The person vs the Religion
06.09.2011 - 06.09.2011 30 °C
Day two in Rome, ok for the anal amongst you day 2.5. Early start, so we shot down to the cafe for a coffee and breakfast.....hmmmmm bad plan. At least in our part of Rome, early for coffee appears to be 8am, bugga.
Ok, muesli bar, a banana and a glass of water it was, then a short wander down the road to the Colosseum taxi stand. Thankfully a taxi driver was there, he'd obviously found a cafe that was ipen. So off to the Vatican it was.
We had pre-booked, based on a suggestion from a friend from NZ who had recently been, tickets. We were booked on a 3 hour guided tour through the museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter' Basilica. In hindsight (as traditionally we're not big on guided tours) it was well worth it.
Not known for my deeply religious views, I still have to say the art and architecture of the Vatican is fantastic. Also a lot of the history we got form Sarah, our guide, was really interesting, particularly that relating to Michelangelo's work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling....incredible. Definitely worth the visit.
What did hit us was the opulence and extravagance of various Popes over time trying to be the 'greater' figure. The money and pride involved seems to fly in the face of the basic principles taught be Christianity. But, perhaps only 2 peoples opinion from our visit.
Will need to add some photo's later as I'm having technical issues with the phone. (I would rant some more about some of these issues, but suspect most readers will just fall asleep).
After the three hours there, we wandered slowly (hell its been 30 degrees or more most days and Alison thinks she'll melt if we shoot along at a fast pass in that heat) along the river, making our way to the Pantheon. It's an amazing place, with free entry. A great domed church, large more in aspect and height than perhaps length or width. Again, well worth a visit.
After that, a 4-5 km walk got us home, just in time for a cold beer, definitely well deserved. As with most days in Rome (and for most Italians, dinner is later, 8 pm +) we had a meal later that evening in one of the local restaurants. We really enjoyed both the food and the energy and sense of community in the area during the evening meals. Though not so enjoyable was the number of smokers also eating, somethings Italy could learn from NZ when it comes to dining.
Well the day was done, tomorrow off to Pompeii.