In Which We Do the Homeschool Thing and See the Ruins of Rome

We got back to our apartment barely able to move today after being gone from about 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for a day of a whole lot of walking and sun.  We found out before we left that today April 21st just happens to be Rome's birthday.  Just like our Independence Day, many places are closed and people don't work.  There was a celebration in the ancient part of town that Brian factored into our trip and he combined that with looking at a lot of the ruins of ancient Rome.  You can't really come all this way as a homeschooler and not see this stuff, right?  So we headed that way for what was a homeschooling mother's dream field trip and for what I jokingly dubbed our pagan day...Christianized by a few stops into churches, too :)

(Warning lots of touristy pictures ahead...)

Checking out the Curia ruins

The Forum of Caesar

We didn't get to go in but I snapped a picture of Santa Maria de Loreto and Sacred Name of Mary.  Trajan's Column is to the right.  (I don't really know what that is but Brian said to mention it.)

The monument to King Vittorio Emanuele II

 Random Christian fresco I thought was neat.

Brian works so hard on these trips!  

The Piazza del Campidogilo
(Don't think I remember all these names.  Brian is here helping me cheat.)

The Temple of Vespasian

We stumbled upon the prison that held Saints Peter and Paul when they were in Rome.  We were bummed that it was closed because that would have been amazing to see inside.  So we prayed outside :)

Ooh, I didn't even realize I got the moon in this pic!  Postcard worthy.

The Basilica Amelia

We checked out the Church of Ss. Cosmas and Damian as well which was built in an ancient Roman building (how's that for non-specific?).  A sign on the wall said something about Franciscan Friars, T.O.R which I thought was cool since their the order that runs my alma mater.

A side room that held a beautiful nativity scene

Just a little beautiful?

And then we headed over to the Colosseum that Luke still laments over its brokenness.

The Arch of Constantine is under construction but I don't think you're allowed to not get a picture of this if you're here.

We decided not to go in the ole Colosseum having been warned that it's pretty overpriced for what you get.  It would have been cool but we just couldn't do it all and besides, that line you see behind was all waiting to get in.  

Ignore my tres chic Dollar Tree goggles.

You only wish you wore your yellow today like all the cool kids.  

Then we waited a whole lot again and went to the parade where we roasted like little Roma tomatoes and watched lots of Roman soldiers and such.  It was pretty cool for the boys.  The uniforms were realistic and they did some little scenes.  It felt odd to me.  It's so weird for me to think about the billions of people who have lived and what times were like.  The brutality is too much.  It did, however, increase my respect a little bit for the people back then, I mean, besides from the fact that they were geniuses and all.  It was kind of a conquer or be conquered kind of time.  And thinking about it more made the revolution that was (and is) Christianity that much more poignant.  I am so grateful I live in the time that I do. 

John Paul especially loved the gladiator-esque music they played while being surrounded by the actual ancient ruins of Rome.  "Just look around, Mama.  You feel like you're actually there."

There was an assortment of temple virgins present as well. 

Enthralled by the horses

They also laid a wreath in front of one of the Caesars which I thought was sort of odd.  But sort of not. 

I think I should train the boys to start carrying me around like this, right?

Afterwards we walked a while, stopping into a few churches while we waited for the gladiator fights that were supposed to take place in the Circus Maximus.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin where we got to see the skull of St. Valentine.

San Giorgio al Velabro where we got to see a piece of the skull of St. George.  (We Catholics are so awesomely weird, right?)
This kid.  He has been so fun to watch on this trip.  He went right up and wanted to pray.

The Basilica of Saint Anastasia

They had Eucharistic Adoration in a side chapel which was neat.  

We finally got to the Circus Maximus for what we thought was going to be cool gladiator reenactments but what ended up being a weird playacting thing with lots of temple virgins doing mediocre dances.  Not that I'm up to speed on my temple virgin dance ranking or anything.  We stayed way too long waiting for the fights and then gave up.

And I think I can now check teach Ancient Rome off the list.  For a few years at least anyway.

Other Notes from Today:
-David has developed such a heart for the poor in the last few months.  After seeing a beggar woman yesterday he was so concerned about giving her money.  Today he kept a pile of his own change in his pocket ready to give out.  He gave the disabled man we saw today several coins.
-Remember to put the sunscreen on before you've been in the sun for several hours.  Noted.
-John Paul really wanted to tour the Capitoline Museum which we thought was free today.  It wasn't so we didn't end up doing it.  He was so great about it.
-The Tevas I got off of Ebay have been awesome.  (Thank you for the recommendations!)
-We get lots and lots of comments about having four boys.  And sometimes you can tell people are talking about us but we have no idea what they are saying and if it's good or bad.  I try to just smile and do my best to not look too crazy...
-Seeing the lizards run around on the ruins


  1. Oh my goodness, Mary!! The pictures are gorgeous, and it looks like the weather has been too! It seems like the boys are such troopers with all the walking and sightseeing! I can't wait to hear more about it person :)

  2. You guys are killing it. Thanks so much for these posts, so fun to live vicariously through you.

  3. Just wow...all of it. Next time be sure to tell Brian that it's yellow day...

    1. I tried. He apparently doesn't want to be one of the cool kids.

  4. You're hitting home runs every day!! Fabulous pictures! What an education the boys are getting!!I can already picture them playing Roman soldier and Swiss Army Guard when they come home. There's just so much in Rome to see, it's unbelievable! Where did you ever get those snazzy yellow shirts??!!

    1. Thank you :) We got so many looks and smiles today! And after Easter Mass, they were already playing Swiss Guard in the apartment!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing with us Mary! I'm just blown away at how amazing you're doing with four little boys! What a beautiful trip. Keep enjoying every minute!

  6. Mary, Thanks for posting these amazing photos of your beautiful trip. What unforgettable memories you are creating! Some of my family is going there soon, so we are especially enjoying this "preview".....Hope to see more pics soon. You all look so happy and peace-filled. Enjoy. Best regards, Lisa


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