19th June 2012
I started out this morning with no plan or destination in mind. I took the smaller streets behind via Nazionale and came out at the Piazza della Republica. It’s not one of the really famous piazzas but I quite liked the semi-circular symmetry of buildings. I found the very pretty Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs by accident just near there as well. I just had to stop for my morning coffee and chocolate brioche before doing any serious sight-seeing, I really am addicted to them. The hoho bus got me around near the Circo Massimo again where I spent some time before heading back towards the Ponte Palatino. I passed by the interesting round Temple of Hercules Victor. It was located with-in the cattle market at one time and I read somewhere that flies and dogs won’t enter the temple because of this – bit far-fetched but I’ve heard stranger things I suppose.
I took tonnes of photos as I crossed the bridge towards Trastavere, mostly of the remnants of the Ponte Rotto and the Isola Tiberina – very cool, both of them. The markets were a bit of a let down because I had heard from a few people that I should try to see them but maybe I just wasn’t there at the best time. I sort of got a bit lost in the maze of little streets but found a great little café for lunch, although none of the staff spoke much English I managed okay. I’m really enjoying trying out my patchy Italian – it’s really very patchy, but listening to Italian lessons on cd’s and podcasts over the last twelve months has paid some dividends, yay.
It took me a VERY long time to make my way back to the hotel today. I crossed back over the Tiber at the other end of the island and meandered through the most enchanting places. I’m a little disappointed in myself for not knowing what it is I’m gawking at most of the time, even though I’m loving every minute. But I’ve promised myself that when I return I’ll have the time to remedy that problem.