Monday, October 17, 2011

Tuesday, Our last day in Rome

Tuesday, October 11th

Our last day of this wonderful trip--we're exhausted, our feet hurt, and David is recovering from a cold.  We are ready to go home, but still sad to be leaving incredible Italy.

Despite our exhaustion and very sore feet, we got an early start--don't want to waste a precious minute of our last day!  As usual, we set out walking--just wandering, really.  We walked across the Tibur River, towards our favorite neighborhood, Trastevere.

  We strolled through those scenic narrow streets again, poking into several interesting shops.  A few last minute gifts to buy......( I do love my friends!)

Lunch was at a lovely trattoria, with tables set up along the narrow lane.  A pizza for David, and spaghetti with clam sauce for me.   Red wine?  You bet!  Mmmmmm good!

We walked back across the river, taking our time and enjoying every last minute in this beautiful city.
We were right by the Pantheon, this time it was open and the crowds were light, so a visit was in order.

The history of this building is very interesting:  It was originally build in 31 BC as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome.  It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt twice, the last time in 126 AD.  In 609 AD  it was consecrated as a Christian church by Pope Boniface IV.  It is the best preserved of all of Rome's ancient sites, and is still an active church today.

The construction and engineering are fascinating.  (I know, my "inner geek" is showing!)  It's still the largest dome of non re-inforced poured concrete in the world--and to think about how many 100's of years it has been standing!  The ocular (about 29 ft in diameter) is open to the sky, and during rain storms, any water that falls into the church is drained away by an ingenious drainage system under the floor.  When we were in the rotunda, it was obvious the floor was domed very slightly, sloping down towards the sides.  Brilliant engineering!

The ocular and the large entrance doors were originally the only light source in the rotunda (well--they probably lit candles).  Sunlight coming in from the ocular moves around the rotunda in a reverse-sundial effect--very pretty and pretty interesting!  I could bore you all with the engineering details, as I've been reading up on it--but I'll spare you!

Here's some of my favorite pictures:

The Pantheon is really an amazing building, and we were so glad that we went back a second time!

After leaving the Pantheon, we slowly walked back to our apartment.  Lot's of stops along the way--I was searching for a certain something for sweet Ruthie McAllister!  Found it!

We got back to our apartment, packed up our ever-expanding suitcases and tidied the apartment a bit.
We'd already decided we were going out for a nice, "last evening of our vacation" dinner--no cooking tonight!

But first, one last look at the beautiful Colosseum.  We found a nice sidewalk "bar" and settled in for a pre-dinner drink--wine for David and a "spritz" for me.  Mmmm-delicious!  Here's our view, isn't it perfect?

  Feeling a little sad, and looking very exhausted!

We'd carefully picked out a nice restaurant in the neighborhood, a pretty setting and very highly recommended.  After our drinks and last look at the colosseum, we slowly walked to the restaurant.  Along the way, we realized we actually weren't very hungry, and a lovely, expensive meal would be wasted on us.  So we just kept right on walking, plopped ourselves down at a small sidewalk cafe near our apartment and,  in true Travelin' Lundbury style--shared a pizza and one last carafe of that delicious "house red" wine!  Who needs a fancy meal?  Not us!

It was a perfect end our last day in wonderful Rome.  If I was a bettin' gal, I'd bet we'll be back.....

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to read that David caught a cold - but he doesn't look all that exhausted.

    Your picture at the table-- Love it --
    Incredible--you are in your element huh, Di?

    So happy that you both enjoyed this trip and that you've shared it with me- Thanks again<3