Epic view from our rented Pigneto apt:
It's a perfect storm---PMS, fatigue, nothing in the way of predictability and routines, late nights, food deprivation for long periods while we sight see, raucous noise, pollution, everybody around us smoking... Trish blows and has her customary trip meltdown. Then of course she feels guilty for holding me back. I think, "my God, 6 more weeks with her". The next day she remains in the apt. And rests. I must admit wandering without worries was rather liberating at first. The next day she's back to herself. That's my monkey. We recover and we move on.
Epic traffic and urban decay:
We've ridden public transport in 8 cities so far this trip. And Rome's roads and Metro are a tangled mess with worn infrastructure.
In the Netherlands they had to build pathways to accommodate 2 wheelers. Here 2 wheelers learned to improvise and no urban restructuring was necessary.
Yet whole families going through dumpsters, eternal traffic jams, indifference, disenfranchised migrants looking on while tourists and hipsters enjoy la dolce vita are unsettling. Forty two per cent youth unemployment has a way of taking the starch out of hope and optimism.
Epic Coliseum and Forum:
And it truly truly is.....
I never understood why the centre of the stadium had all those crumbly walls. Turns out its part of the underground backstage, where animals, gladiators, props where stored and readied for performances. Elaborate stage settings, trap doors, pulleys were constructed well below ground.
Even prior to this, the arena was staged for sea battles, with water fed in from the acqueduct.
80 entrances, a ticketing system, banners marketing nobles, music, food....opiate for the masses and nobles.
Epic night lights:
Every fourth Sunday the Vatican Museum is free. Thousands wait,... I couldn't be bothered so I hang around St Petes Square.
It's good to know that in these insecure times, major institutions like the Vatican are heavily guarded by the likes of Pasquale.
Couple of Epic Fountains
Epic pigs on a final epic day:
Our fav day was our last full day in Europe. A couple of buses took us to one of many catacombs outside of Walls. There was a time when people couldn't be buried in Rome, so thousands upon thousands were laid to rest atop one another, and underground in the volcanic soil. Popes, martyrs, commoners... All the same...
If we never have another panini con prosciutto again we'll die happy. But not all ham is the same. This little piglattoria only did wine, cheese and ham/salami. And they did it exceptionally well and wiith flair.
A month barnstorming through Europe, great people, how do you beat that? Japan, we hope. Rome was somewhat overshadowed by that big prize, not that the craziness of tourist Italy was disappointing. It's an incredible place. We took a walking tour but did few paid attractions....the entire city is a museum and all the churches are free. So whether it's the stunning Pantheon where Christians built into and around ruins..
...or the little St Trastevere, a Byzantine masterpiece and Romes first Christian church.....it's all eye popping. Here we stumbled into a funeral ...