A Taste of Trastevere
On Sunday, October 2, we took a guided walking tour of the Trastevere neighbourhood and the nearby Jewish Ghetto. After a 35 minute walk from our hotel we met our guide Davide at the Basilica di Santa Maria. Davide is a teacher of art history and was able to explain what we were seeing, especially the extensive symbology, in amazing detail.
The original church was built in the 4th century, the current church was finished in 1143. One of the many incredible features is 22 granite columns “borrowed” from the ruins of the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla. We learned that the use of structural elements from ruins in new buildings was a very common practice.
We then toured the nearby Basilica di San Crisogono, which also dates to the 4th century. Here we were able to go 20 ft. underground and see the broken foundations and walls of the original church with the remains of painted decorations.
Next, we crossed the two oldest bridges, the Ponte Fabricio, built in 62 BC, and the Ponte Cestio, both over channels of the Tevere (Tiber) River. Then on to the site of the former Jewish Ghetto, which was established in 1555 by Pope Paul IV and existed until 1888. Unfortunately, at this point Greg had to return to the hotel as our lost suitcase was being delivered. Woohoo! About the return of the shoes...not about losing Greg.
I continued with Davide for about 30 minutes, getting free samples of delicious baked goods and seeing some amazing old and "new" Architecture. The new architecture was from the Renaissance!
Then Greg and I reunited for a long late lunch near our hotel to top off another great day. My feet hurt!