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Saturday, April 28, 2012

When in Rome...

Do as the Romans do. Which I guess in this modern day means... Scheme, scam, and harass the tourists any chance you get. Pickpocket, shove plastic light up colosseums in their face as they are trying to view ancient history,  overcharge them for a meal that is less appealing than the airplane food, and then try to sell them stuffed animals as they sit on the deck trying to enjoy their second dinner because the first meal was so unappealing that most of it was trashed. Needless to say Rome is definitely low on my list of favorite places in Italy. We did escape with our wallets but with all the paranoia about pickpockets ( signs, tales, and warnings everywhere) its hard to feel comfortable in this city. Everyone is hustling; selling you " the best" product, food , gelato, etc.  We did go to vatican city today. We started at the Vatican museum. It was endless rooms of paintings, statues, and various artwork. Our obvious favorite was the Sistine chapel, though it was also a bit of a disappointment . As you were cattle herded through the small chapel they tried to enforce a no picture policy. Of course no one heeded their rules and cameras were clicking everywhere. We got a few shots; rebels I know.  After the museum we sat in the square of Vatican city and the Dan brown book " angels and demons" came to life for me.  I know some pop culture reference to Vatican city is probably a disgrace to my generation, but that was my main point of reference for this part of town ( and a great read by the way). Maybe i should have paid more attention in history class.   From there we took the metro to the Spanish steps ( the metro is another form of transportation the we have mastered in Italy). The Spanish steps are a local hangout near the pantheon neighborhood. We saw the triveni fountain; made of massive marble statues. All the coins that are thrown in feed the homeless.  At that point we had enough touristy fun. We hailed a cab and passed the pantheon on the way back to the hotel ( check it off... We did see it).  While Rome is definitely worth seeing. A day or a day and a half would have been plenty for me.

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