Today we started our day off with a lecture from Scott at the AIA then we started our walking tour. We first visited the Torre Argentina, famous for being the place where Julius Caesar was murdered and recently famous for being home to over 200 cats. Would’ve been the perfect day for a telephoto….
We then made our way to the Pantheon, one of the most iconic structures in Rome, where we learned about its construction and usage. Supposedly on the Eucharist, the firefighters in Rome stand on the roof and drop rose petals through the opening in the dome, recreating a symbolic visual of fire. It’s incredible to imagine that the Romans could have built such an amazing structure without so much of the technology we have today. We also checked out a Renaissance church with an amazing perspectival fresco painted on the ceiling. It reminded me so much of all the churches we visited in Venice last year and made me super excited to go back there in just a few days.
After a quick lunch break at this “American” restaurant called Top Bar and Grill, which had only been open for five days, we headed to San Clemente and met Anthony, where we toured the basilica that was built on top of 3 different structures. It has been recently excavated so we got to journey into the multiple stories below. We walked through a 1st century church, a Roman mint, and the home of a Roman nobleman - all underground! It was possibly the coolest thing ever. Now, I’m definitely a bit claustrophobic so it was a bit tough in that regard, but it was so amazing to be walking through these ancient structures underground. Surreal in a way.
After a walk+bus ride back to our hotel, we found this great little hole in the wall restaurant where a bunch of us got a super cheap multi-course meal. Our waiter was the most adorable old man and kept trying to teach us bits and pieces of Italian.
Looking forward to hitting up the Trevi Fountain and Spanish steps tomorrow!