Went to sleep at 7.30pm last night. Actually, I did. Holly laid in bed until like midnight. She couldn't sleep. Bummer!
Woke up at 3.30am. Both of us. Couldn't go back to sleep. Wow. Never had jetlag like this before. Wow.
Finally got up around 6am or so and got ready for the day. Today, after all, is our big day in Rome. Vatican City, the 'real' tour of the Collesium, the Sacred Walk down Via Sacra, the main tourist stops. So, up and to the shower we go. A little breakfast and then we are off!
First stop: Vatican City. This is an amazing, wild place. It was set up as a independently-operated country. But it controls more than just Vatican City. I see this as a sort of world-seat for Roman Catholicism. I am sure they see it the same way. The phrase is the Holy See. It is my understanding of how they preserved the Roman Empire: through religious (instead of purely political) means.
Some shots from Vatican City...
And the original mega-church: St. Peter's Basilica...
St. Peter's is the church that bankrupt (or at least nearly did) the Vatican back in the 15th-16th century. This was the church being built around Luther's time... what led to gathering indulgences.
Interesting fact: St. Peter's is the tallest building in Rome. No building is allowed to be built taller than the church.
After the basilica (where we saw the Pieta), we headed to the Vatican museum. Then pizza for lunch. Potato pizza. Yum.
Next, back to the Collesium for the interior tour...
Now here is something that I see throughout much of this trip: strange redemptions. Here, the Collesium (a place of torture for hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, especially Christians) has a cross right in the middle of it, as if the church said, okay, we will call this place ours.
I mean, can you see the strange sort of irony with having a cross in the middle of the Collesium?
Holly on break...
We did the Via Sacra and got lost, then it began to rain, so we figured we would head back to the hotel and then dinner. So, to the subway we went.
This time, Holly held her bag to her chest and I kept my hands in my pockets. When we got off the subway, Holly's bag had been cut into. Nothing removed luckily, but wow. Seriously, wow.
As we arrived back at our subway station near our hotel, we grabbed a panini to split (we were planning on getting gelatos that eve). It started pouring down rain. No gelato, so we stopped by a local grocer and got some wine, cheese, and crackers. Nice.
Got home and opened the wine... it was carbonated. Then took out the crackers... turns out they are graham crackers! What a night.
We said that we are done with Rome. Bought tix to Assisi (as in St. Francis of...) for tomorrow and went to bed.