Monday, October 24, 2005

My initial plan for the day was to do two walking tours from our guide book. We only managed one. Somehow--I am not quite sure how--our "two-hour" tour ended up being just over seven hours. We did see the Panthenon and Trevi Fountain, along with over a dozen (I think) piazzas.

And we both got henna tatoos!

What was striking about today was how you can be walking along a street and suddenly find yourself looking at a fresco on the side of a building, exquisite architecture, or some ruins, carefully preserved as the city grew up around them. The past and the present literally side by side.

At Piazza Colonna, we walked up 224 steps of just one building to see a view of the city. I was surprised that I made it, that I even managed to walk all day. But how can I not? How could I miss one moment of the opportunity this trip has been?

Tomorrow our plan is to take two guided tours: The Catacombs and The Vatican Museum and St. Peters Basilica. Of course, this means managing to get out of the hotel at least two hours earlier than we have since arriving. We do have a two-hour break between the tours, so perhaps it is not as an ambitious plan as it seems.

NOTE: There is graffiti everywhere. Literally. On the metro, on escalators, on trash dumpsters, on buildings, on railings, on any surface that will hold paint. This surprised me. How can people deface such beautiful and, in some cases, ancient architecture? Of course, graffiti has been around for centuries in Rome. The visitors to the games at the Colosseum also left graffiti. We saw some of the drawings carved into stone when we visited there.

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