Day 15: Friday, April 3
Since we had liked how the Duomo looked the previous night, we decided we wanted to go in. The magical book said that it opened at 8, so we woke up early enough to be there when it opened. This means we woke up at like 7, took super speedy showers, ate breakfast, and walked there. We get there, and there's a sign. We open at 10! :) We were not amused. So we turned around, went back to the hostel, got our stuff together, and went to the train station. Then we got on our train to Rome. We got to Rome, pulled out a map of where we were staying, and started walking. Now, for some reason, I was under the impression that it was a hostel, probably because we booked it on hostelworld.com. It was another B&B. But whatever, it had beds and a shower. We dropped our stuff off, paid, and then went exploring. It was absolutely gorgeous outside. The whole three days we were there. Warm and sunny and clear skies. We accidentally got in through the back entrance of Santa Maria degli Angeli church, looked around there for a bit, walked out the front door, and found ourselves at the Piazza della Repubblica, which has a cool fountain in the middle, but which is really hard to get out of, due to the lack of pedestrian crossings. From there we eventually wound up at the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, which is pretty cool. We got there in time to see the changing of the guards. Basically, it's a giant war monument/memorial thing. From the top, you can see a lot of roman things. After that, we walked past the Collesseum, Palantine Hill, the Archaeological Dig area, then we went past the Circus. Didn't go into anything because we felt we didn't have enough time. Then we headed over toward the river, went across a couple of bridges, one of which is an island. More wandering led to the Area Sacra, which is some ruins that are inhabitated by a bunch of cats, it was pretty cool. Then we went and saw the Pantheon, and on our search for dinner we accidentally came across the Piazza Navona. Shortly after that we found some food. Then we started wandering off, until I realized that Jake had left his backpack at the restaurant. Soon as I informed him of this, he took off, leaving me and Adam to catch up. Luckily we hadn't gone too far, and they had the backpack sitting there waiting for us to come back for. We decided to go check out Vatican City next, so that we'd know where we needed to go in the morning to get into the Vatican Museums. So we walked past the Pope Castle, and into the square/oval thing in front of the church, then wandered over to the entrance to the museums. After that, we got some gelato and took a subway back to our B&B.
Day 16: Saturday, April 4
Since the magical book had said the lines to get into the Vatican Museums were ridiculous and to get there at 6:30, we had thought about trying to do just that. But I really didn't want to have to sit there for hours, especially since they didn't open until 9. So we settled for leaving the B&B at 7:45. This had us getting there at around 8:30, at which point the line was fairly short. We actually got in before 9, since they started letting people in early. So that was awesome. The Vatican has a lot of art. A lot. Like, an insane amount of art. Art which they let you photograph! Except for the Sistine Chapel. "Silencio!!! NO PHOTO!" *giggle* So yeah, you can either look at my pictures from the museum, or go for yourself. There is a lot of stuff in there. Statues and paintings and Egypt stuff.... it's kind of insane. Annnyway, six hours later we finally left, and decided to try and get into St. Peter's. The book really meant to say that the line for St. Peter's is insane. But going later in the day, the line was much shorter, we only waited a half hour, if that to get in. And, like I said before, I was not that impressed. But that's probably just because I've seen a lot of churches, and they're all huge. Then we went up to the top, where it started raining a bit. But that was ok, because it stopped. Again, I'd like to point out how we've been doing a lot of walking the whole trip. But for some reason, after just the Vatican Museums and St. Peters, my feet were dead. So we ended up finding a restaurant not too far from the Vatican. It was empty, so we figured that since most of the places we ate in Germany were empty and tasty, that the same might be true here. Also, we were eating a little earlier than when Itallians eat, so maybe that was why it was empty. Nope. It was empty because the food sucked. And we were hungry enough to want two courses. Meh. Afterwards, we headed toward the Trevi Fountain to see it at night, and because it was on our list of things to see. It was pretty. The people trying to sell us shit were not. The gelato we got from a lady nearby was tasty. Then we went back to the B&B and to sleep.
Only 7 days left to type up! And one of those is how we got from Switzerland to England, so it hardly counts!