Octoberfestivus Day 10

Posted: October 13, 2012 in Travel

Rome

Woke up to some thunder and lightning but not a whole lot of rain.

First up some mingling with the masses to pick up our Roma 3 day pass. A quick walk to followed by a slow wait at the tourist information centre. It was 0930 in the morning and the lady was already cranky- should be a fun day ahead. The Roma Pass allows for entry to 2 attractions eg Colloseum and 3 day all day use of Metro. Today was the day planned to visit St Peters and the Vatican Museums with prebooked tour set for 7 pm at night. We thought we would need most of the afternoon before hand to do justice to the whole religious rebirth thingy so headed to the Colloseum Metro station for the short walk to the Museums Capitolini for sum more cutcha first mid morning. Walking past the Colloseum we noted the usual 100 m line up but also noted a smaller gate with about 6 people lined up – the Roma Pass entrance! It was a fine day so why not. It is certainly an impressive place both from inside and outside. Crowded but easy to move around and then onto the old Forum site across the road. A leisurely walk through bought us out at the Vittorio Emmanuelle monument . Now this is impressive . We sited a lift so thought the view from the top could be somewhat spectacular and were not disappointed. Stopped for lunch in the obligatory attached restaurant and by now the day was very warm – and we still had 6 hours to show time . A wander through the Capitolini museums filled in a quiet hour and then it was a couple of metro stops and we were ready for our blessing. By now it was raining again but we lined up for the St Peter’s entry under strategically placed columns. Inside the Basilica was certainly impressive but then we have seen a lot of fancy churches in our travels. Now the problem became filling in the next 2 hours – luckily we found a pub, had a few beers and even completed the onerous task of writing post cards for the family. Then it was onto experience Italian efficiency in organising crowds waiting to attend the Vatican Museums. It was not a pretty sight but somehow we ended up in the first group. On entry we headed first to the Sistine Chapel and it was all rather stunning and humbling.Very easy to just sit and let it flow over you. Pope Benny didn’t turn up but the place was crowded enough already. Another hour wandering the halls looking at many murals and fancy ceilings and this little black duck was ready for the long trek home. It was a long and tiring day but some memorable sites were seen never to be forgotten. The Basilica was very impressive all lit up at night as we wandered off into the distance dodging the Indians selling ponchos and umbrellas and the Africans selling leather handbags. Who determines which nation has which franchise? A question for another time.

The Roma Pass is highly recommended – good value but more importantly got us into everything quickly and no excess mingling required. It does not get you into the Vatican though. The trick to any good holiday is pre planning and in Rome in particular you do need to book well in advance on line. The CLP outdid herself as usual in this regard . Tomorrow is goning to be a day of rest watching some 007 on the dedicated HD channel. Sweet.

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