We walked in the neighborhood of nine miles a day, and we finished the last day with twelve miles. These were not strolls through the village of Rome stopping to smell the poppies or bougainvillea. We had places to get to, Latin to read at those places, and a few touristy things to see here and there. We started the day at the Roman Forum, left the Forum for lunch at Made in Sud in a neighborhood, returned to visit the Palatine Hill, read Latin in the shade inside the short walls of an ancient house, and visited with St. Paul & St. Peter at the Mamertine Prison. Demands were made for espresso & gelato before we walked over near the Colosseum to read more Latin in the late afternoon under the looming height of the Colosseum in one direction, and Arch of Constantine in the other. After Latin was finished sitting on big stones under a short wall we walked on past the Colosseum like it was a MacDonalds. It could never be ordinary but on that day it was just there. We did take some time to gawk in proper tourist fashion at the facade. The evening sun made the Colosseum radiate. For dinner we climbed back into the folds of the familiar San Clementine neighborhood and had a lovely dinner at a restaurant across the street from the basilica named Clementini. The photo of the young woman was taken at Made in Sud. The sandwiches we each ordered were eaten standing on the walk at this corner shop. They were good. That the young woman was working on a Mac in Rome a block from the Colosseum struck me as so ordinary. The fact is Rome is an ordinary place which is the home of lots of ordinary people doing ordinary things each and every day — in the long shadows of an extraordinary history.
April 13th, 2018
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