Senza funghi, per favore!!!

We had a half day at the site yesterday.  We scrubbed and numbered fragments, and tried to catch up with the digging crew, who took the day off.  We didn’t find anything that will change the current thinking on ancient Roman commerce.

The father and son that are in charge of the actual excavating own a very nice wine shop across town.  They invited all of us to come for a tasting after work yesterday.  I think I may have eaten Italian venison, not really sure.  Luca offered me what I thought was toast with a green olive tapenade.  That turned out to be mushrooms in olive oil.  Those of you that know my aversion to mushrooms can just imagine how that went over…

Today I took the opportunity to run around and track down “old” stuff.  We found remains of one of the oldest ancient warehouses.  It’s just down the road from the Testaccio.  I wonder if the people here take for granted the giant arch fragments attached to their apartments, or standing in their courtyards?  From there we went up river to where we could get down to the level of the ancient warves.  I’ve only seen them from the street.  They’re still impressive!  After that, we hiked up to the Tiber Island – I finally got a good picture of the marble ships’ prow at the downstream end of the island.  In the 1st century B.C. someone decided the island looked like a giant trireme and decided to put a prow on it.  The Pons Fabricius is the bridge over to the island.  It dates back to 62 B.C.  The inscription is beautiful!  From there we walked back over to see the Cloaca Maxima – no gypsies this time.  After that we moved on to an area of shops and houses below the Palatine Hill.  I hadn’t seen them before and you can see quite a bit from the road.  After that, we headed back up to the Colosseum and lunch.  I finally got a chance to go through the museum at Trajan’s Market.  It is very well done.  The digital reconstructions are great and the exhibits are informative.  I’m not sure how I feel about the cartoon Corinthian column, but I’m sure he’d grow on you if you watched the film enough times.  I’m not sure, but I think that the woman that yelled at Lyn for jumping the fence 3 years ago was there taking tickets.  After the Market, I needed gelato.  I need gelato at least once a day…  Ended the day with a walk back up and over the Aventine Hill to the hotel.  Now, I’m ready for a hot shower and dinner.  Pizza maybe…

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