What better way to end a trip than to head to Rome! After a lifetime of hearing about the famed Eternal City, we were finally here, with a feeling that could only be described as surreal. Rome has always been of especial interest to Devin as it embodies the very seat of European power - the home of the Republic, The Empire and later the Church. Our guide on our tour of Pagan Rome was sure to emphasize the imposing structures of the Romans - from the Colosseum to the Temple of Saturn - that were designed to leave the viewer with no choice but to acknowledge the power of the mighty state.
As we walked through Rome on the very roads that were built millennia ago, beginning at the Colosseum, we learned from our guide that these ruins only reached their current state because the Romans themselves ruined them. After the fall of the Roman empire, the people of Rome tore apart their buildings to harvest the marble. These structures were built to last, over-engineered and beautifully decorated with marble, and now the structures are but a faint reminder of their former glory. From here we made our way over to the Forum, the very center of Roman government and life with its broad open spaces and imposing temples. We stood in the very place where Julius Caesar was murdered. We continued our tour and reached the Pantheon, which we were told is the best preserved Roman structure from antiquity, owing to the fact that it was converted to a church fairly early on in history. We were amazed by the coffered dome with its large central opening. Our tour continued passed Roman obelisks taken from the Egyptians and fountains symbolizing the breadth of the Roman Empire.
Our walking tour came to a close and Trina gave us some excellent recommendations for dinner. The two of us decided to part ways with the rest of our group so that we could enjoy a romantic dinner alone in one of the city squares at a mozzarella bar. We treated ourselves to a bottle of wine and some smoked and buffalatta mozzarella, along with artichoke hearts, olives, and sardines. And then we looked back… sitting about 5 feet away from us were about 6 of our fellow travellers. So much for a romantic getaway! But we liked all of them so much that we really couldn’t mind too much, so we just laughed and continued on with yet another delicious Italian dinner.