Day Two
The Colosseum

We got out of the subway (which is covered with colored graffitti like the old NYC subways) and there it was, towering above in the cloudy sky.  2000+ years old and still magnificent!! Cats were all over it, and Romans dressed as soldiers let folks take pictures (for tips).

Entering the Colosseum (which could hold 50,000 Romans) you could still hear the crowds!  We explored and went round the entire breadth of it.  It is an oval and seems larger from certain views. The cellars are all exposed now.  They used to bring up animals from below using pulleys!

The crowds were light.  We ate amazing pizza out front while it drizzled and then walked up the Palatino Hill and found the little church of 'lost tourists' <grin>.  The Palatine and Forum were closed (it was after 4pm) but we could look in through the gates...

Then we walked to San Clemente which is a 12th century church, built over a 4th century church, on top of a 1st century Roman temple, on top of an older Roman apartment!  All of this buried beneath the street level!  It is amazing!  You just keep on walking down and down, through the labrynth of time.  Wow.  Ancient frescoes and tiles in the 4th century church led down to the catacombs, ancient springs and the temple of the sun. Then to an old Roman house.  You could see the people and here the crowds outside of the windows, if you concentrated...now buried and blocked up under 20 centuries of time.


The Pantheon

We had dinner in a Tuscan restaurant by the Pantheon.  Found the Bernini elephant with the obelisk on top!  Had spinach gnocchi with cream sauce and veal picatta and more amazing roman red wine.  It was a restaurant frequented by my favorite actor, James Mason and had his photo and autograph on the wall.  Bought a lovely black leather jacket!  I love that the stores all all open so late.

We got some spinach ricotta torte for breakfast, salmon rolls, apricot juice, prosciutto, olives, mozzarella, goat cheese, salami and a bottle of red wine. Now thatís breakfast!  Took a cab home...the ages passed by.  The moon was high and bright, nearly full.  The birds sang again at 5:30am, then the church bells rang at 730 am.  Today it would storm.

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