25 July 2010

Honeymoon – Day 10 – Ancient Rome, Italy

We woke refreshed and ready to explore!  We had bought what’s called a “Roma Pass” at the Termini the previous day.  The easiest place to get your Roma Pass is at Tobaci (tobacco) stores.  The Roma Pass gives you 3 days of travel on all public transportation such as rail and bus, as well as free entrance to two museums and discounts at subsequent ones.  The best thing about the Roma Pass however, is that there’s an express line for it at museums.  This can save you a LOT of time at the Colosseum.
We were having trouble figuring out the bus schedules in Italian the day before, so I made the command decision to simply cab it.  It’s way less stress and besides, cabs aren’t that expensive in Rome as they are in the US.  We got a cab ride from our hotel to the Circo Maximo (Circus Maximus) where the chariot races used to be held.  The ride cost us 35 Euros.  Now even though that is still pretty reasonable, I think we got taken a little bit on that ride.  I’ll explain later.  Back to Circo…  This used to be a glorious structure that looked something like this:
The Circus used to entertain as many as 300,000 raging fans in it’s hey day.  I guess you could call it the Nascar of ancient Rome.   Nonetheless, there isn’t much left these days.  This is about all that remains today.
circo maximoIMG_5562_4_456E32C0
An aerial view of Circo Maximo and a ground view.
From Circo we were adjacent to Palatine Hill where emperors such as Augustus had their palaces.  Lots of awesome things to see here…

The 102 degree heat was a major drain on a physical level.  We had some more sights to see.  We had about a mile hike to the Pantheon, followed by a half mile hike to Fontana de Trevi(Trevi Fountain) and lastly another half mile hike to the Spanish Steps.  I wasn’t sure we could make that hike in the searing heat.  I noticed a Taxi zone and headed over to a group of drivers chatting in a group.  I opened with “Buon giorno.  Pala inglese?” and found a driver, Fabrizio, who spoke decent enough English.  We negotiated with him to drive us to our remaining spots, wait for us while we get out and take photos, and then finally drive us back to the hotel.  I have to say, the most comfortable we had been in Rome, was in the cool air conditioning of Fabrizio’s cab!


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