La Sorpresa

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.

Here’s the fountain we fill our bottles with at the end of our street or vicolo (little street).



About ssteven2

I'm a reader, writer, swimmer, and school librarian. I love my summers so I can travel.
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4 Responses to La Sorpresa

  1. Jana Kennon says:

    Too cute–your coffee! I like your idea of going to the same place every morning for coffee. Especially when you are staying in an apt. I am sure it makes you feel more like a part of the neighborhood!

    San Clemente sounds amazing. I would never have known about the underground levels. It’s all very Opus Dei/Knights Templar/Da Vinci Code-ish!

    • ssteven2 says:

      True. At Hotel Torcalo you get a free breakfast and free cappuccino. It’s a very nice patio. You are going to love your location. That’s my theory: location, location, location! We walked to St. Peter’s and back this evening. So close and beautiful and HUGE.

  2. sandra062013 says:

    You’re right, Sara, I love the cappuccino! I’m going to show it to Ali – as a barrista she will appreciate it and maybe it will even inspire her! So cool. Also, I must say Richard is quite a good sport for you to photograph and post his underwear on your blog! Whatta guy.

    • ssteven2 says:

      Sandra, we just got back from dinner and walking to St. Pete’s and back, and I read your reply and am laughing out loud. Richard read my post and said he felt a little funny with me writing about his underwear! I won’t put this one on Facebook!

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