A traveler can see a lot of a little or a little of a lot. I stated this before, and when on holiday or any trip for that matter, it is true time and time again. On this first full day in Rome, Tammy and I opted for the bike tour previously mentioned. Yes, it was eight hours long, but the tour is conducted on e-bikes (which has the tendency to spoil a roadie). The plan is simple: cover most of the major sites in Rome in one day. We did just that, from the Colosseum to the Vatican to Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps (which have nothing to do with Spain just that the Spanish embassy is located near them).
I am torn between naming the one favorite place out of two, although I lean heavily to one: The Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. Some places, like the Colosseum and The Pantheon, have a fictional feel to them being attached to stories and pictures from childhood to young adult and even into adulthood. The Pantheon is one of those magical places. The architectural boldness of the temple is astounding. At first glance, walking through the open doors (each door is four tons), I stood with my mouth hanging open. Chapeau to the incredible minds who were able to take this from parchment to building. The dominance of the room is humbling, placing the brilliance of ancient minds into a higher plain than those of our own. Sure, we have buildings today that dwarf The Pantheon, but the means we have to design and build large structures make it feel like cheating compared to the ancient architects and engineers. Just turning 50 years old, it is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen built by man.
The other structure that inspired a quick breath was Trevi Fountain. Flowing since the 19 BC, this source of water has been in use for over 2000 years in Rome. The beautiful structure was not in place until the mid-18th Century. But to think . . . the Apostle Paul could have drunk from this fountain! The Apostle Peter could have drunk from this fountain! Some of Rome’s greatest orators and generals and enemies could have drunk from this fountain! In over 2000 years it is mind-boggling to imagine the amount of things this fountain has probably witnessed. Of course, as tradition, we had to toss a coin over our right shoulder in hopes of returning to Rome one day. The story that goes with the fountain is as follows: 1 coin return to Rome, 2 coins find true love, 3 coins get married, and 4 coins will ensure a divorce. We stayed with one. We had two and three and will never consider four.
The entire day was magnificent. We had such a good time and met other travelers and locals who were so friendly, making that day that much better. Our guide was wonderful and knew how to get around the Eternal City without getting a single person hit by a car, quite a feat. The tour included a meal and a gelotto stop. It is a perfect way to see a little of a lot. I also thoroughly enjoyed visiting the possible location of where Julius Caesar was slain. Teaching it to my students and passing the picture on to other English/literature teachers will be very cool. At dinner we discussed what we would do on our last full day, we came up with a plan. It would take subway trains and locomotive trains, but we had a plan.