Take stereotypical photographs.
Musolini’s square colosseum
Roman Jewish ghetto
Monday, saw Mussolini’s vision of the suburb of the future at the EUR on Monday morning. A square colliseum, unwelcoming plazas, all dedicated to the power and the glory of the state over the individual. Lovely guy. Picked Hannah up at the airport smoothly, and went to the Jewish ghetto for dinner. Excellent carcioffi, and a stunning walk through the city back to our hotel.
Tuesday, went to Galeria Borghese and marveled at what man can do with marble. Then staggered through the modern art museum, and took a nap in its air conditioned splendor. Ate lunch with a combination of buffalo ham and mozzarella and vending machine treats . Kinder Bueno! Saw crypt near Barberini, where monk bones are arranged decoratively, waiting for the resurection. Then saw Il Incredible Hulk, which Ruth and Hannah loved, and I napped through. Had dinner near our hotel at Tino’s greek restaurant, where they literally did not stop bringing us food until we begged for mercy.
Riding around in the Popemobile
Holy Roman Coronation
Wednesday, saw the Pope at the Vatican. We tried to sneak in without tickets, but that would have been an even surer way to hell than Judaism. They eventually let us in when the square didn’t fill after the big guy started talking. Saw the popemobile, but sadly no funny hat. Then to the Vatican museum, where we rushed by the art to get to the Sistine Chapel. Ruth took some verboten photographs, but they were worth the scolding.
Then the ‘Caesar shuffle’, from the Colosseum through the Forum, over the Palatine Hill and to the Pantheon. Got the Augustus’s newly restored house just at closing time, so no frescoes for me. Had lunch near hotel, at Perilli in Prati, which had an excellent antipasto buffet. Ruth and Hannah went shopping, and I returned to the hotel for naptime. Then, dinner at a place renowned for tripe, near Piramide. Very tasty sauce, but not so sure about the texture.
Thursday, took early train to Naples, then another to Pompeii. Well preserved and restored ruins, roads and bollards. Definitely a society of engineers. It was quite hot, and I’m getting sick, but it’s got to be good training for later. Then took the train back to Naples. Walked to the archaeological museum through the most stereotypically Italian neighborhood I’ve seen yet. Old women cussing out impudent young men on Vespa’s, gritty streets still recovering from the trash crisis, and simple but incredibly tasty pizza. The museum is poorly signed, but has an amazing collection of giant statues (the Farnese collection), and the mosaics and jewlery boxes from Pompeii. Also, a ‘secret room’ of erotic depictions, from the Lupanare (brothel). Train back to Rome, and another day successfully completed.