Our fantastic week in Rome started with an overnight train ride from Graz via Bruck to Roma Termini. For many, this was the first time on a night jet. And, unbelievably, most of us did get some sleep…
The following morning, we arrived in the eternal city at Stazione Termini, and the whole group managed to board bus X40 into the city (despite all our luggage!). After a short ride, we noisily rolled our suitcases over the cobblestoned Roman streets, stepping over SPQR signs, passing the Pantheon and Bernini’s Elephant, carrying the smallest of the obelisks in Rome, along Piazza Navona to our hostel.
The countless daily steps and kilometers on foot (per pedes!) have really paid off: already on the day of our arrival, we walked from our hostel via Piazza Navona (3 fountains) to Campo dei Fiori, through the Jewish quarter, past the theater of Macellus to Santa Maria in Cosmedin and Bocca della Verita, and then along the banks of the river Tiber to Trastevere for our first Italian meal (pizza and pasta as much as we could eat). After a short visit to a church during Sunday evening service and a stroll around the evening-lit district, we walked back to our hostel – and up to the fifth floor where everyone fell into their beds. (We will not say anything about the temperature of the shower.)
We continued like this, taking at least 15.000 steps a day. Or 20.000. Or even a few more. We saw Rome from above (Castel Sant’Angelo, St. Peter’s Basilica – including the dome (670 extra steps) and from below (Domus Romane below Palazzo Valentini; San Clemente). Most impressive were certainly the ancient and monumental buildings of the Colosseo and Vittorio Emmanuele II.
And there was always an optional offer, e.g. a visit to the Church of San Clemente with its Mithras sanctuary deep below, in an ancient Roman house, today two floors below, at that time on street level. For those who did not need a break (there were only a few, though).
For lunch and dinner, Mrs. Schatz and Mr. Hois had always reserved a table for us at nice Ostarias, and so we got to know Italian antipasti, pasta and pizza in different variations.
We also wrote postcards on the roof of Saint Peter’s (Mr. Hois had provided each one of us with Vatican stamps) and thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon on the beach in Ostia, including an unexpected trip in a cool minibus due to an interrupted railway line. Picnicking by the sea and having ice cream at SALUS beach felt like a holiday.
And now that we all know our way round in Rome, on public transport as well as on foot, we will certainly go back to this wonderful and amazing city asap.
Hois/Scha and the Latin students of 7abi
And there was something else:
“Es war immer schön und heiß, und es gab jeden Tag ein Eis” (das beste übrigens bei Giolitti).
“20 Leute fanden Platz im kühlen Minibus. Nur nicht Hois Peter, der kam im überfüllten Bus später.” (-: