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Tying up loose ends (and sights)

Rome Travel Blog

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Jeff checking out the Forum ruins.

Thursday

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.

The inside of the Parthenon.
  As all the guidebooks say, you can't really appreciate how cool it is from outside.  It's somewhat uninspiring outside but it opens up when you walk into it and you'd swear it was bigger on the inside than the outside.  The dome just keeps going up and up and up. 

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!

Oh well!

The lasagna was great.

Pachyderm + obeslisk
  Thinner than what we think of.  No ricotta cheese.  Not much in the way of fillings.  Great sauce.  I had yet one more pizza (with mushrooms!).  Really pretty good.  Italy is moving up on my "pizzas of the world" list.

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.

Jeff not falling in the fountain at the Spanish Steps.
 

They argue. 

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.

Trevi Fountain
  (It was awfully hot outside!)  He suggested I take the lead from here on out, what with me still being sober and all.  :)

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.

Water fountains are good for hot dirty feet too.
  What a great fountain!  Two tons of people there but it is, definitely, the most interesting fountain I saw in Rome.  You can almost climb into it.  Jeff was anxious to take the requisite pics and be on the way.

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!

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Jeff checking out the Forum ruins.
Jeff checking out the Forum ruins.
The inside of the Parthenon.
The inside of the Parthenon.
Pachyderm + obeslisk
Pachyderm + obeslisk
Jeff not falling in the fountain a…
Jeff not falling in the fountain …
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Water fountains are good for hot d…
Water fountains are good for hot …
Rome
photo by: vulindlela