Rome: Museum of the History of Sanitary Arts & Catacombs of St. Sebastian

Buongiorno,

Another full day ahead of us where we get to view these historic venues that contain so many artifacts of the Roman Empire. Our day began with a scenic drive to the Museum of the History of Sanitary Arts. We were greeted by the director of the museum, Dr. Gaspare Baggieri. This museum is not open to the general public, so getting the chance to walk through such a magnificent collection of anatomical wax models and ancient medical devices was truly a wonder. We entered through three large chambers filled with wax models of fetuses in the womb, a collection of gallbladder and urinary bladder stones, apothecaries, and many other medical devices used in the 16th- 17th centuries. Learning how anatomy and medicine was taught to students in the 1600s and 1800s made me value my higher education even more.

Mid-day we stopped over at La Grottino to learn the art of making aromatic and tasteful pizza. The piazoli named Tony took our group through the steps for making pizza dough and marinara sauce from scratch. It was such an interactive experience and the pizza was finger-licking good! I ordered the Pizza Bufalina. So yummy.

We concluded the day with a tour of the Catacombs of St. Sebastian. During the Roman Empire, tombs were not allowed to be built within the perimeter of the empire. Therefore, the sixty catacombs which represent a Christian cemetery are located outside the city. The catacombs house about 100,000 tombs and a mesolieum was so built for Romans and Pagans. The catacombs lie 45 feet below the ground and consist of 7 tunnels. It’s crazy to think how many people have been buried in this structure and the story behind the development of the venue. Truly revering!

My adventures in the city of Rome have come to a bittersweet end. We now prepare to visit medieval Assisi while making our way to the next destination. I look forward to sharing my journey with you in Florence.

Molto Amore,

Ashna