Friday, March 23, 2018

Classical Italy Day 7: Baths of Caracalla, the Catacombs of San Callisto, and biking the Via Appia

Our first day in Roma was filled with activity. We started our day by taking taxis to the Circus Maximus. From there we took a short walk over to the Baths of Caracalla. The baths were truly spectacular. Walking around, we felt like ants because the walls were so high. We explored and saw the awesome mosaics that are left on the floor of the entire place. The most amazing part of the baths is the mystery of how such a grand place had a huge roof at one time. While no one knows the material the roof was made of, it is still a cool experience to just use your imagination. 

Look at the size of Caracalla's baths!

Caracalla's baths

We next visited the San Callisto Catacombs. We got to go inside and experience tombs from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries on the 2nd level of the catacombs. Although most of the bones have been removed from the 2nd floor, we did get to see two skeletons. 

Then we took a lovely walk down to a quick lunch before we split up. One group walked around the Via Appia and enjoyed the scenery, while the other group biked a few miles down the Via Appia. Even though the ride was very bumpy at times, it was still extremely cool to bike down a place were Romans would walk to get in and out of Rome. There were awesome views of the aqueducts from the trail. Another highlight from the ride was getting caught in the middle of a herd of goats. 

Sheep blocking the road

Biking the Via Appia

A bumpy ride

We walked back up the Via Appia to the bus and drove back into the walls of Roma. We visited the Ara Pacis, or Altar of Peace. We then walked around the city and made our way to the Spanish Steps. After having a few minutes to wonder around on our own, we travelled over to the Trevi Fountain. We all threw a few coins into the fountain which made us feel like we were Lizzy from The Lizzy McGuire Movie (please watch the movie if you have never seen it before). We headed towards the Pantheon where we walked around and explored the piazza before an amazing dinner. 

We are near the end of our ride. Notice the aqueduct in the distance.

AC Veith and Charlotte Fontham

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