Got here yesterday after epic journey. Why is it that when I go to Northern Europe the process feels like it happens instantly, and when I go to Southern Europe it seems to take an entire day to get there (see earlier escapades with Croatia Airlines)? and “London’s closer to Northern Europe” doesn’t count as an answer.
No matter, we got here. Yesterday we wandered up a big hill and had a nice time at the top figuring out what we could see – in this case it was mostly Victor Emmanuel’s mausoleum (the white thing with the horses on it), with Santa Maria Maggiore right off on the horizon:
Sat and read our books for a while (wow is Anna Funder’s All That I Am depressing!), then sauntered back downhill. A quick trip over into town in search of a restaurant that served food at British times i.e. before 8pm left us succumbing to a tourist trap which at least had the decency to have fantastic food. Nice view on the walk home too:
(and yes, I’m having a bit of fun with the filters on Instagram!)
This morning was all about a slow start to the day (I do enjoy a good hotel breakfast), the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, a couple of impressive churches, then the whole afternoon at the Vatican Museum. We were both a bit underwhelmed by the Sistine Chapel (pretty pictures, but… something missing. Possibly silence and any kind of idea of a sacred space?) but pleasantly surprised by the rest of the museum. Which did take 3 hours to walk around…
I’m quite impressed by the amount of walking I’ve got in (actually, both here in Rome and last week in New York) considering the extra 3-4 kg I’m carrying around with me these days.
Reading: I finished All That I Am (which I had started the day before leaving the UK) yesterday and made a good start on The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Finished that about lunch today and have started Penelope Lively’s How It All Began, although I’m not finding that riveting and and have also started My Salinger Year by Joanna Smith Rakoff on the Kindle – which is wonderful after The Year of Magical Thinking. The Physicist bought 3 Iain M. Banks books at Gatwick and has nearly finished The Hydrogen Sonata.
Tomorrow – depending on how we feel after today’s extensive walking, the tombs of St Peter and Paul outside the walls beckon, as might the catacombs, or it might just be a lazy day with a bit of walking to find cioccolata calda…