- Fizzy Thoughts: Italy Trip: Day Seven

Italy Trip: Day Seven

Thursday, October 04, 2007

9/4/07

Today we (all four of us) went to Ostia Antica, the ancient port for Rome, which is west of the city. It took us about an hour to get there…we walked to the Colosseum metro stop, rode the metro to the Piramide stop, then transferred to the line going to Ostia. It was all very easy and cheap. Ostia is much like Pompeii…an ancient city that is just begging you to explore its ruins. The city was abandoned when Rome fell, and then buried by mud as the Tiber changed its course. Today it is a place of ruins, and much like the Roman Forum I remember from 17 years ago. Less people and you can wander through all of the buildings and cozy up to statues to be silly and have your picture taken.

I had downloaded an iPod tour of Ostia, but it pretty much sucked and we gave up on it and just explored on our own. We walked down the main street, the Decumanus Maximus, stopping at the Baths of Neptune with its spectacular mosaics, the theatre (which is still used today), the forum, a tavern, the basilica (for legal activities and business), lots of pieces of buildings and temples, and a big apartment complex. On the way back we walked through the Via de Corporazione, where the mosaics on the ground indicate what type of shop was there (elephants for the ivory traders, ships for the ship builders…). We spent about four hours at Ostia Antica, and then headed back to Rome to relax at the apartment before dinner. For dinner, we ended up at La Scaletta, somewhere north of the Pantheon. It was pretty good, but still a bit on the bland side, as many of our meals have been. We walked by the Pantheon going to and from dinner, so we saw it at dusk and then again after the sun set. We also walked over to Piazza Navona after dinner. The big fountain that is the center of the piazza is covered with scaffolding, so the square was a bit subdued. However, we did have the best gelato yet at Tre Scalini, right on the piazza. Lance had a tartufo, chocolate gelato with chocolate chunks, shaped into a ball and coated with cocoa powder and topped with whipped cream. Holy cow, it was good.

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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