Day 12&13: Roma

Leah: We are going to get me new shoes! I got a new dress today. I really really like it. We went to see...I burped...I forget... The Pantheon. Gelato. Rome is weird awesome because their are so many fountains. Thank you, mama! 

Julia:  nothing! Well! I had gelato. I really liked the goddess of babies (a Raffaele-inspired Madonna sculpture at the Pantheon).

Sharon:  So, in my view, Rome is a completely magical and wonderful city that is completely useless to visit before 4pm in the summertime. The sunlight and heat are crushing and the kids complain incessantly, until 4pm roles around, the temperature drops, the light changes, and the world becomes fun to roam and play in.

We've met up with Marci and Molly, friends from Gainesville, which had given the girls a new playmate and me a new adult to provided psychosocial support and vino-drinking companionship through this experience.

Yesterday we hit several key locations in Rome- the Villa and parks Borghese, the Museum of Modern Art, the Piazza del Popolo, and Trevi Fountain. There were several remarkable experiences worth nothing. As the Sunday evening streets closed down for pedestrians, the  girls spent several hours watching street artists spray paint and do chalk drawings. At Trevi Fountain, we drank a boatload of water there before stopping to enquire if the water was treated. Thankfully, it was. Conversation consistently veers to ancient toilet practices. With two kids, I'm more interested in the rubbish toilet facilities available for tourists.

Today, we were driven indoors into shopping by the heat. Its an odd but pleasurable experience to be surrounded by beautiful things, and then just go to the Gap for a t-shirt on sale. There's lots of complaining about sore feet, and indeed, little girls are growing and their shoes are wearing out and getting too small. Still, we made  to the Pantheon and Marci and I did oral history gymnastics to try to engage the kids in the majesty and history of the place. I don't know if it made an impression on them, but I'll never forget the experience of craning my neck upwards towards the hole in the ceiling, imagining what it must have been like to try to divine the will of the gods from the passage of the clouds above.

Today will be another late night with the children playing around fountains until the wee hours. It isn't until then that I start to hear their little heads processing everything they'd seen during the day. 

 

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Leah Ceasari slays a gladiator.

The dome of the Pantheon.

The dome of the Pantheon.

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Julia's favorite Madonna (the goddess of the babies). 

 

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Trevi Fountain

 

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Piazza del Popoli. 

 

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 Museo of Modern Art

 

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 it's art. 

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We'd rather be watching iPad. 

 

Night. 

Days 10 & 11: last Day, London, in transit to Rome