Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day 2: Rome

The first thing we did Day 2 was run over to the Scavi Office at St. Peters to make sure we were still confirmed to take the Scavi Tour that morning (the underground excavations underneath St. Peters, including the "necropolis" mausoleums and the tomb of St. Peter). Fortunately, we were. So we got to take the tour which lasted maybe 30-45 minutes and was extremely cool. We weren't allowed to take pictures, so I don't have any to show from it...except this one of the entrance to the Scavi Office:

You have to have permission from the Swiss Guards to enter. Aren't we cool? :)

I can't recommend this tour enough. You need to contact the Scavi Office well in advance however. Mom had booked this tour in October last year.

We emerged from underneath the Basilica right at the spot where JPII is buried, so we got to see his tomb. Exited from that back into the Basilica. Decided to go get a drink somewhere and then hit the Vatican Museums.

Got a drink at a little sidewalk café and used the bathroom (always always use restaurant bathrooms rather than the public restrooms provided at attractions) and headed off to the Museums, or rather the LINE for the Museums.

The line moved quickly and we were in in about an hour I think. Here are just a few highlights from the Museums:

Can't remember where this cool staircase went, but it was somewhere near the beginning

The Gallery of Maps

The main event: The Sistene Chapel (illegal photo) :)

Me standing in front of a cool-looking room

The twisty exit from the Museums

On the way home, we made a stop at our neighborhood grocery store, the Di-per-Di:

...bought cheese and crackers and wine, and made ourselves a nice little dinner in the apartment.

The next day we were going to have to catch a shuttle to take us to our tour bus to Florence in front of the Hotel Columbus on the Via della Conciliazione, so Jen and Craig and I set off to find it just so we'd know how much time we'd need to get there by 6:15 in the morning (ugh!!). St. Peters looks quite lovely in the twilight:

We found the hotel easily enough. It wasn't far down the street. Then we glanced down a little sidestreet and caught this view:

Well we HAD to see what was through that awesome archway, and found a quaint little cobblestoned street with a big neon sign saying "BAR," so we figured we HAD to stop for a beer. (Pardon the blurriness on these next couple pictures... my night-exposure pictures always come out that way...)

We were serenaded by a street musician with an accordion:

After our perfect little Roman evening, we walked home through St. Peter's Square at night.

Pictures from Florence are next!

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Anonymous Joan said...

We have a contraband pic of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, too! And it looks remarkably like yours. :) Just wait till you hear our Vatican Museums story. :-P

7/20/2007 12:29 PM  

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