We went to Lavinium today, the site of the city founded by Aeneas for his new Latin wife Lavinia (according to the myth, at least). There really was some kind of settlement there, though, right on the small river Numicus (now dried up). We got to see the heroon/“tomb of Aeneas,” as well as a shrine with a number of altars. Even after the city lost importance as a port city, Roman magistrates would go there to sacrifice to the Penates. In the museum we looked at many large votive figurines found in a nearby Temple of Minerva; they seem to refer to motherhood and childbirth.
After returning to the Centro, I headed off on my own for the day, starting with a delicious margherita pizza at Dar Poeta, a great, hard-to-find pizza place in Trastevere. I then crossed the Pons Sublicius and visited the Tomb/Pyramid of Cestius and the Protestant Cemetary, where Keats and Shelley are buried. I then headed back to Trastevere and checked out the Church of S. Cecilia, as well as its Roman ruins underneath. Finally, I discovered the Villa Sciarra on the way back; I will plan to visit this lovely gem of a park (which is just a few blocks down from where we are) again soon—great reading/picnic spots!
For dinner, we had carrots, pasta with zucchini, fresh salad, and eggplant parmesan, followed by cantaloupe with vanilla ice cream—excellent as always. Tomorrow we visit the Villa Giulia , which is the Etruscan museum at the Villa Borghese. Buonanotte!