Giorno di San Valentino A Roma

Ok, so this year was my first single V-day in six years, so I wasn’t super excited about the lovey-dovey stuff. Luckily Italy doesn’t celebrate it much, so it was minimally thrown in my face, but there were lots of couples being all couply.  This was kinda me:

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But I wasn’t going to wallow at home all day, I mean I’m in ROME!  Luckily the little monthly guide that the study center has gave me the perfect program for the day:

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I skipped the Wining and Dining part, but I started out my day with my plan: First I would go to the Protestant Cemetery, say hello to Keats (which I was actually really excited about because I love Keats), then I’d head over and walk around the outside of the forum to look at the Temple of Vesta (and pray that I wouldn’t turn out like them), then I’d walk down to the Basilica of Santa Maria is Cosmedin to see the bones of San Valentino (to curse him for being the namesake of such a dreadful holiday).

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So off I went to a cemetery!  Which was really great.  I like walking around old cemeteries, and this one was very well maintained.  It was a very pleasant morning walk, peaceful and quiet, and lots of pretty tombstones.  I got to see Keats grave, and I had wanted to sit in front of him for a bit and read his poetry, unfortunately that was killed by the couple sitting on the only bench in front of him making out.

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But I got to see him, say hello and get some nice pictures of his really pretty eternal resting place, right at the foot of the Pyramid of Cestius.

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There are many other great things to see in the cemetery, and perhaps I’ll do a longer post with more images from the cemetery, but for this post I suppose I should stay on task.

So later in the day I circled the forum trying to spot the correct temple, while also seeing a ton of great buildings.  Finally with the help of the interwebs I was able to spot the ruins of the Temple of Vesta.

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This temple was the home to the Vestal Virgins, who cared for the Eternal Flame.  If they let the flame burn out they were flogged and if they broke their vow of chastity they were burned to death….sounds like a great job.

The next stop was the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, which is well-known for housing the Bocca Della Verita, or the mouth of truth, however it also houses the skull of Saint Valentine, who was very popular yesterday.

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There was quite a crowd around him of people all lighting candles and taking pictures (although I’m pretty sure they were mostly American).  Flocks of young female students (like me I guess, only less cynical maybe?) came and lit a candle to Valentine, hoping to find love.

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Ok so I lit one too, I guess all the optimism of those around me rubbed off.  Anyhow, after that my roommate and I headed back towards home, stopping to buy each other flowers (we decided to be each others Valentines).  We made dinner and had a great Friendentines day.

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And now a poem by Keats because he’s great.

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