Day 47 A Walk in the Park

Day 47 Began with a trip through our little neighborhood.  We knew that we were going to be out and about all day, and so we decided to stop in a local shop and get some sandwiches to eat along the way.  It just so happens that we stopped in a sandwich shop of the most awesome and quintessential Italian shop.  Behind the counter was a raven haired Italian women, who looked like she stepped out of a tour book.  When we were trying to order, she corrected our Italian, had us repeat words with her, like an on the spot lesson!  She was great! And when we would finally say the words correctly, she would get so excited!  After we got our sandwiches I asked if I could take her picture, and it was like she was getting an award!  She was thrilled, and she had Reid and I come behind the counter with her for the picture.  When we were done, she grabbed Reid and kissed him on both cheeks, saying “Bello, bello”.  After my kisses, we walked out with our sandwiches.  Reid was freaking out, he had been “kissed” by a women he was not related to!  He kept saying it was his first kiss, and I was trying to explain the difference between an excited and sweet Italian woman kissing him, and an actual first kiss…yay nothing like an a super awkward conversation to start your day!

So after that fun…we were off!  Today we were supposed to go to the Vatican, but it ended up being the following day, so we set off to see some more sights!  Our first stop was right down the street in our neighborhood, The San Clemente Basilica.  The neat thing about this church is that it is actually 3 layers.  The top basilica was built in 1100…the next layer in the 4th century…the last was in the 2nd century and was an altar of sorts for a cult.  It is crazy to see the recycling that went on here.  Actually, what struck me was that it made the basilica from the 1100’s seem like it was almost “new”…like things are not actually old unless they are from the fist few centuries A.D.  What?  Perhaps I am becoming a bit jaded??

After that, we decided to walk to see Circus Maximus (where they had the chariot races).  I am not sure where to begin here…well let’s just say we did not have a map…but some kind of Trip Advisor GPS thingy (Russ’ deal) that points you in the right direction…not on a map…think of an arrow on a compass.  Got the picture? Yep…we are in trouble here!  Be that as it may, off we go!  We zigged and zagged all through the streets of Rome and ended up in a park.  What park you wonder?  A park filled with trees, statues, monuments, a beautiful view, and guess what?  No clue where or what it was!  I do know that we ate our yummy Italian sandwiches there, chased pigeons, and walked around.  It was a really beautiful sanctuary…a nice break in our day!  Well after our lunch, we did manage to stumble upon Circus Maximus.  It was a huge space, and looking at it, I could almost see the chariots racing around it.  Of course, the buildings themselves were closed for repair…we have found that a lot this time of year…so you just go with it!

Let me take a moment to talk about “selfie sticks” I am not sure I have really seen that many in America, but honestly you cannot turn a corner in Europe without hearing someone say “Selfie?”…and no matter what you say, they do not give up!  I always start out nice (well most of the time) saying “No.”…but that does not seem to work…by the end there is usually a hand gesture and a loud voice involved…

After our trek around the Circus Maximus, we headed off the the Piazza Venezia.  We climbed the stairs to the top of the monument, and took in the view of Rome as the sun was setting.  It was such a fantastic moment…oh and I think we saw the world’s largest seagull just hanging out on the wall next to us.  Honestly, it was so big it started to attract attention…people taking pictures of it and with it.  I have seen a lot of seagulls in my day…and this was by far seagullius maximus!

For dinner, we actually ate at a restaurant right near the forum.  We could see ruins lit up in the night, a warm fire near us in the restaurant, and the buzz and hum of Rome going by.  A very wonderful end to a fun day!