Homer's Travels: Rome 2023 - Days Zero, One, And Two

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Rome 2023 - Days Zero, One, And Two

Days Zero and One (Friday and Saturday)

Our flights to Rome couldn't have gone smoother. We were on time to the airport, all our planes left on time, and we arrived in Rome ten minutes early. Our checked bags arrived and we breezed through passport control. The driver provided by our hotel was waiting for us and we arrived at our apartment/hotel before 9:30am. I then made the mistake of telling the Wife that I'd never had a smoother trip. That statement would jinx the heck out of me later that day.

Saint Peter's from the square.
We walked around the area. The hotel was in a great location near the Vatican museum and within walking distance to attractions, the metro, and restaurants. We visited Saint Peter's square - the first of many visits to the square. After getting our bearings we went back to our room and rested up. Our first tour was later in the afternoon and neither of us had slept very well on the plane.

We walked the four blocks to the metro station and headed to our first tour, the Golden House of Nero. Sometime around the Termini station my phone decided to take a walk. Rome is notorious for pickpocketing and I was careless and apparently had a target on my back. The phone was both our hotel key and my two factor authentication device so this would give us headaches the rest of our stay in Rome. Fortunately the Wife kept control of her phone.

Inside Nero's Golden Home (Golden because of the amount of light ... not actual gold)
(Photo taken by the Wife)
Nero's Golden House was interesting but fairly modest as it isn't a high priority for archeological exploration. There is so much history in Rome everything competes for time and money and Nero isn't a high priority (yet).

We returned to our hotel and I ran Find-My-Phone on my tablet. It seems the phone ended up in a place you could buy phones so I assume the SIM card was swapped out as soon as they could. I remotely logged the phone out of all accounts just in case. I was pretty much in an anxious mood all night. To be safe I called our investment account and had the account locked.

The View from our room.  The people are in line to get into the Vatican museum.
(Photo taken by the Wife)


Day Two (Sunday)

We had two tours booked for the second day. The first was a catacombs tour including the Capuchin church. The highlight of the Capuchin church are alcoves decorated with the bones of former monks. The intricate patterns of skulls, pelvises, and other bones nailed to the whitewashed walls were oddly beautiful, strange, and disturbing all at the same time. I learned quite a bit here including the origin of the name, capuchin, which is derived from the fact they wore hooded robes ... a cap as it were. Photos, naturally, were not allowed.

We got on a bus which took us outside the walls of the old city to one of several catacombs open to the public. There are miles of hand dug underground catacombs holding the remains of everyone from Popes to common laborers. Due to people stealing bones to sell back to the church for ransom and tourists taking souvenir bones, the level of catacombs you can visit has been emptied of all human remains. There is always some jerk that ruins it for everyone else.

We were dropped off near where the tour started and we took the metro to the colosseum. We were early so we found a cafe and ate some lunch to kill some time. We walked around the perimeter of the colosseum and found a shady spot where we could people watch.

The Colosseum.
Our guide showed up and we went into the colosseum and learned about the history of this structure built to entertain the common people. The tour continued into the Roman Forum and Palatine hill where some Roman rulers and the rich lived. The views from the hill were pretty awesome.

Ruins of the Roman forum seen from Palatine Hill.
The park was near closing when we saw where the cremated remains of Julius Caesar were buried so we made our way back to the metro and back to our hotel. It was a long day and we were both tired. Neither of us felt like going out to eat so we found a minimart and bought some food we could eat in our room (this would be our habit for most of the week - grocery shopping and meals in the room at night).

Photographs can be found in my 2023 Rome Google Photo's album.

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