So here are some more random thoughts before I leave this fabulous, alive city of Rome. Life (of sorts!) nowhere more evident than in the traffic – it teams by. Traffic lights and pedestrian crossings are meaningless. Yet it’s not really Russian Roulette: traffic stops – or avoids you – when you cross the road. Much easier than crossing the road by work at home.
The Printed Word Being a tourist became a lot more comfortable when I went against the grain and ripped all the Rome map pages from my Lonely Planet … lightened the handbag (shoulder bag, really) considerably! I could even then still happily carry around a novel …. I finished reading the Rebus I’d brought from home (‘Resurrection Men’) so bought ‘The World According to Bertie’ (which I hadn’t seen in paperback at home) and an enjoyably trashy Sophie Kinsella novel. They’ll keep me going for a while. The beauty of extended time here (compared to a Trafalgar Tour) is that I’ve been able to sit and read in a park or sit and watch the world go by. Not resting my feet at all!! 😉
Other Purchases When I was little, my mother wore beads – no need to say necklace as beads was all mum’s neck adornments consisted of. I bought myself some beads. Supposedly Venetian glass and I could well see the same in Venice but not wanting to miss out, I bought this lovely red glass bead necklace. And I also bought a t-shirt style top – very Italian Mamma ….. I looked the part, obviously, as several times I was stopped and asked – goodness knows what!!! That stopped once I added the daggy hat …. I think it’s a bloke’s hat but the girl in the shop got desperate when I turned up my nose at all the frills, lace and bows! I left a flattering Cancer Council hat at home. Oh well!
I needed another light top (‘very fine cotton’ – oh yes?) because the weather has been gloriously warm – not quite hot but getting close. I checked the forecast before leaving home and it said rain on the Tuesday afternoon and sunny thereafter. Spot on! Even so, my room hasn’t been one in which hand washing has dried very well – until I started draping socks and undies over the lamp shades! And no shortage of water here – running water fountains on every street on every other block.
What else have I seen? From the train window coming in from the airport and at lots of places since: growing wild – red poppies. Quite appropriate as my Long Service Leave started on ANZAC Day.
Today, a gallery exhibition about 15C Rome – paintings, sculpture, all sorts of artifacts …. fascinating stuff. Apropos my comments on the wealth of the Church: the papacy was, at times, as much, if not more, a role for members of wealthy/politically ascendant families than for men noted for their piety. Caveat emptor of sorts … that’s a pretty un-nuanced potted version of history!!
More and more churches …. including a Baptist one today (very small, but full for the service that was in progress) and …. weddings. Can’t escape them, though they don’t have bells here! And a ‘cemetery’ – a corridor of bones – as skeletons and as light fittings, wall decorations, you name it. Probably not as extensive as Kutna Hora – I’ll have to ask Hilly, who has been to the latter.
All over Rome today – the Vespa Club of Rome – careering about on a day’s outing. I spoke to the owner of an old looking red one – only 1971: Hilly’s is 1965 if I remember correctly.
But what haven’t I seen? Before arriving I decided I didn’t want to endure the queues and crowds of the Vatican Museums. I decided to pay to go, by lift no less!, to the Dome of St Peter’s – but that queue was a turn-off too. Fortunately, I’d been to both (though not the dome) on my first visit here. I circled the Colosseum several times but didn’t go inside. I went into one very similar at El Jem in Tunisia so I was happy with that. And lots and lots and lots more …. You could stay here six months, not the six days I’ve been very lucky to have, and still leave without having seen everything.
Now I’m about to leave Rome, and as I’ve been typing the pain in my feet has eased off …… The coin has been thrown over my shoulder into the Fountain of Trevi ……. so who knows?!