I love Rome (2): the exploration continuous

Due to some very tiresome days I am a bit behind on posts, since I am opposed to long dreadful posts and since we saw a lot I am just going to post one day at a time. Nevertheless, I will still have more than enough information and pictures.

To keep things short, we planned two guided tours this day: a bicycle tour through the city and an evening walking tour with ghost stories as the topic. Both were wonderful and definitely recommendable.

So … First or morning tour by bicycle. We booked our tour at Bici and Baci a bicycle and Vespa rental close to the Forum Romanum. The tour was super chill and fascinating, we crossed a huge part of the ancient part of the city and got a lot of useful information on the way.

Colloseum
The Colosseum from an excellent vantage point
Panteon
The Pantheon
Remnants of the old circus at the Piazza Navone
The walls of the old Circus that now finds itself beneath the Piazza Navona
Santa Maria Church of Peace
Chiesa Santa Maria della Pace: many people (including me) don’t know that Rafael painted more churches than the Sistine Chapel, this well-hidden church is an excellent example.

TIP: Our tour with Bici&Baci was well-organized and the guide was happy to answer all our questions. Tours are available in English, French, German and Spanish and we sure as hell had a wonderful time

TIP: When you are at the Piazza Fiori make sure you visit the bakery at the corner of the square. Especially their pizza is popular among the locals.

TIP: Thirsty in Rome? All those alluring little taps along the way actually contain drinking water. Everywhere you can find those little drinking spots assuring free and cold water.

In the afternoon we sadly had to alter our plans. Originally we wanted to go to Tivoli. Tivoli is a small village outside of Roma with idyllic villas and gardens, but luck was against us. After waking up after a nice nap in the train we noticed the train still hadn’t left and substitute busses were organized. However, not to Tivoli. A bit sad we asked our money back and went back to the centre, having lost more or less our entire afternoon.

But the optimist always sees the glass half full and soon we had evening plans. Namely, a ghost tour across Rome. We booked this trip with City Wonders and were again very happy with our choice. The tour was an interesting mix of history, legends and tragic stories and we never experienced a dull moment.

 

 

Some funny stories behind the next three pictures:

#1: This gloomy figure on the Piazza di Fiori is a Roman philosopher executed for heresy. At the age of 17 he was already condemned, he fled though and has been on the run for the rest of his life, ending up in Rome again.

#2: This depiction of Madonna can be found on many street corners, protecting the oblivious roamers from muggers. This idea, introduced by a pope in the middle ages, actually reduced the crime rate of the city. How much influence can a depiction possible have?

#3: This dark and robust villa once belonged to the Farnesi family, a family so rich they felt they had the right to do the strangest things, such as closing down the piazza in front of their castle and make a pool out of it in the summer. Nowadays the French embassy takes place here, thanks to Napoleon who put up quarters here.

TIP: the City Wonders Ghost and Mystery tour is certainly recommendable. The groups were small and the guide told his stories with passion. Again these trips are available in several languages.

All by all, a wonderful day and looking out for tomorrow.

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