When in Rome…Part III

It’s a little after 10p.m. over here, the house is silent with the exception of the humming of the baby monitor, and the television lowered in the background. My husband is fast asleep next to me, and I am waiting for True Detective to start at 11p.m., so I figured I could use this time wisely to get started on chapter three.

In part two, we left off with the tour of the Forum Boarium. We didn’t have to walk far to get to our next stop which was across the street and a little stroll away. On our way there, I happened upon this little work of art.

Yup, It's graffiti again. Never boring, is it?

Yup, It’s graffiti again. Never boring, is it?

Sorry, I know it isn’t two thousand years old and considered “beautiful”, but, it is part of the new Roman landscape and I thought it blended pretty well (snicker, snicker).

After our stroll, we came upon the Arch of Janus, probably one of the lesser known Arch’s, and there isn’t a whole lot of information on it (that I can find at least), but, it is still something to admire.

The Arch of Janus, built sometime in the 4th century CE. It is not a 'triumphant' Arch, but, according to the Encyclopedia, more likely was built as a boundary marker.

The Arch of Janus, built sometime in the 4th century CE. It is not a ‘triumphant’ Arch, but, according to the Encyclopedia, more likely was built as a boundary marker.

This Arch has been through many different periods, and was even at one point made into a Fortress.

This Arch has been through many different periods, and was even at one point made into a Fortress.

Yes, the Arch has doors, that at one point, may have led to a pier or an upper story attic type area. The original Arch used to have a brick superstructure that was taken down in the 1830's because it was believed to not have been part of the existing structure. They were wrong.

Yes, the Arch has doors, that at one point, may have led to a pier or an upper story attic type area. The original Arch used to have a brick superstructure that was taken down in the 1830’s because it was believed to not have been part of the existing structure. They were wrong.

It is believed that these clam shell domed niches likely held statues at one point. Also, notice all of the pock marks? Their used to be iron in them.

It is believed that these clam shell domed niches likely held statues at one point. Also, notice all of the pock marks? There used to be iron in them.

Just past the Arch is a little 7th century church to the left, the basilica of San Giorgio al Velabro which also has the Arcus Argentariorum attached to it. Here is the thing, I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures of this place, it wasn’t till I was editing photos, and doing some more research on the place that I had wished I would have paid more attention. So, work with me here…

Let’s start with San Giorgio’s, this place is pretty small, and opens up wide in the beginning, only to narrow out in the back of the church. It isn’t like the other basilica’s in Rome, in that it is quite simple. In 1993, someone detonated a car bomb in front of the church and it had to be restored. Fortunately, they were able to rebuild the front entrance as it used to be, with all of the same material collected from the blast. Remember, the Roman’s are resourceful like that.

Did I take a picture of the front of the church? nope. I was too busy checking out the frame of the church door.

Did I take a picture of the front of the church? nope. I was too busy checking out the frame of the church door.

I literally only took two pictures from inside the church.

I literally only took two pictures from inside the church.

And here is number two. Even though this is a simpler church compared to others, it is still elegant, and has it's place in history. They still hold service's here and even host weddings!

And here is number two. Even though this is a simpler church compared to others, it is still elegant, and has its place in history. They still hold service’s here and even host weddings!

To the side of the church is the Arcus Argentariorum…again, I didn’t take too many pictures of it, so I’ve hyperlinked its name to a wiki page that has a full picture. Anyways, here is why I wish I would have taken more pictures of it. The Arcus’s likely purpose was that it was a passage way between the Forum Boarium and the Forum Magnum (currently called the Roman Forum), as it is situated on the Vicus Jugarius (translated from Latin to mean, the street of the Yoke-Makers). Why is this important? Well, let’s think about this, the Forum Boarium was the ancient market place, and the Forum Magnum was the ancient government or city center. Needed a lawyer? You went to the Forum Magnum. Wanted to witness a criminal trial, or watch a triumphant procession, again, you went to the Forum Magnum. So, as we are standing at the Arcus, it occurs to me as I look at the medium-tall grass surrounding a well-worn path, just past the Arcus, that thousands, perhaps millions, of people have walked that very same pathway, and there we were, getting a pseudo history lesson on it.

