Campo de Fiori, Pantheon and Catacombs
Out the door nice and early to walk to the open-air market at Campo de Fiori. You could buy everything from fresh food, clothing, olive oil, to pastas. This was a fun place to browse and people watch. Everything was so enticing.
From the Campo we walked to the Pantheon, which is right in the heart of Rome. It is Rome’s best-preserved monument. It was constructed in 27 BC, but updated in 120 AD by Emperor Hadrian. The dome itself is so high and remarkable that it provided inspiration for the greats like Brunelleschi and Michelangelo. Originally, it was a temple where you could come pay respects to all the pagan gods (primarily pan). Think of it as a one stop-shopping house of worship! During the middle ages it became a Christian church dedicated to all the martyrs. Today the Swiss Guard, just like the Vatican, watches over it. What a beautiful monument this was!
Next, we hailed a cab and headed toward the outskirts of Rome to see the Catacombs de Priscilla. Seriously, Catacombs! Down in the tunnels there were over 40 thousand people buried! Through the years tourists and thieves have robbed the bones. It is believed that the oldest fresco of the Madonna and Child is painted on the walls. There are frescoes and carvings all over the walls and ceilings depicting redemption through Christ and the resurrection. Many martyrs were buried there although it was not a hide-out for those being persecuted. Unfortunately we were unable to take pictures inside to share with you. Today it is an active monastery. We finished off the day with a total of 14, 010 steps and a gelato. Are your feet and legs aching yet?! What happened to retirement was supposed to be relaxing?
Want to hear more about our Italian adventure? Keep reading this series!