Day 1: Roamin' the Roman Forum!

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Where do you best figure out about the Roman Empire? Whatta about Rome!! Mike and Bone decided to "prep" for their Middle East tour with a start in the Eternal City! The trip to Roma itself was a journey with Bone driving to GR, jumping into Mike's SUV and boogieing to Chicago O'Hare for a 8 hour flight.

Landing in Rome, the Boys picked up a rental and navigating through always interesting Italian drivers (where traffic signs and lanes are more of a suggestion than a rule!), through the Aurelian Walls and to a Hilton Garden Inn.


Sleeping is for Wimps!

International flights are difficult in most instances, if you are lucky, you might get a few hours sleep, which is rare.  Unfortunately for Mike and Bone they didn't really sleep on the plane so when they go to the Hilton Garden Inn at 10:00 AM, they were definitely ready to crash. Unfortunately the Hilton Garden Inn would not let the Boys check in early. So rather than bitch or moan, the Boys decided to eschew sleep and check out the Forum!


Forum on the Forum

Dictionary Definition of Forum: A meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine. a public meeting place for open discussion. The Roman Forum was figuratively and literally the epicenter of the city and empire of Rome from 2500 BC to 410 AD.  It was the teeming heart the Roman Empire and has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. They say that Rome was built on the seven hills of the Tiber River the Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine. The original city of Romulus was built upon Palatine Hill. The Forum is located in the small valley between, the Palatine and Capitoline Hills. It is not an understatement to say that the Kingdom of Rome, the Roman Republic, the Roman empire were all started in the Forum, and when the Western Roman Empire fell in 410 AD, it was in the Forum.

For centuries the was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, legislative actions, and the nucleus of the Empires commercial affairs. In the Forum there are still the statues and monuments that commemorated the city's great men. In fact, Rome was founded on the banks of the Tiber of the Palatine Hill, Augustus Caesar built his home in the Forum, again on the Palatine hill. Today in 2022,  the Forum is Unesco World Heritage Site, with sprawling ruins, architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting visitors from all over the world.  Mike and Bone hit the site around noon, tired, but excited. Once they figured out how to but tickets that is ! Once sorted they entered the site an meet a connection from another Mike and Bone adventure, the Emperor Constantine.


Chasing Constantine at his Arch!

There are few emperors as consequential in roman (and even world) history than Constantine. Back in 2019 Mike and Bone checked out Constantine's New Rome (Nuova Roma) or as the locals called it Constantine's town or Constantinople, which now Istanbul Turkey. Today when tourist approach the Forum, they pass through Constantine's Triumphal Arch. Triumphal arches are a monument that was awarded after a triumphant general or emperor returned victorious from a battle. Having a structure like an arch built was the greatest honor in ancient Rome, and was the crowning glory of a successful military career. Constantine's Arch is located along the old route to the Roman Forum, aka Via Triumphalis — the route that victorious generals and emperors would take as they made their way to the Capitoline Hill. The Arch was constructed in 315 AD and was ordered by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine’s victory over his rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD. Standing 21 meters (69 feet) high, this is Rome’s largest triumphal arch and boasts three portals; one large in the center, two smaller ones flanking it.  Once crossing it, Mile and Bone were in full view of what to many is the "face" of the Ancient Rome, the Coliseum!!!


"Coliseum certainly ain't the Big House in Ann Arbor!"

The Colosseo or the Coliseum was strategically places at the entrance of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheater ever built and is still the largest standing amphitheater in the world today, despite its age. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian (r. 69–79 AD) in 72 and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir, Titus (r. 79–81). Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (r. 81–96). The three emperors that were patrons of the work are known as the Flavian dynasty, so the Coliseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheater. The name Coliseum was Vespasian idea, taking the name from the Greek Colossus of Rhodes

The Coliseum is built of travertine limestone, tuff (volcanic rock), and brick-faced concrete. It could hold an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators at various points in its history, having an average audience of some 65,000; it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles including animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Roman mythology, and briefly mock sea battles. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

Although substantially ruined by earthquakes and stone robbers taking stripping travertine, the Coliseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and was listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions. Paying their respects, Mike and Bone entered the heart of the Forum!


