Our last few days in Roma went by awfully quickly. We stayed here:
The apartment was on the top floor. Up four flights of stairs.
AH, but the view to Piazza della Chiesa Nuova was worth it. Every step. Either at night:
Or by day:
The view inside that church was gorgeous, too.
Our first full day back was rainy. Everyone else was headed to St. Peter's Square, to be blessed by the pope. So we headed for i Musei Vaticani. The Vatican Museums are enormous and totally worth seeing. There's a huge collection of classical Roman sculpture:
Lots of nudes, and most of the male nudes had their organs (you know what I mean) removed by order of an overzealous Victorian-era pope. But not this guy:
And what abou this gal? WOW!
Can you say boobie scarf?
And did I tell you that it rained like heck while we were in the museums?
As you progress through the Vatican Museums, you have the opportunity to look out the windows:
I'm told this is the view of St. Peters as Michelangelo intended it:
And you can see the Vatican Gardens:
Or the Borgia courtyard:
Inside the museums, like most other public buildings in Roma, it's one spectacular ceiling after another. And here it's over the top.
It gets overwhelming. You can't always tell what you're looking at, and that's just the buildings and the decorative frescoes on the walls. The museums are also packed with artifacts of all kinds from all eras of history. We wandered at our leisure and finally had our fill, after spending some considerable time in the Capella Sistina, viewing The Most Awesome Ceiling and The Last Judgment.
You're not supposed to talk in there or take photos (hence,the link). It is, after all the inner sanctum of the Catholic church. Museum guards command, "Silenzio!" "No camera!" regularly and everyone is craning their neck (Ouch!) and gazing upwards at the spectacular images. For a moment, everyone will fall silent. Then the murmurs will start and the volume will increase to a dull roar until the next "Silenzio!" "No camera!" The pattern repeats and repeats as we are all drinking in the genius of Michelangelo. Finally,one must simply break the spell and walk away. There is no way to take the whole thing in in one viewing. I think to really "see" the work, you should return several times. If you are lucky enough.
When we emerged from the museums, the papal audience in the square had ended, but there were plenty of people lingering. Including several newlyweds, in full wedding regalia, who had come to be blessed and take wedding photos.
I wondered how they had kept dry in the earlier rain.
As we left the square,we ran smack dab into a parade.
It was a band.
Followed by the inevitable.
A visit to Roma is not complete without a walk across Ponte Sisto to Trastevere.
The view toward Isola Tiberina is incomparable:
And the area around Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere is full of cafes, hostarias, and restaurants.
Plus, I wanted to look for the Cinema Pasquino, an English-language cinema that I used to frequent in the olden days. We found it, but only after we'd wandered in circles for quite a while. The neighborhood has changed quite a bit in 34 years.
I couldn't leave Roma without shopping for yarn. I'm pretty sure this shop, Lana della Vecchia literally, Wool of the Old Woman - I think something gets lost in the translation) at Via Baullari 3, was here in the olden days. I knit a scarf then, and I think I bought the yarn here.
Prezzi ingrosso - wholesale prices.
53 Euros for 100 grams of cashmere.
The Smart Car. It's half a car and very useful in parking starved Roma.
Police. Everywhere. These guys had rather benign looking swords and genially posed with a tourist.
However, these guys, and many others seen all over the city, carried automatic weapons and scowled. Do not mess with them.
On our last night, there was a party down on the street below our apartment. Until well after midnight. I wanted to go!
But we had to pack up and get ready to leave. And, after all, we hadn't been invited
Here's the sock I started on the train trip from the airport enjoying the view one last time.
And the socks Pamela made for my birthday? I wore them on the plane to and from Rome. They wanted a last look, too.
Did we have fun? Will we go back? You betcha!