Friday, June 01, 2007

Day 4: Rome

The first item that morning was to make sure we could get in St. Peter's Square for the Papal Audience. We were told by the Swiss Guards that we didn't need tickets, we could just go on in. So we went in and took our seats and began the wait for the Pope to show up. We noticed there were two huge monitors on either side of the Square:


And we could see the Pope walking outside somewhere and greeting people. Then he got in his Popemobile and started riding around... then he was riding around St. Peter's Square, and soon came up the center aisle really close to us:


The Pope then took his seat under the canopy and began speaking...he spoke in six languages: Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, and Polish. Mostly he spoke of his travels in Latin America.


After two hours in the sun, the audience wrapped up with a "Pater Noster" in Latin and we were dismissed. We went back to our apartment and most of us took a long, much-needed nap, while Dad and I put together an itinerary for that evening.

We decided to take the subway: First to St. Paul's-Outside-the-Walls (since it was one of the four cathedrals Mom had to see), next to the Colosseum, and finally to the Spanish Steps. We left around 5:30 to make St. Paul's by 6:00 so we could see the inside before it closed at 6:30, and then hopefully to the Colosseum before 7:00 so we could possibly get inside.

First, here's my subway shot (I've come to collect subway experiences from all cities I go to that have them, so I was glad I got a chance to check out Rome's):


We got to St. Paul's around 6:00. It really is impressive:




Portraits for all the popes line the walls. There is a legend that when all the spaces for papal portraits are used up, the world will come to an end. There aren't many left. Creepy!!


Hopped back on the subway and rode it to the Colosseum (heh, I'm watching "Gladiator" on TNT as I'm uploading these pictures):




Unfortunately it had already closed, so we could only walk around and peek inside.








We then walked down the street to the Roman Forum.




This orange building is called the Mamertine, and it was a prison whose most famous inmates were Sts. Peter and Paul.


We finally left the Roman Forum and got back on the Subway, getting off at the stop for the Spanish Steps. By then it had gotten dark and we were hungry. Craig and Jen and I sought out comfort food at the McDonalds, while our parents had a nice salmon dinner at an outdoor restaurant near the steps.

At the McDonalds they had a cute little gelateria...


...with beautiful swirls of yummy gelato.


Mom and Dad had only begun their first course, so we went to hang out on the Spanish Steps for awhile.


This is the Via Condotti, which begins at the Spanish Steps. It's the most expensive, trendiest shopping district in Rome.


We took a taxi back to our apartment instead of the subway, since we were all very tired and didn't want to take the long trek from our subway station back to our apartment. On the way was this castle, the Castel St. Angelo (sorry for the blurriness):


Next day: Assisi!

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These pictures are wonderful and I can't BELIEVE how close you were to the Pope!

-Ryan

6/02/2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Thanks Ryan! :)

I know.. I actually waved at him too and felt silly for doing it. Cause I was trying to take a picture at the same time. :)

6/02/2007 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Joan said...

I understand your disappointment at not seeing the inside of the Colosseum, but I love your pictures from the outside! It was pretty busy the day we visited, so looking at it all empty and dormant in your pictures provides more "scope for the imagination" as Anne Shirley would say. I can almost see the ghosts of gladiators and the Roman mob in your pics, but it was harder to focus on that stuff while we were actually there.

7/20/2007 12:46 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

"Scope for the imagination." I love Anne of Green Gables. :) And yeah, I guess that is sorta true, but we were pretty limited in what we could actually see. We couldn't explore the labyrinth of hallways and elevators below the stage floor just walking around... so maybe if I ever go back I'll have a chance to do that. :) I'm glad you guys had a chance to visit. Can't wait to see YOUR pictures!!!! :)

7/24/2007 10:43 PM  

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