We started our day at the Coleseum, or as they call it here: Coleseo. In a hurry and not willing to decipher the subway map, we took a cab. Six Euro and 10 minutes later we were there. Along with 10,000 other people. In the pouring rain.
This place is amazing. We've seen it on television and read about it in books but there is nothing like seeing it in person. The sheer manpower that went into building this thing is incredible. You can almost hear the roar of the crowds as the Ancient Roman version of the 1% cheered on the slaughter of the poor unfortunate souls forced to fight for their lives.
Our ticket to the Coleseum also bought us admission into the Roman Forum, or Foro Romano in Italian (not to be confused with the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace) and the Palatine, which is Italian for Palace and the home of many of Rome's emperors including Octavia Augustus. I'm not too smart with Roman history but Jeff assures me he was very important.
By now we are soaking wet and hungry and as most smart people would do, decided to walk back towards our hotel in the rain instead of take a cab. On the way we were talked into stopping for lunch at this little roadside pizzeria, which once again served mediocre food at not so cheap prices.
The decision to stop turned out to be a smart one as in the time it took us to eat, it finally stopped raining.
The walk back took us to some interesting and unexpected places. First was the Quirinale. At the time we stopped we had no clue why it was an important place. Jeff pointed out the Caribineri (Italian State Police) and the armed guard at the entrance. Scratching our head we made the assumption that something important must be behind those walls, but what? A quick Google search when we got back to the hotel revealed this to be the home of the Italian President, i.e. Berlusconi. Apparently something like 7 Popes lived here at one time or another and every Italian head of state, since forever.
Fun fact: Caribineri who serve at the Quirinale have to be 6'3" minimum height.
We spent most of the remaining afternoon getting lost, but it was fun since the rain had finally stopped.
We finally stumbled our way upon the Trevi Fountain which was swarming with people.
By now it had started to drizzle again so we decided to call it a day and head home. I'm pretty sure we walked the equivalent of a marathon (ok, maybe a 1/2 marathon) and by the time we hit the Spanish Steps, I was about to pass out. If I didn't have to pee so bad, I may have just called it quits and made camp on the stairs for the rest of the day. I think I will have amazing looking calf muscles by the time I return home.