O.K. So, it has only been a few days since I posted part 2, and here I am getting ready for Part 3. I am quite proud of myself! (Sorry Stephanie, no pictures with this post. Next post, I promise!)
After the long day at Assisi, we slept super late on Wednesday and decided to just walk around Rome. We had a list of churches we really wanted to see and we decided we would just do our best to see what we could. On top of the list were St. Mary Major and St. Agata di Goti. The trip to St. Agata was important to me because St. Agata is the patron saint of breast cancer and I currently have two friends battling breast cancer. This was a fairly rainy, drizzly day and since we were going to be walking all day, I opted to not bring my camera.
We first visited St Mary Major since it is very near the main subway station. Once we exited the subway, we followed our handy little map to find the church. When we came upon it, we thought it was closed - there were fences up around it, and no one was going in or out. Fortunately, we wandered around and discovered that we had actually come upon the back of the church! Once we found the front doors, we were able to go in and enjoy this beautiful church.
After St Mary's we were headed off to St. Agata. It looked fairly simple according to our map, but ended up not being as easy as we thought. By the time we found it, the doors were locked - they were closed for the midday break. I was quite disappointed, but in our wanderings trying to find the church, we stumbled upon this garden/park area that is built on top of some ancient ruins. Tons of orange trees as well as one of the ancient drinking fountains you find scattered throughout the city.
From here, we walked around the ruins of the Forum and near the Imperial Palace. We wanted to visit Mamertine prison (where Peter and Paul were held) but it was closed for repairs. Instead, after a great meal, we headed over to St. Peter in Chains which contains the chains used on St. Peter. Pretty cool. From there, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the opera. We had tickets for La Traviata that evening. The opera house itself was beautiful and the performance was great. We saw La Traviata back in June at the LA Opera, so it was interesting to see the Roman Opera version. Both were great.