Mike, heading down the Via Sacred to the heart of the Forum

The Forum is a huge space, again it covers two hills, so Mike and Bone started on the Palatine Hill.


The Plan of the Palatine Hill

The first place on the Palatine Hill, Mike and Bone checked out was the Domus Flavia or the Flavian Palace, normally known as the Domus Flavia, is part of the vast Palace of Domitian on the Palatine Hill in Rome. It was completed in 92 AD by Emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus, and attributed to his master architect, Rabirius.


Mike and Bone in the Domus Flavia!

The term Domus Flavia is a modern name for the northwestern section of the Palace where the bulk of the large "public" rooms for official business, entertaining and ceremony are concentrated. Domitian was the last of the Flavian dynasty, but the palace continued to be used by emperors with small modifications until the end of the empire. The Domus Flavia was built mainly around a large peristyle courtyard which was surrounded by many elaborate rooms of impressive height, of which only a few 3 m thick walls remain of 16 m height, half the original. It was built upon Nero's earlier palace (Domus Transitoria and Domus Aurea) and followed some of its layout, as excavations have shown. On the northeastern side, the huge aula regia (royal hall) was the central and largest room, flanked by smaller reception rooms, the so-called Basilica and Lararium

It is connected to the domestic wing to the southeast, the Domus Augustana, a name which in antiquity may have applied to the whole of the palace.  


The Domestic Wing of the Palace, the Domus Augstana

The Domus Augustana is the modern name given to the central residential part of the vast Roman Palace of Domitian (92 AD) on the Palatine Hill. In antiquity the name may have applied to the whole of the palace. Its name is not directly related to the emperor Augustus Ceasar and should not be confused with the nearby Domus Augusti, but probably refers to the later Roman meaning of Augustus as "emperor".

The broad central section of the Domus Augstana

The central section of the palace (labelled "Domus Augustana" in the diagram above) consists of at least four main parts: the "2nd Peristyle" to the northeast, the central "3rd Peristyle", the courtyard complex and the exedra on the southwest. The Domus Augustana is built on two levels, the upper northern one consisting of the two peristyles to the north on the same level and closely linked to the Domus Flavia and therefore probably having public functions. The southern section was built a little later and some details suggest that it was not Rabirius who directed the work.


Mike and Bone, wondering where they served beer in the Domus Augstana

The courtyard complex was reserved for the private quarters of the emperor and was built around another peristyle garden surrounded by a colonnade on two levels, the upper containing complex sets of rooms and the lower, 10 m below ground level, consisting of a pool with an unusual design of islands consisting of four peltas, typical moon-shaped shields of the Amazons, all surfaces being originally faced with marble.


The Emperor's View of the Hippodrome!

On the southwest side of this complex is the great exedra, a long curving arcaded gallery linking two wings, overlooking the Circus Maximus to the southwest allowing the emperor to watch the races. It may have had an ornamental façade, perhaps added by Trajan when the seats of the circus were carried up. From this curved terrace a large arched opening, visible in drawings of the sixteenth century led into the courtyard complex. Checking out the Palace in the mid-day heat, Mike and Bone discovered why Ceasar Augustus, the first emperor chose the Palatine Hill for his estate, which led the Domo Flavian.


Just a small Catholic Church called St Peters!

On the way to the next site, Mike and Bone got a view of the site that the Romans originally called "Vaticanus" from vāticinārī (“to be excited, inspired, possessed”). It was where the early pagan emperor's exiled unwanted mystics outside the city walls. Peter and the Christians community was shunned outside of the city to this area that is easily viewed from the Palantine hill.


Where Romulan hung his crown: The Casa Romuli the Palantine Hill Hut of the original Roman Village

The Casa Romuli ("The Hut of Romulus"), is the reputed home of the legendary founder and first king of Rome, Romulus (traditional dates 771–717 BC). The story of Romulus is interesting and quite scandalous.

