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On the train now to Florence, having spent the past few days in Rome, Italy.  I had some definitely negative experiences here, but that doesn’t overshadow the fact that Rome is an amazing city.  I wish I’d had more time to spend here but alas, I must move on.

The bad, before y’all ask:  The place I originally was staying at had significant problems.  The staircase was scary, the ceiling was low, the shower was miniscule.  On top of all that, there were either fleas or bedbugs that were eating me alive and black mold in places in the bathroom.  I stayed there two nights before deciding to go get a hotel room somewhere else.  It also took me several hours from when I arrived to get a hold of the person I was staying with.  First because the SIM card I was sold in Spain and told it would work all over Europe didn’t, then because she took a few hours to return my call.

The good!  On Sunday, I went to the Colosseum and Roman Forum.  Got to see where the ancient Romans went to get their entertainment, where Julius Cesar’s body was burned, and where the Roman Senate once debated.  When I saw that they wanted 5.50 Euro for the audio guide to the Colosseum, I went into my phone and discovered Rick Steves’ audio walking tours, which I then used for the Colosseum, Forum, Sistine Chapel, and Pantheon.  I’ll likely use it for additional places when I get to them.

Monday I went to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.  I hadn’t realized that this could easily have been an all-day affair!  I just wanted to see the famous Michaelangelo ceiling, but had to go through what felt like miles of museum first to get there!  Don’t get me wrong, the buildings, the architecture, and the art of the Vatican are more spectacular than I could have imagined.  I got to see real frescoes done by Raphael and Michaelangelo.  I’m sure there were works by the other ninja turtles as well, but I wasn’t paying particular attention to the names as much as the works.  Sadly, I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures this day as I forgot my main camera and was using my cell phone.

Tuesday I went to see the Trevi Fountain and, since it was a short walk away, the Pantheon.  The fountain wasn’t as impressive to me as the reputation that preceded it, but the Pantheon was amazing once I understood some of the mathematics that went into making it.  It’s cylindrical, with a dome roof, and it’s as tall as it is wide.  It was once used to show reverence to many gods, but since Rome’s conversion to Christianity, the old gods were taken down and replaced with saints and other figures.

I liked Rome a lot, once I got my feet under me (so to speak).  I’d like to go back again some day and see more of it, as I know that I missed a lot.


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