DATE: Tuesday 11 July, 1995



The Circus without the bread

REMARKS: After a hot and restless night the morning is pleasantly cool - although it is to be the 'calm before the storm' as it were!

Breakfast is interesting: bread for toast, fresh fruit (apricots), jams, cheeses, cold meats, rolls, and chocolate filled muffins, etc. and nice tea, We leave fairly hurriedly without really planning what to do, or how to get there. A lengthy walk and questions of a bus-driver have us heading for the Metro. We navigate the trip to Termini (tickets, payment, turnstiles, platform numbers and all) and then change lines.

Beggars notwithstanding, we make it. Desiree is very stressed by the possibility of loosing one of the kids, and the crowds of potential thieves and pickpockets, and hadn't seen a lot, but we are at the Coliseum. Main impression: HEAT.

Across the road is the Forum. Again: HEAT, this time with DUST. We walk through a maze of poorly-signposted paths, relics, and ruins and other tourists. The buildings amaze because of their durability and apparent randomness. Yet the scale impresses. Clearly a vast complex, it's not hard to people it with imaginary throngs of cheering Romans. Interestingly, although one or two places, such as the Sacra Vista (or Via Sacra) and the Triumphal Arch are grandly positioned, other sites don't give the feel of having been positioned for maximum visual or scenic effect. Rather the feeling is of proximity and intimacy - at odds with my pre-conceptions of the sweep and grandeur of the occasions held therein. I wonder how much this has been coloured by Hollywood epics?

Roman public transport didn't co-operate and send a bus to us near the hotel, we weren't keen on the Metro again, so we take a cab - much more pleasant. Siesta is a damned fine tradition - shame about the kids wanting to play not sleep!

Post-siesta: hit the shops! (again). Oh the trials of European sizing. Jayne and Desiree are shod, Sarah is skirted and topped, and Desiree outfitted (not without frustration however). The kids are bearing up remarkably well - Jayne by sleeping in the stroller!
Laden with booty and Visa dockets we repair to the Hotel Alimandi, with a gelati and beer stop en route, and take advice for dinner. Local food in a local ristorante - oh well: 'When in Rome …!

Charlotte is in strife again. Let's hope it is short-lived






The Coliseum

The Forum

All the photos in one place!


The Coliseum

The Forum

Hotel Alimandi

Maps & Aerial Photos

Our thanks to all & sundry