Rome Travel Blog› entry 40 of 75 › view all entries
The two main topics of discussion every night amongst my fellow travellers are
a) comparing designer knockoffs
b) what stars we saw today
Oh, and every now and then, someone mentions that the forum ruins are not too shabby. But the celeb sightings really are pretty much all people can talk about. All Americans at least. Not just the ones at the hostel, but people I meet on the street, people I see playing stalkerazzi on hotel curbs, and people recapping in restaurants and cafes. Although I have to admit that the highlights of Rome so far probably have been seeing Rachel Bilson, J.Lo, and Mr. and Mrs. Fresh Prince live and in person. At least, it's on the top 10 list.
Although you really can see people just walking down the street, it's hard when you're even more distracted and amazed by how many religious figures there are. It's like being at a Catholic high school! Priests eating pizza! Nuns using PowerBooks and Wifi (Apple - the computer of God)! The Pope high-fiving Tom Cruise! Okay, I didn't really see that last one. And this current Pope doesn't seem to be a likely candidate for NH5D 2K7 poster child, but I bet John Paul II gave big ups to everyone at mass. Speaking of the Pope, I was thinking how even Rome didn't seem too crowded or full of tourists, but then I went to the Vatican museums today and the line was out the door and wrapped almost completely around the block. I thought for a minute that the Pope was personally handing out blessings with each ticket purchase, but no, there were just a lot of people.
The Sistine Chapel was pretty awesome though (I'm sure Michelangelo would be thrilled with my assessment of his life work). Did you know that he painted in reverse chronological order, thinking that if he was going to be 'practicing' on anyone's face, it should probably be Moses and not the Big Man himself? Which turned out to be a good thing because he spent two years painting that top third with the Moses, then came down to take a look and suddenly realized his figures were way to tiny to see from below. So the next two-thirds are significantly bigger. People say how artists are so lucky because they get to be free spirits and do what they love every day and not work for 'the man', but I bet that was a pretty bad week at work for Mikey after he realized his mistake. And if he had known how many people would be pouring in to see his work now, I bet he would have busted out the Wite-Out and started over.