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Rome day 3

Rome Travel Blog

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The Roman baths

Today I joined up with a fellow hostel stayer and we headed out into the city.  Our plan for the day was to head to the south of Rome and check out some of the sites there often overlooked by other travelers.  We walked to the Travestere area of Rome, which is an area really noted for it's nightlife.  We decided we would come back here at night.  We did buy some food, though, as it was almost lunch time...so we hung out in the area and ate.  After that, we hopped a bus south to the Roman baths.  I figured that since the baths were so cool in England, they had to be even better in Rome!  Well, I couldn't have been more wrong.  All that was left were the walls of the complex and some mosaic tile here and there.

Mosaic in the Roman baths
  The mosaics were the highlight, there was no water and nothing else to see.

Disappointed, we took the bus to Catacombs S. Callisto.  This was only briefly mentioned in my guide book, but it sounded really neat.  It turned out to be one of the best places I visited in Rome.  They offer tours in about every language, and it did not take long for the tour in English to start.  We descended into the earth, and learned about the history of the catacombs.  In Roman times, the wealthy Romans would order these catacombs dug out for the royalty to be buried.  No one could be buried inside the city, so the different catacombs form a sort of circle around the city.  These particular catacombs were managed by Callixtus, who would later become a pope.

2000 year old Catacombs

We went down to the second floor of the four story catacombs.  To respect the dead, no photos were allowed here.  Our guide, after sharing that bit of history with us, took us around and showed us various graves of different importance.  It turned out that over the course of time, 9 popes were buried here, and also famous Christian martyrs.  None remain buried here.  We were also taken into a small room where we learned about early Christianity.  The Apostle Paul came to Rome to preach the gospel, and because of that Christianity took root in the city.  However, these Christians had no place to worship.  The law in Rome was as follows:  "No one is allowed to have Christian services or worship anywhere on Roman soil.

This is a 4 star McDonalds!
"  So, the early Christians obeyed that law - and went underground.  Even there, they were not safe from the Romans.  We were able to see the sword marks on the walls from Roman soldiers.  We also heard many touching stories about martyrs, young and old, who lost their lives for Christ.

Leaving the Catacombs behind with a tear in my eye, we decided to walk all the way across Rome and check out the famous Spanish Steps.  We still had a good chunk of the day, so we took our time and enjoyed ourselves.  We stopped at the tomb of the unknown soldier along the way.  Finally just before the Spanish Steps, my new friend grabbed my arm and told me that I had to check out the McDonalds here.  Not understanding, I followed her inside.

Spanish Steps
  I was blown away.  This two story McDonalds looked like a McDonalds celebrities would eat at.  Okay, I am exaggerating, but hopefully I get the point across.  It looked really nice inside, the entry way had little waterfalls and plants, and once upstairs the place opens up with pillars, a huge salad bar, and lots of seating.  Strangely enough, the area where you order was identical to any other McDonalds.

Enough about that.  We walked down the road a bit and came to the Spanish Steps.  It was really busy in this area, but we spent some time there before heading back.

Later that evening, the group got together again and we checked out Travestere.  Wandering through the area, it was neat to see that each little plaza (piazza) in Rome was unique, with a fountain or statue or a set of unique shops.

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The Roman baths
The Roman baths
Mosaic in the Roman baths
Mosaic in the Roman baths
2000 year old Catacombs
2000 year old Catacombs
This is a 4 star McDonalds!
This is a 4 star McDonalds!
Spanish Steps
Spanish Steps
The Roman baths
The Roman baths
Catacombs S. Callisto
Catacombs S. Callisto
All thats left of Circus Maximus
All that's left of Circus Maximus
Catacombs S. Callisto
Catacombs S. Callisto
Tomb of the unknown soldier
Tomb of the unknown soldier
Looking down from the Spanish Steps
Looking down from the Spanish Steps
Rome Sights & Attractions review
This often overlooked site in southern Rome is, in the reviewer's opinion, one of the best in the city. These catacombs, dating back to the 2nd centu… read entire review
Rome
photo by: vulindlela