Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Day Sixteen

June 24, 2009 8:54A.M.

Awaken to clangs and bangs outside our window. They're doing something to the building. Scaffolding blocks our view of the Pantheon. It hasn't mattered since we've been getting up early anyway. But today was a no rush one. We're up now.

Yesterday was a Vatican Day. Five horus and almost 300 pictures later I'm exhausted. Robert Langdon (Angels and Demons) was right. The Vatican owns a LOT of stuff.

We got there early in hopes of seeing Jim, Julie, and Allison for their 9:15 time. We figured out we were in the totally wrong spot for our tour. Scramble around a bit and discover the right location in time.Thankfully the reserved ticket line was much shorter. We start right off making our way to the Sistine Chapel. Through the Tapestry Room, through the Map Room, through the Candelabra Room (don't laugh), to reach our destination. A constant announcement reminded us that taking pictures was strictly forbidden. It was kind of hard to hear it though, what with all the shutter clicks and flashes going off.

After the Vatican Museums we take the shortcut to St. Peter's and get to skip security. (Take the Right exit as you leave Michaelangelo's masterpiece). Tour the pope's tombs and then step inside the Basillica. Oh My God - literally. the place was extravagant. Our final stop was the Cupola. Elevator only half way, crazy slanting walls and tight stairways the rest. But the view...oh! the view.

Castel du Sant Angelo was next. The Illuminati Lair. We toured all through this and even climbed to the Terrazza for a bite to eat. Finally eat cannoli. While I'm at it also cross off two people kissing on both cheeks, two Italian men holding arms, and nuns taking cigarette breaks. No, not really. But there does seem to be a priest on every corner.

Head back towards the apartment to tour the Pantheon. Then take a nap before dinner. Tonight's recommendation took us over the river into the yuppie Trastevere. Strange juxtapositioning of upwardly mobiles surrounded by heavily graffited walls.

After dinner we make the trek out to see the Cooloseum at night. Went the right way this time. Finally back to bed.
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