The top of the Arcus. Again, I took no whole pictures of it.

The top of the Arcus. Again, I took no whole pictures of it. It was erected in 204 AD, and also goes by the name “Arch of the Money-Changers”. It was commissioned by merchants in honor of Septimius Severus.

The left side of the Arcus.

The left side of the Arcus.

On the inside of the Arcus. The male figure is Caracalla, son of Septimius Severus. His wife, father-in-law, and brother Geta used to be pictured next to him. When his father died, he murdered his brother, and his wife and in-laws because they supported his brother. He issued a decree to have all images of his brother wiped away. Thus, only Caracalla is pictured here.

On the inside of the Arcus. The male figure is Caracalla, son of Septimius Severus. His wife, father-in-law, and brother Geta used to be pictured next to him. When his father died, he murdered his brother, and his wife and in-laws because they supported his brother as ruler. He issued a decree to have all images of his brother wiped away. Thus, only Caracalla is pictured here.

After our time at the Arcus, we again took a stroll down the road, around a corner, past the Belgium embassy. I have to share with you a few pictures of the building that the Belgium embassy was in, it is wicked looking, and honestly, that is the only way to describe it.

This long building housed the Belgium embassy along with other things I am sure.

This long building housed the Belgium embassy along with other things I am sure.

Another view of the building

Another view of the building.

Check out the foliage on the  walls. I felt like it was very...medievil.

Check out the foliage on the walls. I felt like it was very…medievil.

Right around the corner from the embassy is a long wall and walk way that leads you to the Capitoline Hill as well as breathtaking views of the Roman Forum.

The walk way, and some more urban street art.

The walk way, and some more urban street art.

The view!

The view!

More view!

More view!

So, here is the point in the story where I am reminded that the next time we go to Rome and do another tour, it will most definitely be sans the baby stroller. Let me tell you folks, Rome is amazing, awesome, fantastic, but, it is not exactly stroller friendly. We made it work, yes, but at times it was also very difficult and I would recommend a stroller that has all-terrain tires vice wheels. For you non-parents reading this, yes, a stroller with all-terrain strollers really does exist, see here.

Why did I bring this up? Because the road that led us to the Capitoline Hill, yeah, that meant we had to ascend the hill, as in, push the stroller up the hill. No elevators here my friends. Really though, it was a small sacrifice because when we got to the top of the hill we got to see this view.

A full view of the Roman Forum.

A full view of the Roman Forum.

The top of the Capitoline Hill leads you to the Piazza del Campodoglio, which was designed by Michelangelo in the 1500’s, it truly is a masterpiece and a must see if you are going to Rome. The Piazza is made up of three Palazzi (Palaces). The Palazzo Senatorio (the Senatorial Palace) in the center, which is the oldest of the three, the Palazzo dei Conservatori (Palace of the Conservatives), and the Palazzo Nuovo (the New Palace). I didn’t get pictures of all of the buildings, but I did get some good ones of the statues. Next time we go to Rome, I would love to tour the museums inside the buildings.

A bridge between buildings before the opening of the Piazza.

A bridge between buildings before the opening of the Piazza del Campodoglio.

The Roman Goddess, Minerva, at the center of the Palazzo Senatorio, was considered to be Rome personified.

The Roman Goddess, Minerva, at the center of the Palazzo Senatorio, was considered to be Rome personified.

On the left side of the staircase in the front of the Palazzo Senatorio, this statue is called "The Nile", and was created in the 1st century AD. It represents the Nile river, and clearly, you can see a sphinx on the statue.

On the left side of the staircase in the front of the Palazzo Senatorio, this statue is called “The Nile”, and was created in the 1st century AD. It represents the Nile river, and clearly, you can see a sphinx on the statue.

This statue is called the "Tiber", and represents the Tiber river. It is located on the right side of the Palazzo Senatorio. Both of these statues were created during the same time and were originally found in the ruins of the Baths of Constantine.

This statue is called the “Tiber”, and represents the Tiber river. It is located on the right side of the Palazzo Senatorio. Both of these statues were created during the same time and were originally found in the ruins of the Baths of Constantine.

