Sunday, September 29, 2013

Noordam 2013 - Day 18: Our last day in Rome, Italy

We started our day with preparing for the flight home. Our flight only leaves tomorrow, but we checked in already so we could get the seats that are marked green (the better seats) at Seatguru. We printed our boarding passes and are all set to fly. But still a full day in Rome left to enjoy.

The public bus brought us to the Forum Romano. Rick Steves has a great podcast tour in the Forum. Of course you sometimes see only the lower 10% of some pillars that once were a temple, but nonetheless great to see.

Forum Romano

Forum Romano

Forum Romano

Forum Romano

Forum Romano

Forum Romano

At the end of the Forum is the Arch of Titus. It is built by Jew slaves and dedicated to the end of the Jewish state in 70 AD. We never realized how long the Jews were actually stateless.

Arch of Titus

The Forum connects to Palentine Hill. Nice buildings and a remarkable number of trees and bushes. Really beautiful. 

Palentine Hill

Palentine Hill

Palentine Hill

While we walked there, we heard Kim scream. A bug had found her, probably some bee or worse. We tried to suck the poison out immediately, but it still left a large red bump.

A bus brought us from Palentine Hill to the Mouth of Truth (La Bocca della Verita). Legend says that when you put your hand in the mouth, it will bite your hand off if you lie. We saw a lot of honest people, no accidents.

Mouth of Truth (La Bocca della Verita)

Across the bridge over the Tiber is the Jewish Ghetto. A giant synagogue is at the entrance. On the other side of the street a church, with an aim to convert the Jews to Christianity.

Jewish Ghetto

Jewish Ghetto

Synagogue in the Jewish Ghetto

After a drink in the Ghetto we walked to the Area Sacra del Largo Argentina. From the looks of it just another excavation and not even the best one. But if you walk down the stairs you see what it really is: a refuge for street cats. The volunteers take care of some 250 street cats. Their main goal is making sure they are sterilized. But if an injured of ill cat is brought in, they take care of them as well. We played with the cats for a while and were impressed by the excellent care the volunteers give them. They also have some cats with a neurological disorder. They walk like they are drunk. They are so cute. If you are in Rome, do visit the cat forum. You can check them out (or even better: donate) at

Cat Sanctuary

Close to the Pantheon we had our daily pizza. Afterwards we visited the Pantheon. We were there last time, but this time we take a little more time. We saw the graves of Rafael (the artist) and the first two kings of Italy (that only exists as a country since 1870). The third king is not burried in the Pantheon. He collaborated with Mussolini in WWII and had to leave Italy.


Pantheon (panorama of the inside)

Obelisk opposite the Pantheon

We walked to Piazza Navone with the beautiful fountain from Bernini and the great church of Sant' Agnese in Agone.

Piazza Navone

Now that we have been visiting several sites from Angels & Demons, we took the bus to Santa Maria della Vittoria (just opposite the street of Fontana dell'Aqua Felice). Amazing how many beautiful churches there are in Rome.

Fontana dell'Aqua Felice

Inside Santa Maria delle Vittoria

The bus and metro took us back to the hotel. We loved Rome, but tomorrow we fly back home… 

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