Musing with Max

Musing with Max

October 24, 2016

Arrivederci Roma

Rome wasn't built in a day and it certainly can't be seen in two, trust me. However, when in Rome...(sorry about all the cliches but they just fit so well!) there are certain things one really must do if time is short. And here is where we bought our second ever tour because Vatican City is not for the uninitiated. So on our second morning in Rome we hauled ourselves out of bed at 5:15 AM, got ourselves all ready just in case the Pope was meandering about, as he tends to do, and walked a few blocks in the pitch black Roman morning to the taxi stand next to the Fendi store. We were to meet our tour at the bottom of the steps across the street from the Vatican Museums entrance by the Vatican Cafe at 6:35 AM. Our VIP tour would let us in at 7:00 AM, they open at 10:00 AM, where we would bypass security and then have a buffet breakfast in the gardens. There were two tours from our tour company divided into groups of sixteen. We had a lovely guide, Marina, who pulled out a big giant pink flower instead of the requisite umbrella. She was engaging, knowledgeable, and a little bit of a potty mouth. She also got into it a couple of times with other tour operators who got in our way and a guard at the Sistine Chapel. I loved her. When we walked into the smallest country in the world, my heart skipped a beat...or seven.

There is so much magnificent art in those walls and ceilings it is practically impossible to grasp let alone capture with my little camera and phone. I can never do it justice, it is overwhelming and incredibly beautiful. Lots of Raphael and Michelangelo of course. Recognize those last two? They're actually from the last part of the Vatican Museums which is a modern art collection that was started by Pope Paul VI. Unfortunately we raced through it which was disappointing since the pieces that rushed by my eyes were exquisite but how could I complain, we were on our way to see the original.

There are no pictures allowed in the Sistine Chapel and no talking, we are asked to respect the holiness of the place. We are ushered in and I am surprised at how small it is. It's not really that small but considering it's infamy I was taken aback. Guards usher everyone in until the entire room is filled, with wiggle room. We have 15 minutes. I stare straight up, I can't describe the feeling, I have goosebumps. Mom, I'm in the Sistine Chapel! Me! A priest comes to the very plain altar (other than the the walls and ceiling with it's unbelievable art, it is very plain and simple) and leads us in prayer. We stare and try to grasp as much as possible from Marina's explanations as we can in our short time allotment. Then we follow the bouncing pink flower out the big wooden doors.

The last part of our Vatican City tour is St. Peter's Basilica.

This is Pope John Paul's resting place where he was moved to after canonization.

We walk across St. Peter's Square, cross the bridge over the river Tiber back into Rome,

and are having lunch right outside the Pantheon in about 20 minutes, wondering why the taxi took so many streets. Hmmmm???

As if we haven't seen enough church today, we go inside the Pantheon.

Another thing one needs to do is get some fountain overload,

and we can't miss the mother of all fountains....Trevi...where is Marcello????????

One more night of Roman food,

pasta carbonara, again!!!!!!!

pasta with truffle sauce, the aroma just permeated the room.

then we rush to the airport the next morning, just make our connection in Zurich since our flight was delayed almost an hour (and I got pulled aside to be searched, again! Seriously? Am I on some list?)

I really hated coming home...but then

there's no place like home.

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