20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Some big church

















































I went a bit hyper in Roma, tourism at a rate that would shame even the Japanese. With only a couple of hours daylight left when I arrived and a hell of a lot of places to visit I thought I'd see how many I could tick off before nightfall. I headed for the colusseum first but got distracted by a big church on the way there, made it to the colusseum, then the Forum and Plaza Venezzia. I thought it might be nice to catch sunset over the Vatican so route marched myself to Castel Angelo or whatever it's called. I can't remember even noticing that castle last time I was in Rome so I guess Dan Brown can be proud of something if not his crap books. The sun set in the wrong place so I headed back into Italy seeing first Plaza Navarra where one of my favourite statues ,The Four Rivers was under renovation but there was a Christmas market going on there. Next to the Pantheon an amazing building and a travesty that it has been converted to a christian church. Finally I finished my noctural sightseeing at the Trevi Fountain. After all that I went to the train station to book my ticket out to Bologna and retired to a well earned bottle of red.

Next morning I almost reversed my direction to go to the places I'd been in the dark in daylight and vice versa. I added the Spanish Steps to my itinerary to start with and then went Trevi, Pantheon and Navarra before finding myself once more in Vatican city. I got a sudden hunger there and was disappointed to find that the Holy See has no Maccy D. What a missed opportunity, they could introduce the MacJesus, exchanging the bread bun with holy wafers. I think I would have had the Big G menu, 2 Dove patties, flame grilled over a burning bush between 3 papal sized wafers, served with Virgin fries (cooked in olive oil obviously) and all washed down with half a litre of - wait for this one.... inFanta! Instead I ate a snickers bar from my bag, I did manage to have a Holy S**t in the vatican toilets.

On a more serious note, I visited the Vatican crypt which I thought was off limits, I got a couple of pictures before I saw any no photogrraphy signs. There were q lot of people crying and wailing around the last popes (anyone know where the appostrophy is on a French/Arabic keyboard?) crypt, I thought he was meant to have gone to a better place.

I felt it best to leave the Vatican via a side exit before I got struck down so I had a wander along the west bank of the Tiber until I came to the island in the middle of the river and crossed there. This brought me neatly out at the hippodrome, posibly the most scenic area of Rome, looking across the hippodrome to the ruins of the Forum etc. I walked up to the Colusseum and this time I went into the ruins, spending an hour wandering around them and avoiding ticket offices. I came out at the far side behind the big white building (can't remember what it's called) at Plaza Venezia (or something like that). I went into the big white building for a snoop around and found that there was a viewing terrace overlooking most of Rome where the sun almost set except that it just faded away into low clouds. I had a zigzaggy walk back to my hotel not particularly going to see anything else but repassing some of the earlier sights and resupplying my alcohol supplies at the local supermaket. And that ladies and Gentlemen is how to see Rome twice in a day and a half.

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