A Visit to Testaccio
Today we visited the neighborhood of Testaccio. In the 19th century this was the butcher's district, and it is still known for restaurants serving dishes made from the "5th quarter" of the animal (i.e. innards, etc.). While having lunch I had some lamb innards, and they were quite good.
This was an interesting part of Rome to visit. It is very off the usual tourist route, and we really didn't see any other tourists, or at least very few. It was really cool seeing a neighborhood of 'real Rome'.
One of the things we came to see was the market held every Saturday in the area. This was a genuine locals market, and I didn't see anyone else that looked like a tourist there. They sold everything from shoes to knick knacks, but it is primarily a food market. Items for sale included the horse meat (carne equina) stand shown below. I read that horse meat has become more popular since the mad cow scare of a few years ago.
One of the other things we came to see was Mount Testaccio, the ancient mountain made from amorphae sherds. It was pretty cool, and you can see some of the sherds in this picture.
We also went to see the Pyramid of Cestius, build around 12 B.C. by a wealthy Roman. As you can see, it was also later incorporated into the Servian Walls.
We later visited the branch of the National Museum in the Baths of Diocletian. It wasn't the greatest museum, frankly, but it did have this cool sculpture with some paint still on it. The stark white sculptures we know today were actually gaudily painted in their day.
Well, that's all for tonight. Tomorrow we go see the ancient Appian Way, which promises to be awesome.