Italy 2023 Day 3

13 Mar

Ciao ragazzi! If you didn’t catch that, it’s hello kids, and it’s Day 3 of the trip. It’s just before 7:00 and I’m sitting in the hotel dining area waiting for breakfast. I was up at 5:45 after a rather good sleep, though I have not yet caught up (nor will I likely). The bed felt great to sleep in, though it has the same softness as the stone which makes up many of the buildings in this beautiful ancient city. 

Anyway, my small gripe aside (I don’t really want to complain about the hotel room since I am in Rome), we do have another busy day ahead of us. The bus rolls at 8:00 for the Ardeatine Cave in the morning and the Colosseum/Roman Forum in the afternoon. It’s going to be a sunny, warm 20C today, though it will start to cloud over later in the day. We’re supposed to be out until 9:30 this evening, which will make for another tired group of kids when we return to the hotel tonight. 

So breakfast was good, but interesting. They did have hot items such as eggs, potatoes and “sausage.” I use the term sausage loosely, because they more akin to hot dogs. Okay, let’s not fool ourselves, they were hot dogs. “Shrugs.” In any case, it was all good and the kids seem ready to go to our day. I’ll check in later.

It’s now 10:00 and I’m trying to stay out of the sun here at the Mausoleo delle Fosse Ardeatine. It is very warm today, not as hot temperature wise as yesterday, but I don’t think that there is as much of a breeze. I learned some new history today, as I had never heard of this site before. During WWII, the Germans massacred 325 Italians in these caves as retribution for a partisan bomb attack on occupying soldiers. Many were from prisons or were Jewish, and they were led 5 at a time into the caves and shot. Certainly not a happy piece of history, but one of sadly many that we need to learn about.

Holy moly! It is now 10:30 and we’re finally back at the hotel. What a long day! I’ve had a shower and feel a bit better, but I’m pretty pooped and my legs feel like jello. After we left the caves, we proceeded downtown and debussed near the Colosseum. We were given about 1.5 hours to get some lunch and look around before meeting at Constantine’s Arch for 1:15. Three of us chaperones (Kim, Mike and myself) stopped at little trattoria for a bite to eat. Sadly they could not honour my chicken selection so I ended up with a mozzarella and prosciutto panini, which was a decent replacement.

At 1:30 our tour guides arrived at our meeting location and the two schools split, each with their own person, ours being Igor (not a very Italian name, but he’s a local). The tour was fantastic, with a lot of great information, but I was shocked by the number of people and groups. It was insane and chaotic! I never expected that many people, especially on a Monday afternoon. This is my fifth tour and I’ve been to some popular spots in Northern Europe, but never had to deal with this type of traffic.

Anyway, the tour of the Colosseum was amazing and I don’t remember seeing it that well when I was last there in 1992. Igor took us from there into the Roman Forum, which I don’t believe we actually went into on the that trip 31 years ago. His knowledge of the history was incredible, and even though I teach ancient history, I learned some new things from his descriptions. It is certainly something else to see what the Romans were able to accomplish 2000 years ago

Leaving the Forum, we walked around a bit before we settled in for supper of bruschetta and pasta at Due Colonne restaurant. The meal was okay, though we were packed like sardines into the rather small building. Then we hit the cobblestones again, weaving through the packed streets again, past the Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps. Some of the places in Rome are neat to see at night, and the steps were one of them. I kind of remember the 1992 visit, but it was certainly great to refresh my memory.

It’s been a brutally long day and a busy evening, so I’ll sign off. We’re heading to the Vatican tomorrow, so I’ll have a lot to report again. Until then…

1 Comment

Posted by on March 13, 2023 in History, Travel


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One response to “Italy 2023 Day 3

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