So the story goes Romulus and Remus were born in Alba Longa, one of the many ancient Latin cities near the future site of Rome. Their mother, Rhea Silvia, was a vestal virgin and the daughter of the former king, Numitor, who had been displaced by his brother Amulius. In some sources, Rhea Silvia conceived them when their father, the god Mars, visited her in a sacred grove dedicated to him.

Seeing them as a possible threat to his rule, King Amulius ordered them to be killed and they were abandoned on the bank of the river Tiber to die. They were saved by the god Tiberinus, Father of the River, and survived with the care of others, at the site of what would eventually become Rome. In the most well-known episode, the twins were suckled by a she-wolf, in a cave now known as the Lupercal. Eventually, they were adopted by Faustulus, a shepherd. They grew up tending flocks, unaware of their true identities. Over time, they became natural leaders and attracted a company of supporters from the community.

When they were young adults, they became involved in a dispute between supporters of Numitor and Amulius. As a result, Remus was taken prisoner and brought to Alba Longa. Both his grandfather and the king suspected his true identity. Romulus, meanwhile, had organized an effort to free his brother and set out with help for the city. During this time they learned of their past and joined forces with their grandfather to restore him to the throne. Amulius was killed and Numitor was reinstated as king of Alba. The twins set out to build a city of their own.

After arriving back in the area of the seven hills, they disagreed about the hill upon which to build. Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill, above the Lupercal; Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. When they could not resolve the dispute, they agreed to seek the gods' approval through a contest of augury. Remus first saw six auspicious birds but soon afterward Romulus saw twelve, and claimed to have won divine approval. They disputed the result: Remus insulted Romulus' new city and was killed, either by Romulus or by one of his supporters. Romulus then went on to found the city of Rome, its institutions, government, military and religious traditions. Where He supposedly reigned for many years as its first king.

Well, that is probably not what really happened. 

There are three other options:

  1. The She-Wolf, well wasn’t a real wolf. Mike and Bone learned at Pompei with the ladies of the night building, and Ephesus with the Turkish Guide that those particular ladies of the night were called by the Romans “She-Wolfs.” In the early days of Rome, the prostitutes would gather in the evening at the foot of the Tiber and “howl,” so that the men in the village would know they were open for business. The practice was still in play when the ladies would come out in the evening in Ephesus near the Library and howl. It makes much more sense that a lady of a night found a set of twins by the River, took them in and raised them, (doesn’t it?!)

  2. None of it happened. It is all just a story.

  3. There may have been a King Romulan. He did hat was mythologized to make his life more epic.


Regardless of the what is the real story the Romans believed that Romulan's place was on the Palantine Hill where Mike and Bone were heading.


That place the Boys walked over to has been celebrated as King Romulus “Hut” and is situated on the south-western corner of the Palatine hill, where it slopes down towards the Circus Maximus, near the so-called "Steps of Cacus". It was a traditional single-roomed peasants' hut of the Latins, with straw roof and wattle-and-daub walls, such as are reproduced in miniature in the distinctive funerary urns of the so-called Latial culture (ca. 1000 – ca. 600 BC).

Over the centuries, the casa was repeatedly damaged by fire and storms, but carefully restored to its original state on each occasion. Destruction by fire is recorded for 38 BC, as a result of a ceremony held inside the casa by the pontifices ("College of High Priests"), presumably a burnt sacrifice to Romulus in his deified state as the god Quirinus, during which the altar-fire probably ran out of control. The last recorded fire was in 12 BC, on the death of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, right-hand man of the first Roman emperor, Augustus (ruled 30 BC – AD 14). On this occasion, the casa was apparently set on fire by some crows which dropped pieces of burning meat, again snatched from an altar, onto the thatched roof. It has been speculated that a tugurium Faustini ("the cottage of Faustini") on the Palatine recorded in the time of the emperor Constantine I the Great (ruled AD 312–337) was in reality the still surviving casa Romuli.

