sienamystic: (commedia)
[personal profile] sienamystic
We left Florence and hopped back on another Freccia to Rome. I had heard that Termini, Rome's main train station, had been turned into a mall, and it's true - there were now shops everywhere, including a branch of our now beloved Grom, which sold artisinal gelato. (The torrone flavor...omg. And the fiordilatte, which I kept returning to. We ate a lot of gelato, you guys.)

After some puttering around back home which never resulted in a decision, we finally opted for staying at The Beehive, a place that has been in business since 1999. They've always had positive reviews and I was interested in staying with them even though they were only a few blocks from the train station, which is noisy and can feature an interesting and sometimes intimidating parade of humanity. We walked one block out - still a little uncertain. Second block - huh, things were quieter now. We reached the Beehive and buzzed in and found ourselves in a cute little courtyard.



Entry courtyard to The Beehive

The Beehive turned out to be a nice little nest for us, being cute, clean, cheerful, in our price range, and near transportation (although it's true that sometimes it would have been nicer to have been a little closer to other city hubs. Rome has several spots that can work as "the center of things" so really, it's your pick.)

So we explored the city. I don't want to be one of those wankers who goes on about the limpid quality of Roman light, but...

Umbrella pine in the Roman light

it's just more or less the truth. There is a strange beautiful quality to the light there.

We opted to not go into the Colosseum, but we looked at it for a long time.

Flavian ampitheater

And here is where I discovered I had made a tactical error. I kept yammering to my companions that the Forum was free, it was kind of difficult to envision the buildings that were there but it was still pretty cool, and you had to pay to get to the fancier Paletine houses but we probably didn't need to worry about that...

They made the Forum and the Paletine and the Colosseum a joint ticket in 2008, so you pay for all or you see none. This is really stupid. The Forum is most appropriate for wandering, but paying to get to it...it's important historical ground but what's actually there isn't all that fascinating or easy to interpret. Making people pay to see it doesn't make any sense at all. Feh.

The good part of the story is that while we were trying to figure out all this, we climbed a hill and found San Bonaventura al Palatino. It was open because there had just been a wedding, a young man was giving tours of the church, which was interesting but nothing particularly fascinating, and then he got a key and let us all out a back door into a little garden...

Fountain, San Bonaventura al Palatino

Becca and Chris selfie-ing
(my sister and brother-in-law taking advantage of the glorious view)

View from San Bonaventura al Palatino

Part of said glorious view.

We asked the guide that if we gave a particularly big donation, could we stay the rest of the day? He chuckled. We weren't joking.

Garden, San Bonaventura al Palatino



At the risk of prolonging things, I think I'll stop here and wrap up the trip in another entry. More Rome and some Perugia.

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