With my sling off, physio started and a few days left to use up my annual leave allowance before the end of the leave year, it was a great opportunity to finally get to Rome - it's been top of my list for some time.
Didn't see a whole heap Thursday night after the plane & train in to the city centre - just enough to find my hotel & a late bowl of pasta. First priority, after breakfast of course, was to get out & see that Rome icon, the Colisseum. Like many cities around this part of the world, it's really easy to walk between all the main attractions & Rome is no different. I got through the gates early enough that it wasn't too busy & I could gaze at the vastness & wonder at all the ancient engineering in relative peace.
Right next door is the Forum, which was the centre of Roman public life - there are all sorts of ruins of temples, palaces & such like. By now it was getting busy and also proper hot - well hot compared to what I've been used to. With the sun streaming down & temperatures touching 30ºC, I was starting to swelter overdressed in jeans. But it was time to walk a bit to try & find some lunch out of the touristy area.
|Heading in to the Metro stop just around the corner from my hotel - Repubblica|
|Not a great picture, but it's one of the few I have of me in Rome - so you'll have to tolerate it.|
More wandering to find food got me fed, into a castle (Castel Sant Angelo) with good views, popping in to Vatican City & then over the river again up a decent hill into a big park with more views back over the city - before realising my legs were about to fall off again, so a bus home to rest before dinner was a good idea. That evening I was well off the beaten track until I crossed the Tiber again & found that bridge with all the padlocks on some of the railings - there were thousands & some of the metalwork (more likely the welds) had failed.
Sunday morning I avoided free day at the Vatican museums due to crowds & took a long bus ride south to visit the catacombs. Dad's got much better photos from forty years ago as he was allowed to take photos & there will still many bones down there. Still, it was interesting wandering a small length of the miles of tunnels where various tombs have been sitting for centuries.
For some reason, mostly just curiosity as to what other parts of the city look like, I thought it was a good idea to walk all the back in to town. I came across a fascinating grocery store, a huge park, some sort of fun run (an oxymoron if there ever was one) & what I thought was ruins of a huge old castle. Intrigued I went in, and found out this massive complex was once baths. Incredible that they bothered to have 9000 men building these over six years.
More wanderings took me to the Spanish Steps (not far from hotel), which were alive with colour & people.
Monday was Vatican day, I spent most of the day in the smallest country in the world. With May 1 (the following day) being a public holiday, the queues were very long - but worth it. A completely insane collection of art - this is just part of the similarly decorated hundreds of metres to walk through just to get in to the Sistine Chapel. Which of course is something else besides, but no photos again.
More hours spent queuing to get in to St Peter's Basilica & somehow I ended up queuing to go up the dome as well. It was sometime before I realised this, so I figured I may as well pay my five euros and climb the 551 stairs to the top. That was well worth it as first you got to the bottom of the dome inside & could look down at the people below & marvel at the intricacies of the dome paintings & mosaics.
|Yes, the camera is horizontal - it is a dome after all|
|Down to St Peter's Square & beyond to the Tiber|
|Looking up to the dome.|
Some more of the photos I took are here.