Well, we said good-bye to our nice hotel and settled without any trouble. When we arrived at the station, we saw Miss Emma Kessler get into a car, and shortly after we got settled.
We passed through very fertile country and saw snow-capped mountains in the distance. The train moved along a good deal faster than the one we came in with to Naples. It was divided in compartments, with an aisle running along one side, and had dining car and sleeper. We traveled second class, which was very nice, although the seats are somewhat crowded and rather narrow.
At Cassino, we bought two little baskets with lunch in them, consisting of a flask of wine, bread, meat, egg, cake, and an orange, all wrapped nicely in paper and tasting very good, total cost 40¢.
We arrived on time, 14:35 o’clock, which means 2:45, and hired a facchino, who carried our luggage to the pension, we trotting along. We found the place to be four flights of stairs, 103 steps, which is a good exercise after a big meal, but hard work after having been sight seeing all day.
We walked out at once in order to see something before night, and the first thing we struck was the Barracks of the Pretorians, which is occupied by cavalry. It is very old, dating from Sejanus. From here we went to the Porta Pia new gate, erected in 1560.
We now took the car leading out on the via Nomentana, on which there are situated some fine villas of Patricians. At random, we got off at a church, which proved to be a great interest. It was the Santa Angese, which was in existence at the time of Honorius, 1500 years go, just think of it. It was well worth seeing, as it still retains the features of a primitive Christian Basilica.
The Baptistry of St. Constantia, which is a round temple, has some very old mosaics, representing the vintage, and in it were buried two daughters of Constantine. It was changed into a church in the year of 1265.
You have to descend quite a number of steps to reach the church of S. Agnese, which is divided into three naves by sixteen ancient columns of various marbles and has a fine ceiling of carved wood and a fine head of Christ in marble, said to have been made by Michael Angelo, and a fine mosaic, made in 625, representing S. Agnese who is buried under the altar.
Returning to the Porta Pia, we saw the place where the breach was made into the old wall by the Italian soldiers when they took Rome by force and annexed it with Italy on the 20th Sept. 1870. They entered through the Porta Pia and ended the temporal power of the Pope. Opposite is a column of Victory, erected 25 years later, to commemorate this event.
We went to bed at 10 o’clock. We are all well taken care of in this pension, and we get some genuine Italian dishes now and then.