To date, archaeologists have been unable confirm that this was definitively Romulus' pad..  However it is a strong candidate based on excavations in 1946 of a large group of dwellings whose foundations were unearthed in the location that has been traditionally expected. The dwelling's foundations were cut into the tufa bedrock. Six post-holes arranged in a circle of which one in the centre were presumably to accommodate the supporting struts for walls and roof respectively. Organic material found in the site has been dated to the Italian early Iron Age (ca. 900–700 BC), which is roughly the time of Romulus, by legend.  Mike and Bone found it fascinating and moved on from the original King's hut to the original Emperor's home, Octavian, also known as Augustus Ceasar!


Octavian's Pad

Caesar Augustus, born Gaius Octavius, (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Principate, which is the first phase of the Roman Empire, and Augustus is considered one of the greatest leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an imperial cult as well as an era associated with imperial peace, the Pax Romana or Pax Augusta. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.

He was born into an old and wealthy Roman family. He was the protégé of his great-uncle Julius Caesar, who was assassinated in 44 BC, as Caesar's adopted son and heir; as a result, he inherited Caesar's name, estate, and the loyalty of his legions. Through battle and political intrigue, he slowly transformed his country from a republic to an empire and himself as an emperor. At the same time as he transformed from Octavian to Caesar Augustus, he rejected monarchical titles and simply called himself Princeps Civitatis or First Citizen. So he intentional ensured his home was not too fancy.

However for nearly 2,000 years, the House of Augustus on Palatine Hill was assumed to be lost to history. Archaeologists only discovered the ancient home in the 1960s. The House of Augustus marked the transformation of Palatine Hill from a residential area into an imperial seat.

The House of Augustus is located on the most sacred area of the Palatine Hill, near the symbols of Roman power. It was built near the Temple of Apollo (which Augustus could access by ramp from his peristyle) and on top of the sacred Cave of Lupercal, where the She Wolf of Rome nursed the twins Romulus and Remus. XX   Only two levels, the House of Augustus served as Octavians’ primary residence during his reign. It was arranged around two courtyards, linked by an open promenade. Emperor Domitian, a more megalomaniacal sort, demolished much of it when he built his massive palace.


Octavian's Gardens


BTW, the word “palace” originates from Palatine Hill. But Augustus never lived in a palace in the traditional sense.

The House of Augustus was kept intentional modest by imperial standards, especially given Augustus’ enormous wealth to present himself as the Princeps vs. Augustus. Octavian didn’t want to appear as an over the top tyrant, as some had perceived his great- uncle Julius Caesar. Octavian slept in the same small bedroom for 40 years and had his family weave his clothes. Augustus never wore a crown, or a purple toga, or other insignia of personal power.  Learning about Octavian's restraint in power charged up the Boys for a visit down the hill into the heart of the Forum! 


Titus's Triumph!

As Mike and Bone headed down the Palantine Hill into the Forum, the first monument they found was the Arch of Titus right over the Via Sacra. It was built 81 AD by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus's victory with their father, Vespasian, over the Jewish rebellion in Judaea. The arch contains panels depicting the triumphal procession celebrated in 71 AD after the Roman victory culminating in the fall of Jerusalem and provides one of the few contemporary depictions of artifacts of Herod's Temple. It became a symbol of the Jewish diaspora, and the menorah depicted on the arch served as the model for the minora used as the emblem of the state of Israel.



An interesting fact is that the arch provided the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris! After checking out the minora, Mike and Bone headed into the Heart of the Forum! 


The Holy of Holies: Finally, The Forum!


 Mike and Bone in the Forum

Walking around the 2,000 years of history kept the sleep-deprived Boys awake and chipper in the late afternoon haze. As they wandered around, they ringed around the Temple of Saturn! 


 Seeing Saturn's Temple

At the foot of the Capitoline Hill on the western end of the Forum, Mike and Bone came upon ruins of the Temple of Saturn. Dedicated in 497 BC. during the later years of the Roman Kingdom under Tarquinius Superbus. It dedication by the consul Titus Larcius took place in the early years of the Republic, making it the oldest Republican temple after the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. The altar of Saturn, which stood in front of the temple, is thought to have been much older and was associated with Saturn's founding of the city on Capitoline Hill.

