Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12/21 -- Finally, ROME!!

We woke up to the sea and dawn and a fisherman outside our window.

We got a van to Rome from Ostia, and by noon, had our room in Trastrevere (across the Tiber) in an old Roman neighborhood. We had a bit of laundry we needed done and  missed the hotel cutoff and instead set out to find a laudromat. My first impression walking around was a  lot like I feel the first 24 hours or so when I am in New York City: overwhelmed. We missed the streets on the map and had to resort to the cell phone GPS to lead us there. We each wandered a bit while waiting for washing and drying to finish, and I started to feel more confident about our ability to navigate, but am VERY glad we have the cell phone to fall back on, because the street signs are not what you  might call reliable.

Church of Santa Maria at Trastevere -- main church on left.
Frescoes or mosaics decorating the top of the church
A covered atrium at our 'hotel' - which has 6 rooms. Ours is
the windows to the left.
Finally at 3:30, we set out to explore the aireas that both Lodo and the front desk staff had recommended. We crossed the Tiber into the old Jewish neighborhood and suddenly every where we went there were ruins, monuments, or both. We accidentally located the Palazzo Valentini where we have a tour tomorrow afternoon and stumbled on to some of the hills we had planned to explore as well as monuments that were poorly marked and we weren't sure what they were. Lodo had said there are plans to build more subways but they keep being stopped by newly discovered ruins. The map we got at the hotel shows the whole  planned subway route with six or eight lines, but only two are active.
The Tiber River

Tiber River, looking the other direction, with an
old bridge section

Hebrew Museum

Above and below: ruins of something

Interesting name for a bar

Another nameless ruin

Statue at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (which I discovered
from the internet, as the signage on site was sorely lacking).

Above and below: more of the tomb

Church of the Virgin Mary and Mother (if I read the Latin
correctly). Exterior above, interior below.

Apparently this is the back of the Palazzo Valentini, which
we only discovered because of the plaque at the corner and
after wandering around the building to find the tour

Above and below: an impressive monument
of some sort.

More ruins on the site of the tall monument.
This is the back of the ruin that we discovered across the street
from the Hebrew Museum near the start of our walk.
All along our trip, we  have seen many fairly discreet Christmas decorations. This section of Rome is a bit more exuberant than other areas we have seen.

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