Tying up loose ends (and sights)
Rome Travel Blog› entry 25 of 27 › view all entries
Our last full day in Rome. Time to run around to all those sights we haven't seen yet! We pack up and stow our backpacks with Alfredo. Buy our train ticket to the airport (where we're sleeping tonight) and then buy a ticket to one of the many hop on/hop off buses available in Rome, all of whom seem to have a base of operations at the end of Estacione Termini (the main train station).
There was room on top, where the best views are, but after a few minutes I had to retreat to downstairs. It was just too too hot and not a breeze stirring.
Our first hop off was the Pantheon. Built by the Romans to honor all the Gods, later turned into a church, it's primarily known for its engineering feats.
All the gods are gone from the niches but Raphael and the first two kings of unified Italy are buried there. That's pretty cool.
We wandered around the corner to a statue of an elephant with a obelisk balancing on its back (no, I have no idea why) and then decided we needed some lunch. Jeff was bound and determined to have some lasagna before we left town. A nearby restaurant had it listed on its menu of the day. Pop in and discover...it's an English pub. They even had Jeff's favorite Irish beer on tap!
The lasagna was great.
From there, it was back on the bus to go back to the Vatican. I wanted to spent more time in St. Peters. Jeff wasn't as interested, so we got him settled in a local sidewalk cafe with a beer and I headed on in.
Well, after 15 minutes in the security line I headed in. The Vatican makes it clear everywhere that there is a dress code -- no bare shoulders or knees and no excessive cleavage. Yet, there are always those people who are stunned that they really mean it. Then (if they are American at least) they argue with security about it.
With the Vatican.
About the Vatican's dress code.
Now, that's chutzpah!
I wandered much more slowly this time. I took more time to take in everything. I used to binoculars a lot to get a good look at things I couldn't get close to. My impressions of two days ago weren't changed that much. But it is a beautiful space. I just wish one could sit down and really enjoy it, take it in, let your spirit rest there. But you can't even let your butt rest there, so don't count on it.
I was in there for probably an hour or so, gone from Jeff for about 2 hours. Plenty of time for him to have a lovely conversation with the family from Alabama sitting next to him and drinking quite a few beers.
We got him back on the bus and stayed on till we got to the stop for the Spanish Steps. They were....a set of steps with a fountain in the middle. Tons of people scattered about. Jeff re-filled our water bottle from the tap in the fountain (there are taps like this all over Rome and it's all drinkable) without falling in and we set off for the Trevi Fountain.
Just before we got there (with some meanderings as I got myself straight with the map), we decided to duck into a little place for some dinner. It turned out to be frozen/microwave food but not bad for all that.
Then around the corner to the Trevi Fountain.
I, on the other hand, spotted something even more important on the piazza -- a gelato shop! Two visits later, I was ready to hop back on the bus.
This time, the heat had lessened enough to make it comfortable to sit up top. Of course, that was for whole 5 minutes before we got to the end of the route. Ah, such is life.
Retrieved our backpacks, hopped our train to the airport (which we had virtually to ourselves), finally found our airport shuttle (why are these things so damned hard to find??), and checked into the Marriott. They also had a beeyotiful pool....which was closed for the day. DAMN IT.
Good nights sleep and we fly home the next day. Bye-bye Europe.
Thanks for everything!