Touring the Ancient Ruins of Rome

by Jessica on May 18, 2011


 We are, without a doubt, do-it-yourselfers. We do our own car repairs, and by ‘we’ I mean my husband. I don’t know a spark plug from a speedometer. We do our own house repairs. Again, it’s mostly my husband, but I can wield a mean paintbrush and tile trowel. We even do our on educating and that one’s all on me. Being a DIY family means that we have a propensity to want to do it our way with our rules. This certainly carries over to our traveling. Tour guides and travel agents are just not a part of the equation. Usually.

Checking out the sites of Rome

While in Rome, we made an exception and joined the Archeobus Tour as a means of travel to see the catacombs outside of Rome. Other methods of transportation seemed limited or overly expensive, so we surrendered to the tour. As tours go, this one was as flexible as possible. An open air bus picks up passengers at any one of 14 stops and continues along the route, allowing you to board and re-board as many times as you choose in a 48 hour period.

The View of Forums from the Archeobus

Riding through town in the open air, double-decker bus allowed us to see again sites that we had visited earlier in our trip. An audio tour to accompany the ride was provided, but we found it to be difficult to tune into the English speaking channel. Almost immediately upon exiting the center of the city, we found ourselves transported to ancient Rome along the Appian Way. Ruins of tombs, churches and villas dot the single lane road, as you marvel at the ancient stones beneath you.

Pictures were not allowed inside the catacombs, but being that we are not great at following rules…

 Our first stop was the Catacombs of St Callisto, the official cemetery for the Christians of Rome. Tours were conducted in variety of languages, so we purchased our tickets and waited for the English tours to begin. The moist and chilly air in the catacombs added to the mysterious intrigue, as the adults enjoyed the historic tour and the kids delighted in clambering through spooky underground tunnels. The catacombs no longer contain any bones, but the walls are rich in Christian symbolism, which served as a kind of secret language for the early Christians. While the actual inhabitants of the catacombs are shrouded in myth (both Peter and Paul were said to be buried here at one time), the remains provide a serene and spiritual experience for visitors.

Ruins of the Baths of Caracalla

Picturesque Picnic Spot

We boarded the bus again very close to lunchtime. As most of the other passengers were scrambling for a lunch counter, we had happily packed a lunch, so we continued on to the Baths of Caracalla. We found a field littered with tiny flowers and sat down among the sunshine and ruins to enjoy our picnic.

Playing among the ruins of the Baths

 The boys played happily, jumping from fallen pillar to fallen pillar, as we soaked up the atmosphere in the shadows of the once great bathhouse. Along the path the boys found another boy about their age. After trying out their limited Italian, they learned he spoke German, but they communicated for some time in the language of play.

Hallo!  My German friend.

After our tour of the Baths, we crossed the street to view the Circus Maximus before boarding the bus once more to ride to the aqueducts.

Circus Maximus

 As we stood in awe at this most ancient accomplishment, we noticed that the locals were climbing, playing, and sunbathing along the exposed pipes of the aqueduct. So accustomed to the presence of antiquity, the monuments have become a part of their everyday existence.

Running along the aqueduct pipes

 We were hesitant at first, but soon decided to join in and climbed up onto the pipes to walk as far as they would take us. When in Rome, as they say.


AmberFaith May 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

Hello! Newest follower from the Thirsty Thursday blog hop! Would love for you to stop by and follow back, whenever you get a chance. Have a great week! (:


Hug a tree with me May 19, 2011 at 11:39 am

Newest follower from the hop:) check me out at http;// whenever you can May 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Great photos, looks like a wonderful trip!

Following from the Thirsty Thursday Hop!
Please stop on by and follow me at and say hello :)

An Irish Italian Blessing May 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Wow what great pictures!! I absolutely loved visitng Rome, it's such an incredible place full of history. I'm a new follower, love your blog!! The trip to lego land looked like soo much fun too : )

Rondi May 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

Nice photos! New follower! Thanks for joining our Terrific Thursday Blog Hop! Look forward to reading more posts!

Adventures as a Small Town Mom May 20, 2011 at 10:53 am

Wow! Rome is on my list of places to visit before I die. I am very glad that you and your family like to break the rules – love your photos :)

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea May 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Newest follower! Come check my blog out too!

Liz May 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Wow, love all the pictures of your trip to Rome, I'm so jealous! What an amazing trip!

Thanks for joining Feed Me Friday. Yay for marrying high school sweethearts and being teachers turned mommies!!! So fun finding people you have things in common with! Following you back. Hope you join us again next week!

Shanda May 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Looks like you are having some great adventures. I love travelling and it is so good to introduce kids to the world!
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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