April 23, 2013

Bike tour and history lesson of Rome

Let's just pretend I've been blogging like normal for the last month basically. I honestly think I was just overwhelmed by the idea of narrowing the pics I have for this post (literally had over 100 photos) and adjusting to life back in the good ole U.S.A. So finally here it is....the bike tour of Rome (from almost 2 months ago). 

To start off our adventure we (Hannah and I) were running late as per usual with this Roman adventure. We met our guide (who Hannah describes perfectly as Mario...no joke) and his Brompton bikes...which are foldable, lightweight and very expensive bikes. They are so perfect for city living and fun to ride! Our Mario friend (cannot remember his real name for the life of me) was a great guide of Rome! 

First stop was to the Colosseum! It only took 4 years to build which is so impressive considering the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has been under construction since 1882 and is expected to take another 20 years. The location of the Colosseum use to be a private garden for the king. The colosseum is 50 meters high and there used to be a pure gold statue of Nero that stood 30 meters high..but was melted down for other things. 

 Roman forum was an area for commerce and entertainment. It was open to all the people in the public, (there was a second forum that was closed to the public). The tower you see below is 43 meters tall...it was build because there use to be a hill that was 43 meters high but to construct the forum they cut it down and build this tower instead. The tower contains 17 wheels of marble that have carvings of important events in the history of Rome. 

Victoriano is a beautiful building but hated by the Romans because it reminds them of the times of Mussolini and Fascism. So they have several nicknames for it...birthday cake and typewriter are the most common. Also, there are always two fires lite and two guards standing by them in the front of it..why? I don't remember.

(note: these two pics were not taken on the bike tour but showed the birthday cake nicely)

Trevi Fountain, my favorite of Rome, took ten years to build. It is named Trevi because tre means three and there are three main roads that lead to the fountain. An interesting fact our guide told us is that during high season 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain in one day. All this money is donated to the Red Cross. 

Spanish Steps is called this because they are located near the Spanish Embassy. A long time ago, the area was for only Spanish citizens, however, this made the french mad because they had a church at the top of the steps that was difficult to reach. So after some bickering the area was opened to all people. At the bottom of the steps is a fountain shaped as a boat to remember a flood that stranded a boat in this area. 

Pantheon was so cool! The ceiling is made of lava rocks because they are light and won't collapse the ceiling because there are no supporting beams. The hole on top is 9 meters wide. Every sunday there is mass in the Pantheon! Riley (the boyfriend) said they use to have tours to go on top of it but now they don't...which is probably smart!

After our tour our guide told us we biked 17 kilometers...whoop!! Working off all that pasta we were about to eat at a restaurant our guide recommended. We had pretty good brushetta and pasta.

We had a blast biking around Rome! So very fun! I highly recommend biking around big cities like that because you see everything and you avoid major blisters!
Much love,

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