History, Gelati and Gangsters
19.01.2007 - 29.01.2007 -17 °C
After Florence, not much could have impressed to the same extent but boy did Rome sure come close. The history just astounds me coming from a country where the oldest building are less than 250 years old, seeing buildings that were thousands of years old.
I was staying right near the nightmare that is Roma Termini - told by others that it was close to the sights. Well its not, especially if your walking but it does help to work off all the pizza and gelati which were far superior to that up north. I headed off to the Colloseum and lined up for hours to get inside only to realise its much better from the outside! I then walked across to the Roman Forum which I found absolutely fascinating and were I spent hours wandering between the ruins. Then it was a walk up to the Trevi Fountain which has to be my most favourite spot in the entire planet. The beauty of the fountain, the atmosphere of the crowd, not to mention the best gelati I ever tasted meant that it would become a daily ritual to hike down to the fountain and sit and watch the crowd go on by.
But there was more to see and do. The Vittro Emmanuel War Memorial is stunning, and the Pantheon blew my mind away. The Spanish Steps didn't have the same feeling that is in all the movies and I was less than impressed. The National Museum has some great pieces but for a city like that, it felt like it should have been a lot more.
I took a short time out from Rome and headed down to Naples for a few days. The train ride was long and hot and thus the relief of getting to Naples was great until you realise just how bad Naples has got. Their is rubbish along every street, wild dogs running everywhere, and just generally a feeling of 'I shouldn't be here'. I only went down to go see Pompeii so at least that was out of the city. Pompeii is fascinating even if I did spend half the time looking over my shoulder incase the Volcanoe erupted while I was there! But that only filled in one day so it was back to Naples where I found something that almost made me change my mind. the Archeological Museum is outstanding are far greater than its roman counterparts. So feeling somewhat better about Naples I returned back to Rome.
I had timed it so I arrived in Rome for the last sunday of the month so that I could head off to the Vatican and save some money. I set off before 6am and headed off to St Peter's not realising I should have lined up for the Vatican first. While I was checking out the beauty of the Basillica, the line was apparently getting longer and longer for the Vatican, thus it was that I had to spend two hours in line to get inside the Vatican. It was lovely in side although the roof is to high up to see the details of Michaelangelos work. But it did make my day to see that the Pope had a tennis court which still to this day amuses me.
As they saying goes 'a lifetime is not enough' but I still had lots of Europe left to see and I was running out of time, so I left, throwing a coin over my shoulder into the Trevi to ensure my return in the future