another two because we are too young for this to be our last trip to The Eternal City.
We wrapped the night up with walking past the Capital Building and the Colosseum (both on the way to our apartment – we have an absolutely amazing location thanks to Haley and Dottie!). Details to come later. We will do the tour of these on Monday.