In the center of the Piazza you will see the statue of Marcus Aurelius. There is a funny story behind this guy. You see, the only reason why it still exists today, is because when the square was first being built long before Michelangelo took over the design plan, they thought that it was actually a statue of the first Christian Emperor, Constantine. This was during a period when Rome was trying to convert its image from a “Pagan” society to a Christian one.  It wasn’t until the 15th century that it was discovered to be Marcus Aurelius, a former “Pagan” Emperor.

The bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the center of the Piazza is a replica, the real one was moved inside the Palazzo Nuovo in 1981 for preservation from the elements.

The bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the center of the Piazza is a replica, the real one was moved inside the Palazzo Nuovo in 1981 for preservation from the elements.

Even though Michelangelo didn't care for the statue too much, I'm still glad he kept it.

Even though Michelangelo didn’t care for the statue too much, I’m still glad he kept it.

IMG_3102

My favorite angle of our dear friend, Marcus.

My favorite angle of our dear friend, Marcus.

At the top of the famous Cordonata steps that open up to the Piazza are the two statues of twin brothers, Castor and Pollux.

Castor or Pollux? Who knows...

Castor or Pollux? Who knows…

The Castor and Pollux statues seem huge in real life.

The Castor and Pollux statues seem huge in real life.

And just as we started going down the Cordonata staircase, I spotted this interesting little statue.

Here kitty kitty....

Here kitty kitty….

He's a bit of a badass, isn't he?

He’s a bit of a badass, isn’t he?

Meow.

Meow.

After the Piazza del Campidoglio, we headed over to the ‘Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II’ which is at the center of the Piazza Venezia. In between the two Piazza’s is a church, as well as, some of Rome’s first condo’s…and just look what I spied while we stopped by.

An idea of what the first condo's may have looked like...and some bright graffiti to go with it.

An idea of what the first condo’s may have looked like…and some bright graffiti to go with it.

After that brief stop we proceeded straight to the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, which, can’t be missed. This baby is constructed of bright white marble and sticks out like a sore thumb compared to all of the other historical landmarks in Rome. It is only a little over a century old and was built in honor of Italy’s first King. I will tell you this, the one and only time I think we were grateful for the stroller was when we went inside the monument to go to the roof top and check out the view. Why? Because we were allowed to use the elevator. Yay! We didn’t really tour the inside of this building as it wasn’t exactly a part of the tour, our guide, Roberto, just wanted to show us the view.

Bam! the view from the monument. In the far off right you can see the dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Bam! the view from the monument. In the far off right you can see the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Here is a partial shot of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument. In the center you can see the the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II.

Here is a partial shot of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument. In the center you can see the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II.

One of the many statues that adorn the monument.

One of the many statues that adorn the monument.

And another.

And another.

This monument is also the home of the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’, which like in America, is guarded day and night by the Italian military, and if I recall, has two eternal flames that always burn. I sadly was unable to get pictures of this.  But, I was able to capture these guys…

The Italian Carbinieri, a.k.a. The Italian Military Police. Fancy uniforms wouldn't you say? Supposedly..either Valentino or Armani designed the modern day uniforms.

The Italian Carbinieri (a.k.a. The Italian Military Police), hanging out in front of the Monument. Fancy uniforms wouldn’t you say? Supposedly..either Valentino or Armani designed the modern-day uniforms. I tried to take a picture without them seeing me, but…maybe I wasn’t as discreet as I thought I was.

After the Monument, we went across the street to check out some more ruins (it really is never-ending).  At this point, I was tired. My feet hurt, my back hurt,  and gasp…dare I say it…I may have even been getting tired of taking photo’s (oh no!). But, obviously, I didn’t stop, and neither did the tour. So, here are more pictures of some interesting things that line the Imperial Avenue…

Look at this poor fellow, I could practically hear him saying "Won't someone please just take a picture with me!!".

Look at this poor fellow, I could practically hear him saying, “Won’t someone please just take a picture with me!!”.

This used to be someone's kitchen...

This used to be someone’s kitchen…

There are four statues like this, all of different important dudes, I stopped taking pictures after the second one.

