Today was my final day in Rome. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I would love to have gone shopping with all of the “Saldi” going on, but unfortunately space is at a premium in my luggage (probably a good thing). I had my breakfast in the room, did a little surfing and headed out about noon. I went up to the metro station which was very close to the hotel. I went down and checked it out. I hate not knowing how it works, so I just did a little observation. Along this area called “Republica” there is the most elaborate McDonalds I have seen, complete with columns out front.
I hate to admit it, but that’s where I went for lunch and wow did it taste so good to me! I felt a little guilty, but then again I have been eating all Italian for 2 weeks. I really wanted sushi, but that just doesn’t seem to be much of a possibility in Rome. After lunch I decided to try and take the metro and it turned out to be so easy. I was able to pay 4 euro and get an all day pass – you can’t beat that! I decided to hop on and head towards Vatican City. The main reason I haven’t been before is because of taking a cab (the drivers in Rome scare the life out of me!) While riding the train I saw 2 little boys, one was about 7 and the other 5 and they were riding metro by themselves. At one particular stop they got off, both holding hands an went on their way! I really hadn’t planned on going into the museum because of the usual queues. I decided to at least see how long the lines were. You had to walk quite a ways to get to this entrance. I went straight in, through security and up to the ticket counter. I couldn’t figure out where the line started. Next thing I knew I was into the museum. I don’t know if it was because it was about 1:30 in the afternoon or because it was a Tuesday, but there was no waiting. The museum was really incredible. There were so many sculptures, tapestries, and gorgeous ceilings.
We were in this small room that has a beautiful ceiling and I overhead this 20 something guy ask if this was the Sistine Chapel!! I couldn’t help myself but I laughed out loud. I may not be the world’s greatest art connoisseur, but I certainly now what the Sistine Chapel is supposed to look like.
There was a beautiful courtyard before we got into the main part of the museum and you would see the Basilica in the background.
There was an added bonus for me, quite a nice display if Egyptian artifacts.
I think I spent more time in this museum than Uffizi. We entered this amazing hall called the "hall of maps" and the ceiling was indescribable.
At the end of the all of this was the piece de resistance, the Sistine Chapel. I need to get on Google and look up the specific scenes, but it is truly a masterpiece.
I can’t even fathom how it was done and survived all this time. I spent quite a while admiring the ceiling as I figure I may likely not be back. After exiting I managed to get caught in a tour group and ended up in the basement with the crypts of all of the past Popes including John Paul II. It was a really neat thing to see. We soon exited into the main courtyard, and the line to get in the actual Basilica was very long. I opted to skip this and just enjoy the grounds and take some photos. Each of the past two trips I have only managed to snap a few shots as we shot by in a car/bus.
By now it was already after 5, so I headed back to the hotel. I wanted to pick a good spot for dinner. I did some research and talked to Hunter and Mom and Dad – figured I had better make sure I had a ride home from the airport tomorrow. Someone had suggested a restaurant over near the Colosseum, so I headed back out on the metro. Since it was on the blue line (which is at Termini) I did a trial run for tomorrow since I will be taking the train from there to the airport and I wanted to make sure I knew how to walk from the hotel. In no time I was at the Colosseum, again. It sure is beautiful at night. I think this is the first time I have seen it lit up in person.
Even though I thought I knew where I was going, I searched for about 20 minutes for the restaurant and couldn’t find it. I even asked, but no luck. I settled for another little place that was quite busy and lively. Two ladies from Cork Ireland were seated next to me and I really enjoyed their conversation. They are both widowed and travel to Rome each year for holiday. For dinner I had the bruchetta, fried zucchini flower and their specialty pasta. It was all very good. I had their tiramisu for dessert (had to have dolce one more before I left!) It was already 9:30 so I figured I should head on back and of course get packed up! Packing wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I am going to be loaded down tomorrow. Good night and I’ll see you Stateside very soon!