It was a warm and beautiful day for our last full day in Rome. The protest marches were over…but the slideshow has a photo of the helicopter overhead and the police in riot gear from yesterday. Mary and I were out early to walk to the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore for the end of the 7 am mass and the beginning of the 8 am mass. Then back to the Beehive Hostel for our favorite breakfast: cheese and veggie omelet, toast and coffee.
By the time we finished the girls were awake and by ten o’clock we were all four out the door for our last adventure. We caught the # H Bus and rode it all the way across the river to the very old area known as Trastevere; one of the oldest in Rome. We followed Rick Steves tour which lead us on a path through the streets from church to church. One of the most interesting things we saw during the various masses that were in progress was the reading of the gospel at Saint Maria in Trasievere Church; they walked the book over to a very old elevated pulpit in the center of the church. I’ve never seen this done before and was very surprised.
We completed the first tour and then crossed the bridge that crosses the old island that has always had a hospital on it. Today, it is the favorite place for Roman women to deliver their babies. When we crossed over to the other side we were in the Jewish Ghetto of Rome. Very little remains today except for the synagogue and since it was a long line we decided not to tour the building. There are many restaurant that advertise kosher foods that surround the synagogue and the ancient theatre that stands in ruins in the area. A plaque on the wall near the theatre said that this was the spot where they rounded up the Jewish people in WW II for transport to the camps; a sad note in history.
Then we walked to find the bus back to the Termini for some much needed rest.
We walked out at the Plazza del Popolo; I stopped in to see the art in one church and then we crossed the road and walked into the massive Borghese Gardens. We walked and enjoyed the gardens for about two hours. This is the favorite place for Roman families to enjoy their Sunday evenings in good weather. We found all sorts of activities: bicycles, skaters, walkers and those that just sat on the grass and enjoyed their warm roman evening. Found a gentlemen playing music on several different types of horns and couldn’t resist purchasing his CD…we’ll all think of Rome when we listen to it at home as we each purchased our own. Soon we were at the bluff and enjoying the views of Rome and the sunset. We walked out of the park and into Spanish Steps.
Jane and I climbed the side stairs up and Bonnie and Mary went to wait for us at the bottom of the main stairs. We had fun taking photos of everyone as we slowly walked down the broad expanse of stairs to the fountain at the bottom.
It’s been a grand adventure these last six weeks with the girls. Some ups and downs but that goes with traveling. Bonnie and Jane have one more day in Rome before they leave; Mary and I fly to London tomorrow evening, stay overnight at Heathrow Airport before leaving Tuesday morning for New York and then Florida. I’m going home with Mary to visit until Friday. All of my siblings will be together for the first time in over five years; Joe and Shirley are down from Indiana.
It’s been fun and I hope that you’ve enjoyed sharing my three month journey in Europe this summer. Hope you enjoy he final slideshow: