13/9/10 – 5.30pm
The day started with rain, which made taking photos rather problematic, but it brightened up throughout the day.
We started by going to the Forum Romanum to see an early church which was converted from a Roman building and which had some amazing early Medieval frescoes. One of the walls was called ‘The Palimpsest Wall’, where you could see patches of several different layers of frescoes from different phases in the building’s history, which was amazing. The church is not open to the public and there were people at work excavating/restoring it, so we were very lucky to be able to see it.
From there we made our way to a coffee shop for a break, before going to another church, the name of which I can’t remember, which has tunnel-like Roman/early Christian remains underneath it, which was really interesting if a little creepy.
Then it was time for lunch, and we sat outside a church just round the corner from the Pantheon. There was a wedding taking place there, which prompted some discussion on the subject of matrimony. Having recently been released from the prospect of matrimony myself, my thoughts on the subject were less than enthusiastic.
After lunch, we tried to go to one of the religious outfitters to purchase some bishop socks for Jo’s dad, but unfortunately it was closed, so we went to Giolitti’s for ice cream instead!
We then descended on the Crypta Balba museum, which was interesting but we didn’t spend very long there unfortunately. We processed over the Tiber to Trastevere, where the course was brought to a close with a look around the stunning church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. The best thing about it was the outside wall, in which were mounted numerous Roman paving stones which had Roman graffiti showing all sorts of things, from scribbled writing to a little drawing of a barrel, and one of a ship!
The course programme now sadly at an end, we went to a nearby bar for a drink. It didn’t seem the most respectable bar if truth be told, and
while we were there, an ambulance drew up outside and took somebody away on a stretcher…!
A few of us left the bar to head home to the BSR and get our packing done, and on the way home we got waylaid by some clothes shops, where I purchased a really cool new dress at not inconsiderable expense, which I am planning on wearing tonight for our final night in Rome. I don’t want to leave Rome and I can’t believe it’s over already!