Day 177 – Italy Travel Diary: Day 2 – Rome Con’t

Hello Yearlings!

As it turns out the world does look a lot better on the other side of a night of sleep. I don’t seem to be having any problems with jet lag (knock on wood) and hopefully it stays that way. I’m grateful for this because today was so incredibly busy. We did a tour of Rome that took us all over and ended with us at the Vatican. It was highly exhausting.

Sadly I didn’t catch the names of a lot of things so enjoy my naming scheme.

I understand that, in theory, Rome is the ‘City of Seven Hills’. I am, however, making a motion to rename it the ‘City of Innumerable Fountains and Obelisks’ as I think that’s more fitting. Seriously, there are so many fountains and obelisks just lying about like someone forgot that they were there and just decided to build around them because it was too much of a bother to build through them. There is perhaps no city more in love with its own history than Rome and numerous times when I found myself wondering aloud about the significance of an object a perfect stranger would come up to me and give me an in-depth description of what it was and its history.

Some totally random fountain that I found. It looked cool so I took a picture.
Some totally random fountain that I found. It looked cool so I took a picture.

The bus tour was super awesome. Our guide was very personable and knew a lot about the city. Something that did surprise me though was the sheer amount of graffiti all around Rome. Seriously, the place is covered and most of it is political. I know I mentioned this yesterday but it is just so remarkably prevalent that I was shocked. You would think that an ancient city like Rome would be exempt of tagging but I suppose that’s a tourists mindset. It’s also the government seat and a city of three million people so it makes sense that the political outrage would find outlet on the city walls no matter how ancient they are. Though it is sad, as an anthropologist, to see it.

The Pantheon, which was actually really cool and the only name I managed to capture during the whole of the bus tour. Alex's dad is an architect so it was great getting to listen to him talk at length about what a marvel this place was when it was first built.
The Pantheon, which was actually really cool and the only name I managed to capture during the whole of the bus tour. Alex’s dad is an architect so it was great getting to listen to him talk at length about what a marvel this place was when it was first built.
This is us looking totally gross together while we overlook all of Rome on one of the seven hills.
This is us looking totally gross together while we overlook all of Rome on one of the seven hills.

The vatican was super cool and chalk full of works that would have made an art history professor swoon. I lost track of how many times I pointed at something and said ‘Hey that’s from my Art/Music/Humanities textbook!’ I had no idea going in just how extensive their collection was, though of course that makes sense. I can say, however, that the Sistine Chapel was a total wash. I cannot dissuade you from it enough. It’s a forty minute excursion just to get to it in which you’re in wall to wall people traffic and then once you do get there it’s a tiny room that you’re immediately then rushed through. You can’t take pictures, it’s a nightmare to get there and the room is awash in pickpockets and dawdlers so the experience is actually dreadful. Just look at pictures, they allow you the time to actually enjoy the work.

Here is St. Peter's Square where hours before our arrival the pope had actually made a statement and I'm pretty sure that's why there were roughly a bajillion people there when we went. It was really cool looking.
Here is St. Peter’s Square where hours before our arrival the pope had actually made a statement and I’m pretty sure that’s why there were roughly a bajillion people there when we went. It was really cool looking.

This is our last day in Rome and tomorrow we will be traveling to Florence via train and I’m super excited. I’ve never actually been on a proper train before, only public commuters like the DART. Hopefully the traveling bit will be slightly less stressful this time seeing as there will be no customs to get through.

Lots of Love,

Maya

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