Roman street musicians are always playing to
sidewalks full of wine and coffee drinkers.  In
this case, “Funiculi Funicula”!
Dar Poeta Pizzeria, down a little alley in the Trastevere
 neighborhood, is in a gritty part of town… we were
 about to give up when we found the best pizza in Rome. 

The emblem of Rome.  Legend has it that Romulus
 (for whom Rome is named) and Remus, twin boys born
 of the gods, were abandoned and raised by a she-wolf.
“Boy with Thorn” is a famous sculpture (no photos
 allowed of the original in bronze) from possibly
50 B.C. of a diligent Roman messenger who would
 not be deterred from his mission to deliver a
 message before removing a thorn in his foot.
Just for a sense of scale, imagine
how large the rest of this statue
King Neptune and I, relaxing by the pool,
right before the museum guard chewed me out
for sitting on a piece of art.  “Mama mia!  Basta!”

Until about 450 B.C., Roman law was centered around
 religion.  As priests were members of rich families,
the wealthy class had an enormous advantage over the
 working class.  When the “Plebians” rebelled, a code of laws
 called the Twelve Tables was drawn up and presented.
  Later adopted, the Twelve Tables were displayed in the Roman
 Forum.  From this we have such concepts as innocent
 until proven guilty, minimum legal age for a female
 to marry (12), and that if a father puts his son up for
 sale 3 times, the son no longer belongs to the father!
The lively Spanish Steps in Rome, where people gather
 to talk and sing.  Many a vendor tried to “give” me a long
 stemmed rose, quite a scam as they show up 5 minutes later
 asking for money.  A live band was trying to cover the
 “Happy” song, which didn’t work too well
 with amateur clapping!

The famous Roman sandal, worn by
 soldiers, specifically designed to
 reduce blisters on long forced marches.
Many versions of today’s sandal are available at
little Italian merchants like Gucci, Prada, Versace
and Armani.

Roman ruins along the Appian Way are now a
playground for children with Frisbees and soccer balls.
“All roads lead to Rome” is not only a common
catch phrase.  During the Roman Empire, every
road in the empire either led directly to Rome or
to another arterial that led to Rome, in a hub
and spoke pattern.  Trade routes could move
effectively and troops could move efficiently.
Pagan custom had been to incinerate the dead,
 but Christians wanted to bury the body to prepare
 for resurrection.  Thus the secret catacombs, where one’s
socially ostracized minority religious practice could
 take place.  Vast underground passages held
 thousands of crude graves.
San Sebastiano Catacombs held not only graves,
but underground areas for funereal banquets.
All catacombs in Rome are the property of the
Catholic church.  Legend has it that the Holy
Grail (the chalice from the Last Supper) is buried
somewhere deep in the catacombs.