Micro states of Europe travel blog

Reconstruction of the Ara Pacis

Hall of Geography detail in Vatican Museums

Swiss Guard finger games?

That was a poor sleep. The a/c was not very strong last night. Up c 0600, making the mistake of saying Lou could use the facilities first. He took longer than most women to get ready.

We were the first down at brekkie. The coffee machine was dispensing wrong orders but not a big problem. Had enough before heading toward the Ara Pacis Museum before 0900. Headed down the Spanish Steps to the Via della Croce. Stopped at the Basilica Dei SS Ambrogio e Carlo to fill the time before the museum opened. I had been in it last year.

Little seems to have happened at the Augustan Mausoleum in the intervening months. Maybe if I get to Rome a third time.

Not many people in the Ara Pacis Museum. The Altar of Peace was a manifestation of the peace that Emperor Augustus brought to the Roman Empire after the series of civil wars. The goddess of peace was not well known but the structure spoke to a greater issue. There was a model inside. I was struck by how relatively small it was.

There was a further exhibition on Spartacus but it was more in name only, dealing with principally Roman slavery but also some around the world, including the blacks in the USA. In the greater scheme of things, it was probably not worth the extra charge.

Back to the hotel, roomie Lou there with beers. Decided to skip it until later, just having four or so chocolates to tide me over.

Noon rendezvous with Peter and Sergio again for our trip on the metro [Republica to Octaviano] to head to the Vatican Museum tour. The headsets were not as good as at the Colosseum but adequate. It varied a little from last year, more to the negative than positive as the Raphael rooms are undergoing renovations so no 'School of Athens' and the like to admire. The tour was quite crowded in most places, the Geography Hall being my favourite.

I was able to tell a couple of Orientals no photographs in the Sistine Chapel. Why are people so ignorant in that regard? Sergio gave us a handout of the ceiling which we could keep as a souvenir. St Peter's Basilica was fine but by that time I was ready to call it a day.

Back after 1700 for an 1845 dinner rendezvous. Quick email home, camera battery charging, a shower and a bit of the draft blog quickly filled the time.

Another local restaurant for the repast. Got Lou to try an Aperol Spritz, prompting another Canuck to try it for the first time too. Chatted lots with the Raccoon. She's living in Nanaimo, BC now and is a Federer fan. The lamb special was okay but it was not roasted, my preference. Managed to down a half liter of white wine to boot.

Back for discussions who is paying what re the 6 euros room charge [A-B for the tour nights]. A bit of email, news and computer time. Not fussed about packing, just having to put a few more things in the big bag as need to take our backpacks for the three hours of afternoon touring.

Got the blog done and bed a bit after 2200, the real trip starting manana with new territory.

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