Incredible sights, from art to archaeology to early church history
Rome surely deserves more time than we are able to give it. So much history is fixed here—events we all learned about (or should have) since grammar school: Romulus and Remus, Catullus, Cicero, Julius Caesar and adopted heir Augustus, first-bishop Peter, pre-Stradivarius Nero, and a whole catalog of Popes, both famous and infamous.
Two things in particular I would like to experience: one a Rome-by-night excursion—in part for the mystique of a place fully come alive, and in part for the uniquely-primed populace abroad then (not so much standing with mobs shoulder to shoulder with smartphones held aloft toward, say, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel...). And secondly I would like to revisit the Via Appia on e-bike and maybe the Domatilla catacomb site along the way.
... and not fall off, this time.
Even though I spent some time down in these very tall underground hallways, lined with tens of thousands of (now empty) niches, it's worth experiencing all over again for the subliminal appreciation of history that may be found here, or perhaps be implanted within. If you should come here, remember that it is strictly forbidden to take photos/videos of these hallowed places. Just keep smartphones turned off and cameras stowed, remembering that the earnest folks, in whose stewardship these chambers are, take the spiritual meaning of it all very seriously. And actually the onsite bookstore does have remarkably worthwhile mementos.
Extracted (and improved) from a purchased bookstore-DVD with German (!) voice-overs, this image shows a room where those faithful to Jesus assembled, where they buried their dead—and declared their certainty that even mighty Rome (of pre-Constantine era ) did not have the final authority. Not on earth, certainly never in Heaven.
The e-bike tour visits this meadow, too, a pause for taking in the inventive industry of these old Romans. We think of grand places; I wonder, though, about everyday life there—togas and difficult declensions and all.
This (Google) street photo was taken several years ago. It shows our wooden door—a fourth of which is the actual opening to the passageway. That's a medieval tower in the distance; the Coliseum is a short walk from here, and the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a short walk in the other direction. And Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps .... here is the mystique of modern Rome blending together with Roma vecchia. Sweet.
Click to see our Roman living room
Living, sleeping here
Crossing the street now to nearby Stazione Roma Termini, to rumble northward to the Italian Lake District/Dolomites. Specifically