Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Veni, vidi, vici

What a fun trip! We unexpectedly got upgraded to first class the entire trip—including the overseas route—which meant we could actually sleep from JFK to Rome because the international first class had the beds that lie flat. Plus the food was good.

If you ever go to Rome, you should know that much like Boston, Rome is a walking city. And just like Boston, the sidewalks and streets are as likely to be made from old cobblestones and very uneven. Good, flat walking shoes are a requirement unless you want to take bus tours. We prefer to walk so we caught the hotel shuttle into the city after we’d landed, cleared immigrations and gotten cleaned up at the hotel.

Last time we were in Rome, neither of us fully grasped just how many Roman ruins there are in the city. Sure, we’d seen the Coliseum but only at night, and we never did get over to any of the other ruins. I can’t tell you the name of these ruins but as you can tell from this picture, they go on and on. We didn’t walk down through them but instead kept on going and found the Coliseum, this time in rainy daylight. After that we split a bottle of wine and had pizza for what ended up being both lunch and dinner. Let me tell you, the house wine in Italy is pretty tasty.

We also ended up seeing the changing of the guard at the President’s palace. The band played in the rain for the whole ceremony and then played a little concert. I was freaked out that the oboist marched with his oboe and wondered how many reeds he’s broken doing that. I never marched with my oboe, I played piccolo when we marched.

I am quite proud I stayed up until 7 PM that night although I slept the next 13 hours.
We had two goals on Monday: see the Sistine Chapel and find two fabric stores we’d read about online (Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti and Fatucci Tessuti).

I’d foolishly thought that a rainy Monday in November would reduce the number of tourists at the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel but boy was I wrong. All I could think was how awful it must get in the summer, what with the crowds and the heat. I also thought it was worth braving the crush of people. Pictures don’t tell the entire story of any part of the museum or of the chapel. Fortunately we didn’t need to see St. Peter’s again because that line was over two hours long—the line for the museum and chapel was at most 15 minutes.

We did find the fabric stores and I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life. But I wasn’t leaving Rome without some cloth, doggone it, and so I got two meters of a lovely lambswool woven fabric that is just wonderful to touch. It’s a sort of purple/wine color and I’ll make a skirt out of it. Kent picked up an orange and black houndstooth woven wool (trust me, it does not look garish or Halloweeny at all); he's got plans to make a long-sleeve shirt. We wandered around some more, had more pizza and wine and then headed back to the hotel.

So that’s Rome. I’m not sure when we’ll do another quick jaunt like this one or the one to London last month. Maybe in the spring after we move.

Oh right, I didn’t tell you about that yet, did I? Stay tuned.


Jeanne said...

I guess the lines are always long because pictures don't tell the story; I would sure love to go someday, although my knee does not love cobblestones.

I love the way you jet around the world these days.

kittiesx3 said...

I thought of you, actually, as we walked all over the place. We each tried to break a foot (me, gawking at yet another cathedral, and him slipping on a wet cobblestone) which was not a good idea, and agreed that good knees were a requirement when touring like this.

lemming said...

Awesome - and I love how you describe the walking bit. I am a bit dubious about Kent's cloth.

readersguide said...

Wow -- what a great trip! I think those are great goals for a short jaunt -- not too many, but just challenging enough. I think until you've been there you really can't appreciate how there are just ruins everywhere, completely intertwined with the whole city. Almost too many to look at, actually. I was there for a day once, and would love to go back.