The present ruins represent the third phase of the Temple of Saturn, which was built after a fire in 360 AD. The extant inscription on the frieze commemorates this restoration undertaken after the fire. This late 4th-century rebuilding reflects pagan revivalism during this time period. The temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire.

In Roman mythology, Saturn ruled during the Golden Age, and he continued to be associated with wealth. His temple housed the treasury, the aerarium, where the Roman Republic's reserves of gold and silver were stored. The state archives and the insignia and official scale for the weighing of metals were also housed there. Later, the aerarium was moved to another building, and the archives were transferred to the nearby Tabularium. The temple's podium, constructed out of concrete covered with travertine, was used for posting bills.  


The Regia, the home of the Ancient Roman Kings!

Numa Pompilius, the second king of ancient Rome, is said to have built the Temple of Vesta and the Regia, which was the holy residence of the kings and later in the Republic of the Pontifex Maximus it is smack dab in the middle of the Forum. Today, Mike and Bone only saw the foundations of the some of the earliest Roman leaders. Mike and Bone then spotted one of Julie's buildings, or more appropriately Julius Ceasar!

 Basically the Basilica of Julia

The Basilica Julia was a large, ornate, public building used for meetings and other official business during the Roman Empire. It was initially dedicated in 46 BC by Julius Caesar, with building costs paid from the spoils of the Gallic War, and was completed by his nephew and heir Augustus, who named the building after his adoptive father. The ruins which have been excavated date to a reconstruction of the Basilica by the Emperor Diocletian, after a fire in 283 AD destroyed the earlier structure. Next, for their virgin eyes, the home of the virgins!


 Visiting Vesta's Virginal Temple

Mike and Bone then checked out the extensive Temple of Vesta, is located near the Regia and the House of the Vestal Virgins. The Temple of Vesta housed Vesta's holy fire. The temple's most recognizable feature is its circular footprint. Since the worship of Vesta began in private homes, the architecture seems to pay homage to the architecture of early Roman homes.


The Temple of Vesta was also built by Numa Pompilius, Vesta was the patron goddess of the domestic hearth. In honor of Vesta, the Vestals would grow sacred grain to burn in the sacred hearth of the temple. The Romans believed that the sacred fire of Vesta was closely tied to the fortunes of the city. They believed that the extinction of the fire would lead to disaster falling on Rome. The Temple of Vesta was tended by the Vestal Virgins. The Vestal Virgins were freeborn, aristocratic women who had been sworn to celibacy in their service to Vesta. The Vestal oath of virginity during their 30-year tenure was what set them apart from other Roman women. While chastity until marriage was considered proper in Rome, long-term celibacy was not typical, as women were generally expected to give birth to heirs for their husbands. Should a Vestal virgin has sex, it was seen as a disruption between Rome and its gods. The Romans believed that such a disconnect between its gods would lead to pestilence, tragedy, or military defeats. The Vestals were also bound to serve the goddess Vesta and tended to the sacred fire of Vesta from childhood until maturity. A Vestal Virgin had a tenure that typically lasted from the age of 6 to 36 years, at which point a Vestal virgin had the ability to leave the priesthood and marry. Most women chose to remain within the priesthood after their tenure ended. This choice to remain in the priesthood may have been a result of the respect and social privileges that came from their position. Most chose to spend their entire lives as a priestess.


 Viewing the Palantine Hill from Vesta's Temple

The Vestal Virgins were bound by strict rules and harsh punishments. For minor misdeeds, the Vestals were subject to being whipped with rods. For more serious offences, such as having sexual relations or allowing the sacred fire to go out, the Vestals were sentenced to being interred in a subterranean cell and left to die with little food or water. Vestal Virgins could also be punished if something bad happened to Rome. If a Vestal Virgin broke her oath of celibacy, Rome's connection to the gods was considered broken, which resulted in Rome being punished by the gods. The belief that a Vestal's purity was connected to Rome's fate caused some Vestal Virgins to be accused of breaking their oaths and punished when tragedy struck Rome. One such example took place in 114 BC, when Helvia, the Virgin daughter of L. Helvius, was killed by lightning. Helvia's death was interpreted as a sign that there was trouble in the Temple of Vesta. Three Vestal Virgins were sentenced to death for breaking their oath and being unchaste. The Vestal Virgins were closely watched and harshly punished when they broke their oaths, or suspected of breaking their oaths. However, respect and social privileges that came from their position encouraged many to remain in the priesthood.  


