We caught the bus from Termini station and got off at Torre Argentina following a tip from a friend in Canada. Elaine is a cat lover and recommended this sight as a general point of interest.
The thermometer was showing close to 30 C and we had to look for some time before we spotted the cats inhabiting the ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina. A few lazy paw movements and the occasional contact were proof that even the felines of Rome were taking it easy on the first day of fall.
At the eastern end of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II are the sunken remains of four republican-era Roman temples from the third to second century B. C. These temples stood next to the later Pompey Theater complex, the site where Roman general and dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated. One of the four Roman temples located below street level and viewed without obstruction and crowds. The cat sanctuary is a great place to visit, slow down and explore from above. It is a sight not overrun by many people.
The back wall of a second Roman temple at Largo di Torre Argentina drew my attention to the architectural details. Tall columns, skilled brick work and well preserved tiled roofs beckon to be examined closer. Admission is not an option. Active archeological research continues.
Our walk continued to Campo de’ Fiori. This elongated square is encircled by Renaissance buildings with restaurants and shops on the main floor, apartments and hotels above. Campo de’ Fiore hosts a flower, fruit and vegetable market in the morning.
The afternoon sees tourists and locals alike enjoying cold drinks and gelato. When darkness falls the campo is a lively meeting point for the city’s young people, who frequent the outdoor bars and cafés.
Leaving the bustling market behind we turned a corner and found ourselves at the Palazzo Farnese, built in the 16th century for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who later became Pope Paul III. The building houses the French Embassy today.
It was hot, and joining the locals and tourists for a few quiet moments in the shade was ever so tempting… but we carried on. Trastevere was calling!
To be continued…