Sunday, September 29, 2019

October 31, 2018 – Rome, Italy – Mostly Cloudy – 68F

A good night sleep (it was very quiet) and a beautiful day in the Eternal City.  It's a Goldilocks day - not to hot and not too cold.  A perfect day for exploring.

The hotel provided (included) a very nice breakfast - breads and cheeses and some hot stuff as well.  We fueled up for our day of walking.

Our plan to day is simple and elegant – we are going to walk to the Jewish Ghetto Area and get a big Kosher hamburger.  Our past visits to that area have turned up pricey kosher restaurants but also quaint, no frills burger places with seating right there in the street.  Hoping for something like that today.

I plotted our route on a map, double checked with Roberto for accuracy (thumbs up) and we were off. The route was basically a straight path with several street name changes – a left out of the hotel for about three blocks and a soft left onto Via Statuto, down the hill until you run into the Forum. 

About a block into the walk, we came across a Center for Estetico and the place was able to offer two Thai massages at 45 Euros/hour.  We thought having the treatments now meant we would not have to rush back for our 6 PM appointments.  I emailed the hotel and asked them to cancel our appointments.  The massages were OK if perhaps a bit too strong – next time, it’s relaxation massages.  But now, there was no time pressure on our walk - a positive thing.

Then, it was back on the road for us. The route (downhill in this direction, which meant a climb to get home) would take us parallel to the Colosseo, which we could actually see on our way down.  At the bottom of the hill - so to speak - we found out that, due to construction, we would not be able to get close to the Colosseum.  Our best best would be to shoot a picture from a couple of blocks away.

Our next stop was the world famous Roman Forum - or as the sign indicated - The Forum of the Peace (circa 70-75 AD).  There were so many things to see at the Forum - shot the site from different angles to capture as much as I could.

Near the forum, we came upon a plaque - I couldn't read all of the Italian but I did make our the word, Israel.

As we left the Former, we noted a number of street performers - one of the most unique were the invisible twins (sunglasses suspended in space)

We continued our walk over to the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) also known as the Monument Vittoria Emmanuel II.  This monument, started in 1885 and completed in 1935, commemorates King Victor Emmanuel II, the King who unified Italy.  The structure contains an equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II as well as two statues of the Roman goddess of victory, Victoria.  It is located near the Piazza Venezia.

After going around the back of the monument and not attempting the huge stairs,

 the Great Synagogue of Rome 

and the Ghetto area were located just a right turn along the Tiber River.  Well, the route turned out to be accurate and in about an hour we were scouting the many Kosher restaurants in search of the perfect burger.

The last two times we did the hamburger pilgrimage, we found greasy spoons offering yummy fare.  They were not gone and replaced by fancy burger places.  The one we settled on was Fonzie’s Kosher Burgers.  

Ellen had the 120 gram patty and I opted for 240 gram size (in hamburgese, that’s a quarter pounder and half pounder, respectively).  I added an Italian Beer, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and an order of onion rings (the only disappointment – only five rings) and a Coke Zero.  The total tab came out to be 23.30 Euros or about $26.00 – would be a whole lot more back in Chicago.  The burgers were heavenly and worth the hike.


We walked through the Ghetto area a bit checking out the stores and the sights.

One of the plazas had a very ornate fountain - La Fontana della Tartarughe - The Fountain of Turtles - that was built between 1581 and 1588.


We also found a shop that offered Harry Potter items but what really caught our eye were the items hung on the wall of the shop.

We decided to walk back after thinking about a cab.  We did get back (after a few breather stops) and the total steps were just over 11,000 with half of them being uphill.  We did see some interesting architectural items during our homeward trek.

We were still full from lunch so we opted for no dinner - just some snacks in the room.

We set up a ride to Fiumicino Airport with the desk clerk.

A great day in Rome.

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