There are four statues like this, all of different important dudes, I stopped taking pictures after the second one.

And another one...can you imagine present day young Roman's being like "Hey man, let's go out and graffiti some historical landmarks tonight!"

And another one…can you imagine present day young Roman’s being like “Hey man, let’s go out and graffiti some historical landmarks tonight!”

After checking out the Imperial Avenue we headed towards our last destination of the tour, the Basilica of St. Peter in Chain, which is home to the chains of St. Peter as well as the famous statue of Moses by Michelangelo. When Roberto told us this was our last stop, I am not going to lie, I was a little excited. First of all, I really needed to nurse the baby, and secondly, I really wanted to head back to our room and kick off the stupid boots I thought would be fashionable and functional (next time, sneakers all the way!).

After a bit of a walk, and by “bit”, I mean it took what felt like FOREVER, we came upon a lovely staircase that went perfectly well with our stroller (sarcasm), which led to the Basilica of St. Peter in Chain.

The front of San Pietro in Vincoli, or, the Basilica of St. Peter in Chain. It is a very unassuming church, you could easily walk by it and never know it.

The front of San Pietro in Vincoli, or, the Basilica of St. Peter in Chain. It is a very unassuming church, you could easily walk by it and never know it.

So, I am pretty sure my husband snapped this picture of the interior while I was nursing the kiddo. That's right people, I nursed my baby inside of a 1,500 year old church.

So, I am pretty sure my husband snapped this picture of the interior while I was nursing the kiddo. That’s right people, I nursed my baby inside of a 1,500 year old church.

This ornate ceiling's center focal point is this 18th century Miracle in Chain fresco by Giovanni Battista Parodi.

This ornate ceiling’s center focal point is this 18th century Miracle in Chain fresco by Giovanni Battista Parodi.

Holy water, anyone?

Holy water, anyone?

Check out the skeletons, there is only one word to describe them: cool.

Check out the skeletons, there are only two words to describe them: totally cool.

The chains of St. Peter.

The chains of St. Peter.

Pop Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to do this tomb for him, and you can see Moses in the middle there.

Pop Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to do this tomb for him, and you can see Moses in the middle there.

Michelangelo's Moses statue. It really is something to behold. Even my husband was in awe of it.

Michelangelo’s Moses statue. It really is something to behold. Even my husband was in awe of it.

After our tour of the church, we parted our ways with Roberto and headed out to dinner. We were pooped! We went back to the Royal Art Cafe because we are creatures of habit and didn’t mind the Colosseum views. Dinner was interesting because Sadie wanted to make like Houdini and slip out of her high chair for almost the whole meal. I can’t say that I blame her since she had been cooped up in her stroller for half of the day.

She was not posing right here, she was trying to escape!

She was not posing right here, she was trying to escape!

At one point, these two gentleman with an Accordion and a Saxophone came by to serenade us (for a fee of course) and the only time Sadie sat still was to watch their performance.

Charming, aren't they? They got 5 euro from us, and wanted more! pfft...

Charming, aren’t they? They got 5 euro from us, and wanted more! pfft…

After dinner we headed back to our room, and even though it was an exhausting day, I still wanted to go back out for a bit. I mean, why stay in our room when we had a perfectly awesome city to explore? Originally, I had wanted to go snap some photos of the Trevi fountain, but I could tell by the look on Jayson’s face that he was only willing to travel so far. Then my mom logic kicked in and I remembered we had to wake up early for the Papal Audience….so…to compromise, we went out..but only back to St. Peter’s square.

Just as enchanting at night as it is by day!

Just as enchanting at night as it is by day!

So empty and peaceful. Only a few people were out in the square that night.

So empty and peaceful. Only a few people were out in the square that night.

We snapped some photos then headed back to our room for the night. The hubby and the baby quickly passed out, while I stayed up researching the story behind the Papal Audience’s and thinking about the next day.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Rome vice Paris, was the hope that maybe, JUST maybe, my child would be one of the few to be blessed by the Pope at his Wednesday Papal Audience’s. What an awesome first birthday present that would be, right?

To be continued…again.

Please stay tuned for the final chapter of our trip, When in Rome…A Papal Blessing.

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