19.05.2011 - 19.05.2011 24 °C
We got up early this morning, with intents to be at St Peter’s Basilica long before the crowds but waves of nausea delayed us. When we did leave we drank our espresso and set off. We reached St. Peter’s at 7:45 and stood to go through security for only 5 minutes. The earlier you are there the better. Even as we left the line was longer.
The cathedral shocked us. It’s grandeur immense. I had only seen the church in the movie Angels and Demons and had no concept whatsoever of it’s scale. It overwhelmed me. We plugged in our Rick Steves’ audio-tour and listened in awe for 45 minutes. From where we stood at the back the front of the church was two football fields away. The main alter stands seven stories tall and the lettering around the top seven feet high. None of this could we tell upon entering, the space, though it holds up to 60 000 people feels much smaller. I’m very glad we decided to go, even though I was feeling very sick. It would have been a shame to miss.
We took the metro a few stops back close to the Tervi fountain. We were looking for one of the best gelato places in Rome. It was closed so we drank espresso at a table on the road as the shops were opening around us. We walked to the Borghesse gardens a few minutes away. I don’t know about you, but when I visit gardens I always do so to escape noise and traffic and enjoy nature. Romans don’t. The park was very loud, traffic all over and construction taking place in a multitude of places. The grass was sparse and dry. I was hungary, we tried to find something to eat. We found nothing except bottles of pop for 3.50 euros and bags of chips with the same price.
We had ticket reservations for the Borghesse Gallery with an admission time of 1300. We gathered ourselves, our tickets and our grumbling stomachs bought an audio guide to share. I had reservations about the museum, I wasn’t sure if it was just another thing everyone had to do, a tourist trap, a waste of money. Thankfully it wasn’t and we loved it! The museum was absolutely amazing, full of beautiful frescos gorgeous paintings and breath-taking sculptures. We spent our maximum 2 hours drinking it all in. With the audio guide I would not have loved the museum. It was because the guide explained the good pieces, their origins, their meaning and a bit about the artist I feel we really enjoyed it. I hadn’t understood sculpture before yesterday, Bernini changed my mind. His Appolo chasing Daphne had us both speechless.
Unfortunately cameras were not even allowed in the museum, so I have no pictures to show. It’s a shame really, but I understand. We took the metro to Termini station. We had planned to walk from our room to Termini station at 0300 the following morning. We decided to try out the walk out to make sure we knew the route. I am so glad we did! I went through a super shaddy part of town, with drug dealers and crackheads watching us from the corners of their eyes. The walk took about 20 minutes and by the end of it we both knew it would be a bad move to do that in the middle of the night. We found a night bus that would do the same thing but in a much safer way. We were still starving so we jumped into the next pizza place we saw. We didn’t love it, but it was food.
When we got home we packed and showered and got directions to the hostel. I also managed to book the last few accommodations we needed. Now we only have 4 nights total that aren’t booked, hopefully those go well. We had a lot to do but made it into bed by 2130. Except that I couldn’t fall asleep, every time I started thinking about what would happen at 0200 my stomach lurched.