More From Rome!

It’s our last day in Rome and I’m blogging in a melancholy mood from a coffee shop called Recafe, looking out onto the Mausoleum of Augustus. I’m going to miss the delicious coffee that I’ve had every day (okay, multiple times a day) so much when we leave, but not as much as I’ll miss the pizza.

One of my favorite sites in Rome actually had very little to do with Roman history or art. The Keats- Shelley Memorial House in Piazza di Spagna, right next to the famous Spanish steps, really touched the English Lit fan in me with its commemoration of the Romantic poets. The museum is based in the house in which Keats passed away, having come to Rome in an attempt to recover from his long-term ill health. I’ve always been interested in Keats and the Romantic poets, so I really enjoyed looking at all the letters and manuscripts on display there.

Another highlight that took me by surprise was the beauty I found in some of the old churches of Rome. I’m not a religious person, but it was difficult not to feel moved when looking up at the stunning mosaics and paintings in the Basilica at the Santa Maria church in Trastevere or the incredible fresco in Sant’Ignazio, the “church of illusions.”

Yesterday we took the rather long trip out of Rome to Pompeii, where around 3,000 people were killed in 79 AD by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Seeing the ancient city preserved so perfectly after its destruction so many years ago was truly fascinating, so I’d definitely recommend anyone take the trip out if they ever visit Rome. It’s well worth the train journey.

Just like in Athens, it’s been very hot here in Rome and we’ve definitely tanned from all this walking around and sightseeing! Luckily, there are free public water fountains all around the city so we’ve kept well hydrated in the heat.

So that’s the end of our Roman holiday, but we’re not done with Italy yet! Our train to Florence leaves this afternoon. Hopefully it will live up to the high expectations we now hold for Italian cities!

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