Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rome - July 2011

So much history, so little time.  We were in Rome for the day, so it was a fast and furious tour of our second Italian port city.  

We kicked off our blister-inducing dash through the eternal city with a visit to the Vatican museums.  We had purchased our tickets online, thank heavens, because the line was wrapped around the block.  It was amazing, room after room of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.  We followed the signs that led us up, down and around the place, very reminiscent of the Louvre minus the added fun of getting lost trying to find the exit.  

Above is a picture of Vatican Square.  We just THOUGHT we had arrived at the museum, but nope... that would require us to hoof about four more blocks to the museum entrance.  

We got to the Sistine Chapel where the Vatican guards were constantly shushing tourists even though the signs said no talking in at least six different languages.  I thought one burly Italian bouncer was gonna smash this little Asian guy's camera when he dared to take a picture, which was strictly forbidden.  There was a lot of gesturing and I imagine some colorful Italian language since Grouchy Guido was practically foaming at the mouth.  IF I had been able to take a picture of the chapel, this is what I would be sharing with you on the blog.

After the Vatican, we boarded the hop on/hop off bus for a don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it tour of Rome.  I have no idea what these buildings were, with the exception of the Colosseum, but they looked old and important to me.

The thing about these ancient cities is that modern day buses can't fit down such narrow streets.

Therefore, we needed to hop off the bus to really see the sights.  Unfortunately, we were pressed for time and just got a bit of an overview, enough to know that we need to go back for another visit.

No trip to Rome would be complete without gelato...

...and a trip to the Trevi Fountain where you toss in a coin to make sure you'll return again one day.  In our case, it took more than one toss since the first couple coins hit these folks you see behind Annie standing directly in front of the fountain.  Oops!

On a final note... I had to include a pic of the umbrella pine trees we kept seeing in these areas bordering the Mediterranean.  They are the source of pignoli, or pine nuts.  

Miscellaneous Info:  Dana added another blister to her growing collection while I earned my first one on the ball of my right foot, quite the painful location since you can't avoid using that part of your foot when you walk.  Annoyance factor on the tour bus was pretty high since 1) it was quite warm without any real breeze, 2) the stops on the route weren't marked so we had no idea where we were at any given time and 3) there were these British guys on the bus with us wolf whistling at the pretty Italian girls and standing up the entire time so that it was hard to see things and get a good shot with the camera.  After several withering glances from me with my practiced teacher evil eye daring them to continue the offensive behavior, they finally got the message and sat down.  I wasn't appreciating the little sailors on shore leave after six months at sea routine in front of our teenage daughters.  I'm glad I was saved from opening a can of momma whoop-ass on them.

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