They say a picture can paint a thousand words. Allow me to share a few more with you as I continue my journey. Come, explore with me? Who knows what we may find? One never knows what is in store.
On our second night in Rome, we transferred to an apartment near the Termini Station. I booked it through Airbnb. This was also our first Airbnb experience. The owner, Vincenzo, loves movies so that explains why our room is called Cinema House.
Most buildings in Europe have been around for hundreds of years and were not built with the modern-day traveler in mind.
It was likely a big challenge to find space and to install elevators in old structures. This often resulted in tiny, coat-closet sized elevators that could only fit two to three people with luggage and even that was a tight squeeze. So much so that our luggage rode up ahead of us because we just could not all fit inside.
Surprisingly, our room was spacious and modern. We had a kitchenette where we could cook. Our bathroom was also large plus, it had a small terrace where you could air-dry your clothes if needed.
Located just east of the Roman Forum is the Colosseum. The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an oval amphitheatre at the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. Although partially ruined by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome.
On the 14th of February, I made sure that we got to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin where a skull resides in a reliquary. The skull is only brought out on his feast day. Lettering painted across the forehead identifies the owner as none other than the patron saint of lovers, Saint Valentine.
Located in the porch is an image carved from Pavonazzo marble called the La Bocca della Verità or the Mouth of Truth. This ancient Roman artifact was either a drain cover or part of a fountain. According to legend if you don’t speak the truth the Mouth of Truth will close when you put your hand inside it.
The legend was charmingly tested by Audrey Hepburn in the film Roman Holiday adding to its popularity. There was a long queue so I just took pictures from the outside.
Beneath the altar of the basilica is an 8th-century crypt, built by Pope Hadrian I (772-95) to house the many relics he had taken from the catacombs. Shaped like a tiny basilica, it has three aisles divided by columns, a transept and an apse. The side walls have 16 round-headed niches with marble shelves to display the relics for pilgrims.
From the Basilica, we took a walk to the Altare della Patria, also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or Il Vittoriano. It is a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.
The climb to the top is quite a work-out so we did not bother.
Learned a little about history back there. Wonder what is next. Let us find out together. Until next time…