Trip Start Nov 27, 2005
12Trip End Jan 27, 2006
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In the afternoon, which was mild and sunny we took the bus (which stops just outside our flat) into the centre of Roma for a wander. It's a very typical Roman thing to do - they all just go out onto the streets in the afternoon and evening and stroll around. Because all the buildings are OLD and nothing new ever seems to be build entirely on its own (new bits are always being added to the old stuff though...), you find the most incongruous commercial enterprises in odd places - down some narrow cobbled pedestrian street, there'll be a renaissance residence which has a cinema in the ground floor or 3 petrol bowsers just standing on the curb with an attendant
We wandered across the Ponte Sisto and down narrow streets - a wonder at every turn. We emerged in the Piaza Santa Maria in Trastavere (Tras - across / tavere - Tiber). There is an octagonal fountain a couple of thousand years old in the centre of this small square. Unsurprisingly, it has graffiti sprayed on it. However, the church that gives the square its name is one of the real finds of the trip so far. It turns out to be one of the oldest in Roma - the oldest parts dating from about 350 ad. There are some very Byzantine looking decorations outside but it's not that imposing till you get inside it. Then your jaw drops. The mosaics in the apse date from 1140 and I don't know about the ceiling. Have a look at the photos. Even the kids were impressed.
When we got out, we had one of the funniest episodes of our trip. There was a group of people filming and one of them came over to us and asked if we spoke English
After that, it started to rain and we headed for home where we cooked up some beautiful roast potatoes and fresh flounder which had been caught that morning.