2011-06-30 Italy Day 1: Roman Ruins
- Walking Tour–Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Capitoline Hill, Roman Forum, Colosseum.
- Palatine Hill.
- Nap, Shower.
- Dinner–Ramona (lasagna, veal parmeggiana, tiramisu).
- Trevi Fountain at night; witnessed cultural dancing.
- Stay up until 3am because NOW we’re awake and not too hot.
- Rome has a lot of really old stuff.
- Ancient Romans really liked arches.
- Unmaintained cobblestone is hard to walk on.
- Rome is more enjoyable early in the morning and late at night in July. I guess this works out well if you’re still super jet-lagged; I was ready to sleep and sluggish from about 11am-10pm, and super alert all night…
- Don’t get hungry between 1:30 and 7:30pm.
- The Colosseum is really big.
- It’s funny having 2000-yr-old buildings directly adjacent to modern-day traffic and buildings.
- Everybody working in restaurants or retail assumes we speak English.
- Pronunciation really can affect comprehension. Our walking tour guide had a pretty extensive vocabulary but pronounced words funny (e.g. wrong accent or vowel sound) and I had an incredibly hard time following him.
- Italians drive small cars.
2011-07-01 Italy Day 2: Vatican City
- St. Peter’s Basilica–inside + climbing the 550 stairs to the cupola
- Lunch: Risotto & Pasta at some place nearby
- Nap on hill near Castle S’Angelo
- Castle S’Angelo, but kicked out at closing
- Vatican Museums + Sistine Chapel
- Metro closed. Bus + walk home.
- Dinner: gross cold pizza from near the Vatican.
- Pamela likes heights, but not crowds. Couldn’t breathe inside Basilica. Ted minds heights, but not crowds. Couldn’t stand at fence in cupola.
- The Metro trains and the busses are both quite full. However, the busses don’t seem to have any way to make money.
- Rome is nicer when overcast, but makes for less awesome pictures.
- Ted has recently discovered that Pamela is pretty.
- Museums are more interesting when they come with explanations.
- More places should come with double-helix spiral staircases.
- Catholics really like limestone, marble, granite, gold, and bronze.
- Restaurants serve mostly Italian food.
2011-07-02 Italy Day 3: More Rome
- Breakfast: more croissants.
- Phone store: SIM card + plug adapter.
- Villa Borghese: After wandering around through the park for quite awhile, found the Museo Borghese and were granted entrance for 1.25 hours. Viewed the first floor rooms with sculptures and paintings with the assistance of an audioguide.
- Wandered back out of park and finally found the map.
- Lunch between Villa and Spanish Steps on Via Vittorio Veneto: pizza & panini.
- Spanish Steps & the church behind them.
- Wandered through expensive shopping district next to Spanish Steps looking for gelato.
- Ended up back at Trevi Fountain. Got gelato at a place next door to the place where we got gelato on Thursday.
- Back to Tremini Station. Found wifi at some cafe there. Messaged Mason and scanned email.
- Dinner: I Leoni D’Agozzo (?). Pasta.
- Bernini was a good sculptor.
- There is no gelato near the Spanish steps.
- Audioguides are very helpful if you are not an art student.
- Pamela likes parks. Especially large, empty parks.
- Italy has weird bikes. (The park rented out these 2, 4, or 6-seater 4-wheeled bikes that people pedaled in tandem, but the pedals were definitely not all that powered them.)
- Wifi hotspots in Rome are very weak and hard to find, even when advertised.
- When entering a gigantic park and looking for a tiny building, try to find the map BEFORE you go in. Not when leaving.
- Pamela wants a giant Renaissance painting on her soon-to-be-vaulted ceiling like the one in the entry room of the Museo Borghese.
- SIM cards are easy to buy, as long as you provide your life history.
- One of the artists of a painting inside the church had the foresight to imagine that the women must have needed ladders to get Jesus down from the cross.
- “Prego” seems to have about a dozen different meanings.