Travel Journal

UnNaples - outside Rome

(Saturday 6 November 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 82-84 -- 10/26-29/10 Not Naples and Viterbo
We decided to relax for a change so we had booked a rather rustic bed and breakfast outside of Rome in the little town of Sabaudia. We arrived about noon and just spent the day relaxing and I played catch up on the journal. There wasn’t much around the place except farmland which suited us well except when I tried to find some dinner. The owner was nice enough to let us use the phone which I used to call the Colosseum and reserving a ticket. I had read on the Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree that the Colosseum had just started an underground and 4th level tour of the Colosseum which has always been off limits to the normal tourist. We were set for Saturday at 1 PM.
Not wanting to go into Rome yet and wanting to continue our relaxing stay, I happened to see a section on Viterbo which looked interesting and was close so Julie did her magic on the internet and found a hotel. The next morning we drove to the Catacombs of San Sebastino
on the outskirts of Rome on the Via Appia Antica road. I had hoped to see the scene of the straight road with the pine trees along the side but perhaps I imagined it from the Pines of Rome music or whatever but the road indeed was straight alright. St. Sebastine was the Roman soldier who convert to Christianity, was tied to a post and shot with arrows, survived and then went to Rome to tell them they did a bad thing and then was beaten to death. The Basillica next to the catacombs has an altar to him and across the way one of the arrows he was shot with and imprints of footprints that Jesus left I think when meeting St. Paul. Looks like size eleven to me.
The catacomb is one of several that are known because it was continually visited because it housed the body of St Paul and St Peter until they were removed as well as St. Sebastian. There were many other catacombs but they eventually were forgotten. The catacombs were tolerated by the Romans and then later embraced as Christianity became the dominate religion.
Afterwards we drove to Viterbo to the hotel. Again many streets were closed to car traffic but I found free parking in a lot a bit away from the hotel. The city’s main claim to fame was it was where the popes resided in the 13th century. An amusing story is that the cardinals who elect the pope were at one point deadlocked. After debating for three years, the town folks became a bit peeved and locked them in a room with no food until they elected a new pope.
The town is interesting to stroll through and look at the architecture but there really isn’t much else. Regardless, we had a great time. The hotel Julie picked was fantastic. Great service, good room with a balcony, free breakfast, and my favorite, free happy hour every night! Here’s the gang from the hotel… Hey, guys sorry for posting this so late!

We did have a full course dinner across the street for a good price. We were surprised as course after course came to the table. We had a bottle of wine and at the end when they offered coffee and we declined they substituted Agripa or something like that. Essentially it is turpentine served in a glass which I politely declared to the owner as the best Agripa I’ve ever had.
I also tried to make a reservation for Museo e Galleria Borghese which was on my bucket list but the only time they had available was the same time we booked the Colosseum. Looks like another bucket list entry will go unchecked! I think there will be enough things unseen in Rome to warrant another trip to the city. We headed out the next day to finally return the car and visit the eternal city.

  • pre rome trip by DAD

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