Most famous in modern history for the bloody battle in WWII, when it was reduced to rubble by the bombing of allied forces, this magnificent Abbey has risen for the third time since first constructed around 500 BCE. Originally built on the sight of a pagan temple, and having been destroyed by earthquakes, this Benedictine Abbey although a recreation of that which existed before the war, has been restored to its' former beauty, taking one's breath away as one walks through the various areas of worship.
This city of ancient historical ruins is touted to be where modern history, or at least that of the past 2500 years was centered. The first view upon entering the city is naturally, ruins and excavations everywhere, in the process of being restored or completed for the hordes of tourists milling around the sites.
Our first exploration was that of the Jewish Ghetto, with a walk starting in the Jewish Museum, documenting life of the past 22 centuries. We first entered the Spanish Synagogue and then the Great Synagogue built in the early 1900's and partially funded by the Government. We learned that although the Jews were sent to extermination camps by the Nazis, the building was preserved. Many interesting facts were learned and after spending much time viewing the many items on display in the Museum, we then walked the streets of the Ghetto enjoying a Kosher meal at one of the restaurants. After exploring the rest of the Ghetto and crossing one of the many bridges spanning the Tiber River,we walked through the Trastevere area (across the Tiber (Tevere) but the day was very hot and humid so we then decided to head back to our hotel and return tomorrow.
A second day of exploration, as we experienced many of the "tourist" sites, mobbed with so many bodies it made us yearn for the peace and solitude of Tuscany and Amalfi. I guess we are not the typical traveler who "must see" all the famous ruins of Rome's colorful history. We are really looking forward to beginning our next trip starting in Zagreb.