Rome Travel Blog› entry 11 of 36 › view all entries
Rome was the last leg of my 1998 Italy journey. I stayed near the Vatican during this time, my second trip to Rome, and I did the usual things like Colloseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and such, but was intent on visiting the Vatican in more detail than my previous visit. I can well appreciate the experience now, but sweating outside in the heat, waiting to visit the museum was not pleasant. Once inside it was like a cattle drive and pusing and prodding drove me deeper, past the turn off for the museum and straight to the Sistine Chapel. I remember that film scene in "Good Will Hunting" where the psychologist character played by Robin Williams, tries to get the misdirected character (who happens to be a mathematical genius) played by Matt Damon to see something beyond his own (prosaic) experience and asks him if he knows what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel.
It's a scene that speaks of something good, but something relative too. I can tell you in the heat and tourist hoardes of July, the Sictine Chapel smells like Human Sweat! Yes it is also something beautiful to behold in life with your own eyes looking upward too. In further reflections, I walked the Circus Maximus - Just a depression with a joggers path now and a few ruins to remind one of the Chariot races (such as in Ben-Hur) like might have been in ages past. I saw the staue of Moses at San Pietro in Vincoli, which few tourists visit. I also followed an aqueduct one day, just because I was curious, and walked for a couple/few hours following it to one of the gates of Rome. These last few things (not so impressive on the surface) may have impressed me the most. Rome is always full of wonder. You could spend a lifetime here and still not see everything there is to see. I think that may be a certainty!