Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rome, Part 1

Just before school started up again, we managed to squeeze in one last trip, this time to Italy.  We spent four days in Rome and three days in Sorrento, right on the cusp of Italy's Amalfi Coast.  It was wonderful.  And warm!  I think I may actually have gotten my fill of sunshine, letting it soak into my bones in an attempt to store it up for the cold, gray winter ahead.  I'm missing it now as I sit here shivering under a down blanket, looking out at the drizzly, gloomy sky.  It was so nice to be warm!

Weather aside, we had a great time in Rome.

There were lots of statues of famous ancient Romans:

... which delighted Will to no end.  He's a huge fan of the series, Horrible Histories, and apparently Rotten Romans is especially gory.  Which, I guess, is to be expected.

So, he was very excited to see the Coliseum...

...which is just as ancient as impressive as you'd expect, both inside and out.  

Surrounding the Coliseum (and any big tourist destination) were groups of Gladiators (or are they Roman soldiers?  Apparently, as Will informed me, there is a difference but I don't remember it now).  Anyway, these guys...

... who for the bargain price of 10 Euros, allowed Will to pose for a picture with them.  For that price, I figured I'd get in on the action too.

Kate wouldn't stand within 20 feet of these guys.  Too scary!

After that, we headed over to the Bocca della Verità.  Supposedly, it will bite off the hands of liars, so we -- along with everyone else in Rome -- waited in line for the chance to have our hands amputated by this ancient carving.  Will was a little nervous...

...but he did it and came out unscathed.  Kate thought the whole thing was hilarious...

...until it came up to actually sticking in her own little hand.  She got uncharacteristically quiet but eventually put her hand in.

I'm so relieved to find out my children are honest.  Incidentally, speaking of honesty, if you visit the Bocca del Verita, don't fall for the same rip-off we did.  After you leave the mouth, you have to exit through the church to which it's attached.  As we did, we were beckoned over by a priest who told us there was something interesting to see in the church's crypt.  So we headed down the stairs only to discover absolutely nothing of interest.  NOTHING!  Maybe there was a statue of the Virgin Mary, which, believe me, are a dime a dozen in Rome.  As we ascended the staircase, the priest once again approached us, asking if we cared to make a donation for our most fascinating visit.  Not wanting to be rude, we gave him a couple of Euros.  For the five seconds we were there!  Unbelievable.

Anyway, Rome is famous for its beautiful fountains and justly so.  Here are the kids in front of the Trevi Fountain.

Naturally, the kids had to throw coins in the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.  Will was more interested in plotting how he'd spend the fortune contained in the fountain, if only he could manage to sneak it out.  No chance of that, as there were hordes of policemen around blowing whistles at anyone attempting to steal the coins or to splash in the fountain.


  1. The Bocca della Verità is so cool! Wish I would have known about it while we were in Rome. What is it with those Roman Gladiators handing their swords to the ladies? Insert inappropriate Freudian joke here. :) I fell victim as well.

  2. Have you seen Roman Holiday? I vaguely remembered the Bocca della Verita from that, so I wanted to see it. I have to say, it did feel like one of Rome's worst tourist traps, what with the huge line, 2 Euro per picture fee, plus the crypt rip-off at the exit. Still, the kids loved it.