Roma…

I meet up with my friends John, Jeremy, and James in Rome. We will be traveling together for the next couple of weeks until they end their trip in Munich for Oktoberfest. I rolled into Rome a couple of days early to wander around the city on my own. Traveling in small groups can slow things down a bit, especially getting everyone out the door in the morning. (One has to make sure their hair looks good, right Jeremy?!)

Rome - Colosseum

The first item on my list was to see the Crypt of the Captuchin Monks. This was suggested to me by a friend of my sisters at her birthday party back in July. Basically they have taken the bones of many monks over the years and reconfigured them into artful crypt displays. For example, skulls with shoulder blades behind them to make wings. Rather creepy, but cool none the less. I highly recommend checking it out and it’s only 1 or 2 euro donation.

Then I headed up toward the Spanish Steps to have lunch and do a bit of people watching. It seems to be a bit overrated to me, it’s just a bunch of steps and the Fontana della Barcaccia (“Fountain of the Old Boat”) in the Piazza di Spagna. Apparently if you drink the water from the fountain you will live forever, I managed to take a sip we’ll see if that comes true.

After lunch I wandered over to the Trevi Fountain. I didn’t stay long since it was crawling with tourists. I was planning on going back at night to see it all lit up which is much more impressive. Romans also claim this fountain has mystical powers. If one tosses a coin over their left shoulder with their right hand which ends up crossing your heart, then you will be sure to return to Rome. Again I followed the rules to a tee, so lets see if I make it back.

Next was to make my way to the Colosseum, in the process I ran into the Pantheon by accident. Unfortunately, it was roped off for Sunday mass so I was unable to walk around the whole building. It’s neat to see they still use it for regular service. Although it was in Latin which is just as good as my Italian, nonexistent, thus there was no way of knowing what they were saying. It was a pretty long day so I went back to the hotel and called it an early night.

Vatican City was on order for the first day with the 3Js. St Peters Basilica is rather amazing. But at this point I’m getting really burnt out on churches. What made this a bit more interesting is the book I am reading, Dan Brown’s – Angels and Daemons, which is set in Rome. (Same dude who wrote ‘The Da vinci Code’) So of course I have been looking around at all of the sculptures to see ones he points out in the book. After about an hour of wandering around in there we went into the Vatican Museum. My plan was to run through it and only see some key pieces of work, but with the main goal of seeing the Sistine Chapel. Amazing to think Michelangelo spent over 4 years just to complete the ceiling. Unfortunatly, I couldn’t get “Arestted Development” episode where they depict the Last Judgement. None the less it was breath taking.

After 3 or 4 hours of Vatican City I was ready for a gelato. There is a shop just outside the Vatican wall which was probably the second best gelato I’ve had in Italy. (It’s hard to beat the place in Florance) I’m going to go though withdrawal symptoms when I leave Italy.

John booked us a condo in the Traverse neighborhood. This was a great change of pace from the hostels I have been staying at the past few weeks. It’s a great neighborhood, a lot of excellent family run restaurants, and hip bars and cafes which locals actually go to.
Rome has turned out to be my favorite big city on this trip. Italians tend to be very patient with Americans. Even if they don’t understand a word of English, they work hard to communicate with you, and I’ve found hand motions can really get the job done. They never seem to be put off which really makes traveling here much more enjoyable, than say France. I starting to see Italian lessons in my future.

Rome Photos…

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