Sigh, our final(real) day in Rome, beautiful and sad.
The day started, as most do over breakfast. Then, we met Francesca to walk down to St. Clemente church. I was not sure quite what to expect since I had not heard much about what it was. It turned out to be really cool. Basically it was this church built over a part of old Rome. In one of the houses was a place where early Christians secretly practiced. Above that was another old church built after Christianity was made legal. Above that was the church used today, a beautiful little church.
I had been looking forward to seeing the Coliseum the whole trip, especially because one of my favorite books took place there, and because it was supposed to be amazing, and it did not disappoint. It was huge and beautiful. I felt like an ancient Roman citizen just walking through it. Its grandeur is indescribable. It was kind of ironic though, that it was such a big piece of history, right outside an intersection.
We passed long lines and walked right in, and after a history lesson were allowed a time to explore. It was packed even on a weekday in March. People were shoving trying to take pictures. At one point I was shoved forward and ran into an angry Italian grandma trying to taking a picture of her grandkids. I could not understand her, but I got the message and ran off.
For the most part it was enjoyable, and amazing. I thought about all the people that had passed through this place, Ancient Romans, Invaders, Tourists, and then me. I was amazed by the history in this building.
Afterwards we visited the Roman Forum, and once again I was amazed. It was really cool. Lots of ruins were everywhere and I got to climb on old pillars and stuff. We were allowed to look around and my mom and I hiked along the trails that led to collapsing buildings and ruined pillars. Then we gathered at a building dedicated to Julius Ceasar and saw a ceremony happening. Apparently it was Julius' birthday. After walking through it was time to say goodbye to a group family, Alicia's family, and they had to catch a train to Milan. Then we dispersed for a free afternoon.
My mom and I walked around for a while, just wandering. Then we decided to stop for a drink. I got a lemon juice, thinking it would be like lemonade. Turned out it was straight lemon juice with no sugar. I took a big sip and puckered up immediately. It was so sour! I can proudly say, though, that I drank every last sip. Then I was looking through my mom's Rick Steves guidebook. It recommended the Old Franciscan Friary. It said there may be some art work with bones, but I did not know what I was in for. Room after room filled with lots of bones of Friars. It was disgusting! And weird. But kind of cool too. And a good story to tell later.
We finished our Italian trip with a group dinner at a place that used to be the baths of Diocletian. It was a good dinner, and afterwards we said farewell to our group members, and Italy.
The next morning we departed at ten and so we had to leave early.