It's Sunday and it's still hot. We are going to the markets today. I think I have figured out some bus routes so we head out to the stop out of the five which are nearby which appears to be the right one for the route I've chosen. Just around the corner from the metro is a small square - the Piazzale Ostiense. On one side is part of the old Roman wall including one of the gates, Porta San Paolo. Nearby Il Piramide sits unobtrusively beneath a cloak of scaffolding. Could this be the ultimate holiday souvenir?
The Pyramid of Cestius was built around 15BC as a tomb for a local magistrate. I imagine some Roman holiday maker visited Egypt and returned full of excitement at this design idea. A bit like coming back from Bali and doing a garden makeover. I have since discovered that pyramids weren't unique to Egypt and that this one has a steeper apex than the pyramids of Giza but it's a novel idea don't you think? It's a shame that the only way we get to see it is to google it. I didn't take any photos of the scaffolding and hoarding.
It is getting hotter by the minute and our bus hasn't come. I notice a hand-written notice attached to a pole which mentions the bus number we are waiting for. With Jeremy's help we figure out that for some reason this bus doesn't appear to be stopping at this stop today so we decide to start walking. Well, Jeremy and I decide to start walking; the girls are grumbling loudly. It actually isn't all that far - maybe a couple of kilometres, and it's a dead straight line.
The Porta Portese markets are situated across the River Tiber from central Rome in an area called Trastevere. Apparently this is the working class area of Rome and is still an area of artisans and trades. I have also read that this is a great area to go for simple traditional meals in unassuming cafes but we won't be visiting any of these today. Our purpose is to visit the markets which are held here every Sunday. We reach the gate in the Roman wall that marks the start of the market. And dive in. The stalls stretch in for what seems like miles. This is billed as Rome's largest market and was once known for it's vintage bric-a-brac and antiques. Today all I see is a sea of cheap junk jewellery, countless handbag vendors and swathes of cheap women's clothing. If there are antiques here, I've missed them. Still, it's not an unpleasant way to spend an hour or so until the heat under canvas drives us in search of some respite.
Back at our apartment later that afternoon we are blessed with the most wonderful hailstorm.
Image credit: ManooEye on Flickr