On the way up, it was noted that our train went through the city of Pisa, so yesterday we decided to make a stopover on the trip back to check out its most famous monument. The cathedral is actually really lovely, and I'll try to post more pictures of that detour when I get home.
Today was a tourist day. We visited several churches, including Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, which is nestled within the ruins of an ancient Roman bathhouse, and San Clemente, a 12th century church built on the site of a 4th century church, which was itself built on the ruins of a 1st century temple to the Roman god Mithras. This kind of repurposing of land is not at all unusual in Rome -- it's almost harder to build without disturbing some sort of ancient ruin -- but what's different here is that both levels of ruins beneath have been excavated while the church above was left intact. Sadly, no photographs are allowed, or I'd have a thousand, but the ruins are too fragile and flash photography would certainly destroy them. There are some at the link above. If you're ever in Rome, it's totally worth a visit -- even if you don't have a friend along who is an archaeologist by profession.
Also today we went back to the Pantheon, where I have been before, but I'll always go back again. Then dinner, and now I'm sitting on the balcony of the apartment, typing this up before bedtime. Have I mentioned before how much I love warm evenings?
I have two more days here. Tomorrow will be fairly low-key during the day -- we'll see a crypt and the Spanish steps, then spend the afternoon relaxing before heading to the northern part of the city for a new dinner venue that M wants to check out. Then Wednesday is Pompeii, where A and I expect to spend all day. I fly home Thursday at noon, by which time I'm sure I'll be both ready to go and never wanting to leave.
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