Monday, June 4, 2007

The Sistine Chapel, Rome

From Civitavecchia, it’s about 1 hr and 10 minutes to travel by train into Rome (best done with a pizza take-out from the station café) and that’s what we did today, my man and I. Eric tried to read his horoscope from the free newspaper: Today you will miraculously find you can understand Italian….
Our first stop was the Vatican City, for the Sistine Chapel ceiling and Last Judgement, which I have always wanted to see. This is St. Peter’s Square (we were arguing about whether this classifies as another country visited, see, the Vatican IS the smallest sovereign state in the world, and I guess a country is defined by fixed boundaries and its own sovereignty, but….)
And here’s Bernini’s Colonade and St. Peter’s Basilica.
In order to get to the Sistine Chapel (it’s not “The Sixteenth?” Who knew?!) you have to go through the Vatican museum, which is beautiful but overwhelming, with at least 20 rooms decorated with ornate frescoes from the likes of Boticelli and Donatello (well, all the Ninja Turtles really) plus a great collection of more modern art with works by Dali among others. We didn’t even go to the Egyptian section!
This is from the Room of Maps, beautiful ceilings, and a very ugly bust of a man, don’t know who, bless him!
Here’s the View From a Window for the day, taken from inside the museum. OK, there's two View From Window entries today.

It was a long way to the Sistine chapel! Here’s a few of the many signs that pointed the way.
Once inside the Sistine Chapel, guards hush you, and photography is forbidden. Eric however managed to take a sneaky one of the Last Judgement. Ah, that’s my man! It’s stunning, there’s no other way to put it. It’s awesome.

Our next stop was to buy Gelato, and beer. Here they are, I got one scoop of lemon sorbet (Good Becky's choice) and one scoop of Fondent, that’s seriously concentrated chocolate with no added milk (Bad Becky's choice) in an edible waffle-cone cup. It was tasty, very, very tasty.

We only had time for one other stop, and as it was on the way back to the Termini (see, I AM learning!) we decided it had to be the Trevi Fountain. She’s a beaut! And so romantic….until you see these guys, with their magnets-on-extendable-rods, who stick them in the water and fish out all the coins people have thrown in. I felt like yelling “These are people’s wishes!” just like in a movie I saw once (“Hook” maybe? I’m not sure) but refrained.
Trains in Italy can be very confusing. Our train -the first ever double-decker train I've been on, mind- left late, from a platform that was not the one advertised on the departures board. There was a mass transfer when Eric and I asked a guard, as most people waiting onboard were also expecting to go to Civitavecchia and would have been disappointed. My advice is, ask, ask and ask again, and always take the train that’s the one earlier than you think you need!

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