Travel: Bidding Addio to Rome

Italian is an artful and complex language, it tops my  list of five languages that I want to gain fluency in,  and it is with this prose that I bid Addio to Rome. It was a long and prolonged day for both myself and my poor, ravaged feet. Despite this, I wanted to cherish the feeling of history beneath my footsteps, and inhale my final breaths of roman air.

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I could think of no better place to experience this, than to ponder the epic feats and legends of Ancient Rome whilst gazing at the Trevi Fountain at dusk with the sun retracting its golden rays. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I passed by the Pantheon during my stroll, I’m still not sure how this two-thousand year old structure missed my list of must-sees.

The circular building is composed of a portico supported by large granite Corinthian columns  beneath a pediment. This links to the rotunda which lays beneath a coffered concrete dome containing a occulus. To this day, this dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome at a diameter and height of 43.3 meters (142 ft). It is from this building, that Paris’s pantheon derives its name.  The Pantheon contains the tombs of Raphael, Peruzzi, Carraci, Corelli, two kings of italy, and one queen. I will certainly have to remember to visit this beautifully preserved structure at a future date.

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Nonetheless, I continued onwards to treat myself to some Gelato from the famous Giolitti‘s. As the oldest ice cream parlor in the city, it has been owned and run by the same family since its founding in 1890.


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Famous amongst tourists and locals alike, it maintains a diverse range of unique flavors, such as champagne, ricotta, and rice. Not aware of this, I opted for some more traditional choices.

I rounded off my night by tossing a Euro into the Trevi. The tradition is to use the right hand to throw a coin in over the left shoulder.


One coin means you’ll return to Rome, two mean you’ll return and fall in love, and three mean you’ll return, find love, and marry. I wish I had known about the superstition behind multiple coins, because my love life is seriously lacking . . .

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Travel: Beneath the Streets of Rome

My day started off fairly morbidly as it began by exploring a Capuchin Crypt beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. When moving from an old monastery in 1631, the monks arrived bearing 300 cartloads of deceased friars. Fr. Michael of Bergamo then oversaw arrangement of the bones amongst soil that had been brought from Jerusalem by order of Pope Urban VIII.


During the lifetime of the crypt, as monks passed away, longer-buried remains were exhumed to make room for the newly-deceased and the reclaimed bones were added to the decorative motifs.The average time span of decomposition was 30 years, and the total skeletal remains number 3,700.

Six rooms with individual themes bear the following names:

  1. Crypt of the Resurrection
  2. The Mass Chapel
  3. Crypt of the Skulls
  4. Crypt of the Pelvises
  5. Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones
  6. Crypt of the Three Skeletons

If you recall a former post, from my visit to Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic, despite modern-day opinions on death, bones, and gore, one could understand the thought behind such a display. It is not meant to be macabre, but a gentle reminder that each lifespan is but a swift passage on earth and even we can not escape our own mortality.

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Experiencing a strong desire to bask in the roman air and sunshine, I emerged from these depths to stroll above ground. This led me to pensive pondering while admiring the infamous Trevi Fountain. I’ll speak more about the history and myths behind this landmark site in a future post as I came back to this location a multitude of times.

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A hop, skip, and jump away is an archaeological dig called the ‘City of Water.’ Discovered in 1999 during reconstruction of the former Cinema Sala Trevi, it is a little-known tourist destination.  The excavation is merely 400 m², but reveals a 4th century Roman mansion built upon two former insulae and a section of aqueduct. This section is part of the Acqua Vergine and actually connects to the Trevi Fountain!