Saturday, July 11, 2015

Food, Art and Fashion Abroad: Pt. 2

     This past weekend Emily and I had a free weekend in Rome, with no planned group trips. We were a little tired, but didn't just want to hang around downtown Rome and kill time. This led us to trying to find some short day trips that we could make easily to the outlying areas of the city. One great location we stumbled upon the Internet was the ancient city of Tivoli. This is a town roughly 45 minutes outside of Rome that originally housed the Roman bath houses during Antiquity. It is a place full of natural springs that the rich and royal built grand structures and "baths" within to vacation at. This meant the best of everything: marble and precious stone everywhere within the massive scaled palaces, ornate frescos on every wall and gorgeous gardens to reflect the beauty outdoors. By far the most impressive part was the ingenious engineering techniques used in the making of huge fountains, functioning solely off water pressure.
     When we first arrived our walk led us through the historic city which still thrives today. Even having roughly 50,000 people, it still managed to have a quaint and isolated feel to it. We explored around for awhile, stumbling upon some interesting views, houses, and a church that was interestingly functional compared to the ones of Rome. Inside I was even able to quickly sneak in and see what the inside of the confessional looks like, which is something I've wanted to do since I got here.
After the church, we grabbed a quick snack and made our way our way to the D'Este fountains. This is the formal name for the baths, and has now been turned into a free interactive museum. The inside inside of the abandoned palace was interesting, especially in the places where the ornate flooring that originally adorned it was exposed. However, we skipped pretty quickly through the inside because we've seen enough Roman art for one lifetime at this point. That meant it was time for the main attraction, the baths. The scale and design was absolutely amazing, and when paired with ornate sculptures from precious stones it became unlike anything else. We took a good amount of time admiring the unique beauty, and I even had the chance to quickly play in one spring when no one was looking.
     Once the sun started setting, we decided to make our way back towards the train. On the way back, Emily noticed a beautiful restaurant over looking the historical ruins. We weren't very hungry, but decided it looked too good not to check out. 10 minutes later I find myself talked in to the tasting menu, despite our underwhelming hunger. The good food slowly began to come out, however couldn't compare to the scenery surrounding it. It is more than likely the most breathtaking views I've ever had while eating, and will not be a meal soon forgotten. After finishing, we made our way to the train and contently headed back to Rome after a long, but successful day.

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