 The Arch of Septimius Severus

Mike and Bone went to the furthest northwestern end of the Forum, next the start of the Appian Way to check out the Arch of Septimius Severus. A white marble triumphal arch dedicated in 203 A.D. to commemorate the Parthian victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, in the two campaigns against the Parthian of 194-195 A.D. and 197–199 A.D.

Septimius’s victory against the Parthian's started in 197 CE, when he traveled to Nisibis in the Middle East (Mike and Bone’s next stop! to take back the city that was besieged by the Parthian (Iranian) empire. Once he took back the Roman occupied city of Nisbis from the Parthians, he took his army to take over other Parthian cities such as Seleucia in Babylon and the capital city Ctesiphon. The wars created by Septimius Severus led to the Romans acquiring Northern Mesopotamia. At the end of the Forum, Mike and Bone started on the path out of the Forum.


An Archaic Burial Ground in the Forum

On the way out on the western end of the Forum, towards the Capitoline Hill, Mike and Bone past the "Archaic Burial Ground, with numerous tombs dating to between the 9th and 7th centuries BC were found and excavated in 1902. The oldest tombs usually contained a funerary urn in the form of a hut with the remains of the deceased and the newer burials were inhumations the body was buried directly in the earth or in wooden or tufa coffins.


Touring the Temple of Romulus

Passing the ancient burial site, Mike and Bone walked pass the Temple of Romulus. This brick building was originally built as a temple in the early 4th century. The circular structure is located near an original entrance to the Forum, (which is no longer in use). Archeologists believe the temple was built by Emperor Maxentius (reigned 306 - 312 A.D.) for his son, Valerius Romulus (aka Marcus Aurelius Romulus), who lived 292 - 309 A.D. Hence the original name: the Temple of Romulus.

The Temple of Romulus is one of the best preserved pagan temples in Rome. This structure is located along the Via Sacra and has been “absorbed” into the Christian Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano in 527 A.D. right before they left the Forum they stopped to check out the iconic Basilica of Constantine.


The Big Old Basilica of Constantine!

The Basilica of Constantine, sometimes known as the Basilica Nova—meaning "new basilica". It was the largest building in the Forum, and the last Roman basilica built in the city.

In ancient Rome, a basilica was a rectangular building with a large central open space, and often a raised apse at the far end from the entrance. It served as a meeting place for the Roman Senate.

Construction began on the northern side of the forum under the emperor Maxentius in 308 AD, and was completed in 312 by Constantine I after his defeat of Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. This battle was to determine the direction of the Roman Empire's religion (from Pagan to Christian) and capital of the Roman Empire (from Rome to Constantinople.)  By now it was pushing 5:00 PM, and the Boys hadn't really had anything to eat (and hadn't slept either!) They realized they have gotten a good overview only on the Forum. It is truly a place you could spend a month and still not really see it all! Exiting the Forum Bone knew of a great Italian Restaurant nearby for lunch or dinner (Linner?)


On the way to grab some Grub at. . . . .

. . . . at the Gran Caffe Rossi Martini!

It had been a super loooooong day. It started in Berkley and Grand Rapids, to Chicago, then an overnight to Rome, then all day in the Forum, without food so Mike and Bone were HUNGRY!

Bone took Mike to a great little place right across the street from the Coliseo. At the Gran Caffe Rossi Martini, the Boys had a lovely pasta carbonara with cappuccino's with a magnificent view of that amazing Coliseum!

After dinner, the exhausted Boys grabbed and Uber back to the Hilton Garden Inn, checked in, and promptly passed out!