When in Rome do as the Romans Do.
I wonder if a native of Rome has ever taken an official tour of Rome?
We do and this is our official tour day, the concierge books a tour with a company called Ciao Roma for us (€ 26.00 per person).
The tickets are conveniently valid for 24 hours, you can hop off and on anywhere at any time. Traffic is heavy and I welcome any opportunity to get away from the fumes and the teeth rattling vibrations of the bus’ engine.
We walk to the stop Circo Massimo and have ample time to watch the dog walkers and joggers from above. Imagine that 2’000 years ago they had quite other spectacles here!
Circo Massimo with the Forum Romanum in the background
Piazza St. Pietro where …
… where the cobble stones are not cobble stones but pietrini (named after the saint or is it the diminutive of the Italian word pietra = stone?)
… Where the polizia drive an electrical squad car
On with the tour past the Castel S. Angelo, past the fascinating Ara Pacis Museum built by Richard Meier along the river Tiber, Piazza Navona, Piazza Risorgimento and uphill towards Villa Borghese where we get off to walk to the Spanish Steps:
I am far more impressed with the famous Hotel Hasler top right
We eat lunch at the very small restaurant La Lupa in “the heart of Rome”, Via della Lupa 6, off the beaten tracks and ideal for recharging our batteries. We have antipasti (fried vegetables and bruschette) and primo piatti (pasta).
Thus fortified we continue our bus tour (via Via Veneto, Quirinale, Piazza Venezia), up a hill and down another, I must have been a little bit tired or overwhelmed by all the sensations: sorry, no more pictures. Plus it is rather difficult to take pictures from a moving bus.
Very impressive statue of Vittorio Emanuele II (the feather on his hat measures 1.90 m, his sword 5 m and there is space for 22 people in his horse’s belly) at the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier.
We finish our tour with the Colosseum (where according to our guide no Christians were ever sacrificed), the Forum Romanum and get off at the Circo Massimo. A leisurely walk through the Rose Park takes us back to our hotel for a Spanish type siesta.