Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Down Day?

Today was not quite as busy as yesterday. Which is good. I thought I would fall down from sheer exhaustion!

This morning, we visited the Casae Romanae. Those of you with Spanish training should be able to figure out what that is. The Roman Houses! There is a church, whose name escapes me, with 5 levels of Roman housing underneath. Unfortunately, we were only able to see the top-most layer, I think. The rest we could see through holes in the floor, but not actually reach out and touch. Darn it.

The one level was cool though, because it had an inscription about John and Paul, who were martyred for the sake of Jesus. There was also an altar there. And other ancient stuff. Neat!

Then a group of us went to the Baths of Diocletian. He was an emperor in the 3rd century AD. We did get to go in the Baths, but not in the same way we were in the Baths of Caracalla yesterday. These Baths have been rebuilt as other buildings. Like a church. And a museum. And some other stuff. The church we went into is Santa Maria with Angels, or something. It was HUGE and only took up about 1/10 of the total original Baths.

I can't explain it, you'll just have to come see it yourself.

We also went into 2 museums. Yes, I went into 2 museums. In the same day. And my head did not explode, though I seriously thought it would. The first one held a lot of inscriptions. Like writing etched in marble or other stone. It's called epigraphy. It's cool. I tried to take pics of some to show my students.

The second museum had a lot of statues. Including one famous statue of the emperor Augustus (27 BC-14 AD) dressed in his Pontifex Maximus robes. I'd actually never heard of it, but maybe someone else out there has. We specifically went to this museum, the Palasso Massimo, to view a room from Livia's house. It contains the wall paintings (frescoes) from her dining room (triclinium). They are very pretty!

Livia was the wife of Augustus. I think. It's hard to keep all those women straight, especially since very little is written about them.

After that museum, Kate, Carrie, and I went to eat lunch, then over to St. Peter's Basilica. That is also known as Vatican City, for those of you who don't know or may be confused. Since I had just been there last month, I didn't feel the need to go back into the basilica itself. Instead, I just went into the gift shop, where I bought gifts for several family members. And yes, I know they are not all Catholic, but deal. It's from a foreign country. That alone makes it cool.

After that, we went back to the compound/hotel. not too strenuous.

I have been trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to get the past few days worth of pictures off of the camera. It is taking a long time. I promise that I will post some as soon as I finish.

Looking forward to the weekend. Once we're done tomorrow, around 5:00, I am free until Monday morning! Some folks are talking about going to Orvieto on Saturday. I don't know. It is an ancient Etruscan city. And I've never been there. But it requires taking a train. And those aren't cheap. It's like 15 Euro round trip (about $25). Plus food. And entrance to whatever sights are up there. But what would I do if I stayed here? Sit around all day, most likely.

Oh, decisions. If only my Hubs were here! He'd help me decide! Maybe I should have asked him when I was talking to him earlier. Oh. well.

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