Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday in Italy

St. Peter's at night
Marsh and SW at the Coloseum

Sometimes I feel like I'm in Greece and not Rome, because I feel like I'm running a marathon!!! Today we saw the the Vatican Museum, the Sistene Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica, and then had lunch. Then the Coloseum, Pantheon, Arch of Constantine, Trajan’s Column, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Hall of Justice, Capitol Hill Square, Forum, and stopped for gelato. Whew! Off again and saw thePiazza Venezia, Four Rivers Fountain, shopped and had coffee at the Piazza Novata. Almost all of this is on foot--Rome is a big city! When we were more exhausted than the Roman gladiators after a fight, we stopped for dinner. And you would think then we would get to sleep, but, no!, went back out on a night tour of Rome including the Roman Baths and the Trevi Fountain and more gelato. We got back at midnight. I am very happy and very tired.

You know how when you stay at the Disneyland hotel and you buy something in the Magic Kingdom they send it to your hotel room for you? In Vatican City, you can buy something (like a rosary, or a prayer book), the Pope will bess it in the afternoon, and it will show up at your hotel later. I like the idea and I'm fine with all this, but the rest of the commercialism of the city (country? The Vatican is a country), bothers me a little. There are tons of overpriced plastic saint statues for sale and four dollar bottles of soda. There's pasta sold in the shape of something that only men have. (If I spell it out, I'll get the wrong kind of traffic on my blog.) There are calendars that show a closeup of part of a different famous statue each month. The statues aren't suggestive, but the calendars certainly are.

Our bus driver is so funny. Today the street was a little too narrow, so he got out and singlehandedly pushed a Smart Car about a foot closer to the curb while the whole bus cheered.

There is limited public transportation and the streets are packed with crazy drivers. Every time they try to dig a subway line, they find important ruins and building is stopped. We have the "Bus to Home" statue by the mall and City Hall, but they have art EVERYWHERE. It's weird when Michelangelo becomes ho hum. Oh, look another Giotto! Raphael has a very simple grave. So many others overshadow him.

No comments: