We slept late, but Jack reminds us that you’re supposed to on vacations. Still, I don’t like missing anything. I always like to return to the same neighborhood bar for cappuccino each morning, always ordering for me and portare via (take away) for Jack. Today I was chatting with the same barista, and he gave me this surprise!
Another “morning adventure” — I was taking our clothes off the clothesline, and I dropped a pair of Richard’s underwear several floors down into the courtyard. I found out that the courtyard is accessible only through another building! Good thing it was just underwear. Look for the little square of blue on the concrete below.
We went to San Clemente, which I highly recommend. It’s a couple of blocks from the Coliseum. It’s a beautiful old church with an amazing mosaic in the apse from the Middle Ages, but the coolest part is that you can see three layers of Rome in one spot. You go underground to an even older Christian Church with frescoes and looming brick arches. Next you go down deeper to an old Roman house from the second century and then a temple and school devoted to the Persian god, Mithras. In the central altar is a statue of a god stabbing a bull for sacrifice. The cult of Mithras was for men only and included seven secret initiations. Touring San Clemente and beneath gives you a sense of the layers of history and how the Christians appropriated significant pagan sites.
Next we went to Villa de Giulia to see the amazing Etruscan treasures. A bit too many vases for me to take in, but the highlight was a life-size double tomb with the husband and wife reclining for a meal, his arm draped casually over her shoulder. It was all in red porphyry. There was room after room, and it became a bit overwhelming. There was a lovely garden, though. I love the umbrella pines.