Friday morning I awoke early to the sound of the constant sound of the sleep-apniated man in my room. It was 7 a.m. and I had a headache but, I arose and packed up my bag, grabbed my camera bag and headed out. Oh and I grabbed some breakfast on the way out the door, letting them know at the Ivanhoe Hostel that I wasn't coming back.
I made my way down Via Urbana and up to Via Corso, heading to Roma Termini; a.k.a. the central train and bus station. Asking the information guy where to buy a bus ticket to get to Roma Ciampino Airport was an adventure, as he wouldn't even let me finish, pointing me in the direction of where he thought I wanted to go. However, after taking his directions i soon found out that i was on the entirely wrong side of the station. But, I bought my ticket at Terravision for a 7 p.m. departure to Roma Ciampino for my 22:05 departure to London Stansted.
I sat at the espresso bar for a few minutes looking at what I could do for the remainder of the day and soon left heading toward Porta Pia, a large building and monument toward Piazza Repubblica. Making my way down the street I noted the warmth for it being only 8:30 and soon took off my jacket, which would not return to my back until 9 p.m.
Making my way down the Via Septembre I took in all I could in my final day in Rome including the scooters/mopeds/motorcycles, orange trees on the sides of the street, black brick roads, and Italian language both verbal and written on billboards.
I made it down to Porta Pia snapped a photo or two and then turned around and made my way back the way I can bypassing Piazza Repubblica and heading toward Quattro Fontane, where I turned right and headed toward the Spanish Steps.
Making my way down the hill toward the Spanish Steps, which have no connection to Spain whatsoever, I ran into a guy on the sidewalk that wouldn't yield and I almost got mad. OK, I just get tired of the fact that there is no system on the sidewalk in Italy to walk. In Britain you walk on the left, America is right; Italy needs to work on sidewalk system legislation.
Anyway, I made it to the Spanish Steps (at the top) and i continued on to the best view in Rome, in my opinion, at Pincio on top of PIazza del Popolo. From there I watched the annoying Rose guys attack the women around. I sat up there for about 30 minutes before a large group of Italian teenagers swarmed over where I was sitting and I got up and walked down the hill to Plazza del Popolo. There I sat by the fountains (all the while, in the sun) and listened to a group of Italian musicians playing music that included bits of the music from the Godfather.
I was starting to get hungry so I headed down Via Del Corso away from del Popolo. I stopped in at a McDonald's because I had found that that was the only place I could get into and go to the bathroom for free in Italy. So after that, while disregarding the food I continued walking down Via Corso. At one moment I thought how good it would be to go to market square, Campo Di Flori, which i had been the day before, and buy lunch and then eat it either there or at nearby Piazza Navona.
Once I made my way there, the sun beaming down (sounds good Indiana, doesn't it?), I made my way at about 1 p.m. to Campo Di Flori. I walked through the aisles and aisles of fresh fruit vendors, selling N. African Pears and grapes, S. African plums and my favorite: Sicilian Oranges. I bought two for 0.80 and ate them. I cannot describe how good they are but try and imagine the opposite of the bland oranges that we often get in Indiana. The insides of the oranges are often blood red, and are so sweet. After I couldn't find anything else I walked down Via dei Glubbonari and bought a piece of Margerita Pizza and ate it in park adjacent.
Soon after I continued walking, heading back toward the other side of town and back toward the bus station even though I had several hours. Taking my time I made my way finally back down to the river and back down to the ancient Roman forum. Having hit the forum from all angles, all I really wanted was to stumble upon a tour and hear a little more about this area of the world that I had come to enjoy so very much.
And, as luck would have it, walking along I heard the loud voice of an American giving information about the site where a large group of people were standing. I had found a tour and soon after the guide pronounced that anyone could join as the tour was free. I had found the guide almost 20 minutes into his tour of the forum but I thought it so strange that that was all I really wanted to do and it was granted right there.
I followed the guide around and listened to him talk about the ancient senate building, which is the best preserved ruin in the entire forum as well as the podium, still partially standing, across from the senate and its importance as a place where the greatest minds in ancient Rome would have spoke from.
He also talked about Mammertine prison where Peter and Paul were held prisoner before their executions, Peter's; where the Vatican is now, and Paul's in the very square we were standing. He then took us to one last spot where he talked about the greatest Roman of them all: Julius Caesar.
He talked it seemed in Fast Forward about the leadup to the fall of Rome and how Caesar had turned the Roman Empire into the greatest power the world had seen. He then incorporated 5 minutes of the finale of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar into the end before finally closing and announcing his other tours.
Come to find out the guy was a tour guide from Louisiana, who had his master's in historial theology and was just giving a free tour that day because the weather was so incredible nice. He did other tours including a walking tour of the Parthenon, Spanish Steps and more which I found out were no less than 20 Euro's a piece ($30). He also noted that he was the only tour guide mentioned in the New York Times for excellence in history of Rome and Washington D.C. where he also lived and worked. It was absolutely incredible.
After word I walked down toward the bus station and wandered around in the mall inside the terminal, prior to climbing on my bus and heading to the airport to fly out at 10 p.m. thus concluding my trip to Italy.
More to come about my adventure getting back to my flat. . .
Posted by nathan at 11:11:00 PM