It smells like life here!

Trip Start Jan 09, 2011
1
24
27
Trip End Feb 06, 2012


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What I did
Non-Catholic Cemetary in Rome

Flag of Italy  , Latium,
Thursday, February 2, 2012

We began yet another grey and dreary morning in Rome(not raining yet), and after a quick breakfast and warm shower, made our way to the metro station.  Our goal today:  get to and wander about Ostia Antica, the primary port for ancient Rome.  To do this we had to transfer to the other metro line and then hop on another train for the final 30 odd km.



First we had to arrive at the piramide station.  If the name is triggering the image of a pyramid in your head, it's with good reason, as the Pyramid of Caius Cestius sits across the street!  Needless to say we trekked right over.  I'm sorry, but we just can't ignore a pyramid in the middle of a modern city!  So we took a few snapshots, and at this point I remembered reading about this on the atlas obscura website.  It was then that I also remembered reading about a neat graveyard in behind it.  So, hoping to check out said graveyard, and get a better view of the pyramid, we took a short walk to find the entrance.  Upon entering the graveyard, we wandered over to the visitors information centre, and were informed of a few of the personalities that now call this beautiful and tranquil little piece of Rome their home.  John Keats and Percy Shelley, as well as the famed Italian communist Antonio Gramsci all have their gravesites located here, which by the way is the Non-Catholic Cemetary in Rome.  It was when we wandered in here that I let out the verbal diarrhea that became the title for todays blog.  I quote:  "It smells like life in here!"  To be fair it is a very vibrant place, full of lush greenery and crawling with stray cats.  So I was kind of right.



After we finished exploring the graveyard we wandered back to the train station where we pleasantly discovered that the trip to Ostia was covered by our Metro passes!  Score!  So we hopped on one of the dirtiest, scummiest trains I've ever been on, with a different spray paint job in and on every car, and took the 30 minute journey to Ostia.



When we arrived in Ostia, it began to rain.  Again.  Yay.  But we weren't going to let that bring us down, so we began to wander the ruins!  It was abandoned due to the combined efforts of malaria-carrying mosquitoes (glad we don't have those in Canada!) and barbarians, though not working in concert.  The ruins were breathtaking, and for the most part in really good condition.  There was a museum, but it reeked of cigarette smoke so we left after a couple of minutes.  Besides, it was just the originals of what was out in and among the ruins anyway, and they looked cooler out there.  We eventually wandered to the cafeteria, as we were hungry, and suspected Nora needed a change, which we weren't about to do out in the rain.  This was the first place outside of Vatican City that I've found the most important thing for the parent of an infant child:  a bathroom with a change table!  So after changing Nora, we ate a small lunch, and returned to the ruins. 



Unlike yesterday, the sun did not miraculously come out while we were inside, so we had to contend with some more rain.  This is when my wonderful umbrella (which I've named Craptacular Stan) decided to break.  Out in the middle of a Roman ruin, with nothing around for miles.  Unimpressed I was.  I also still believe that if I'd had some duct tape I could have fixed it.  Oh well, it was 3 euros.  I was able to press it back into serviceable condition for the remainder of the journey, but will buy a new one tonight. 


***Insert three hour break here***

So we purchased a new umbrella, and grabbed some takeout kebabs for dinner.  Now it's time to get ready for bed, and in turn the Appian Way tomorrow!

Cheers!

Mark

P.S.

Apparently I have a thing for saying that graveyards and ruins are "full of life".  Go figure.  Maybe it's because those are the only places here where you see green, living things.

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