17 & 18 | Rome
Our last stop, Roma! We took the coastal train from Pisa to Rome, whizzing past brilliant blue ocean and candy coloured holiday houses. Rome Termini wasn't quite as charming, a pretty sketchy station if ever we've seen one. We seem to have a real knack for finding the dodgy parts of neighborhoods, and thank goodness, touch wood, we've always been fine. We detoured our walk to our apartment rental for the next few days (thinking a side street away from the station looked a little safer) and found ourselves wheeling our way down a street lined with all sorts of unsavory types, sitting/laying/drinking on the road. Oh dear.
We did a quick trip into Rome's center yesterday afternoon, racing against the sun to see some sights. My brain is having a hard time handling the ancient being right next door to the old, being right next door to the not so old. We were on a bus, driving along the road, and then suddenly the Colosseum is just next to the bus stop!
We headed to The Vatican this morning, deciding to chance the queues and see how long the wait would be. We very nearly left again because of how aggressive the hustlers and tour guides are around the area, but our perseverance paid off! Only 20 minutes wait and some friendly Americans gave us 2 spare tickets they happened to have! Chuffed! We were surprised to see so many different things in The Vatican Museum, ranging from the expected Renaissance paintings and huge wall covering tapestries) through to Ancient Egyptian artifacts that seemed quite out of place next to Catholicism.
The Sistine Chapel was neck-craningly good. Michelangelo sure knew what was up, and how to work that brush. The depth and tone was astounding, and all the scenes so detailed and intricate. It was strange being in such a huge space with a few hundred other people all silent and looking up - with a guard occasionally yelling out 'no photos!'.
We walked everywhere (and then some) from Vatican to the river and onto Piazza Navona, to the Pantheon and a gelato stop off, and to Trevi Fountain with what felt like the rest of Rome. We tossed our coins into the fountain (trying not to bump all the other people doing the same thing) and wandered some more!
We've finally got that perfect weather we've waited all trip for, so we're making the most of the clear skies and warm temperatures while we can!