The title may need some explanation. You’ll get it soon enough.
I am in Rome.
This morning began by leaving the hotel in Florence after a brief attempt to weigh my luggage somewhat unsuccessfully. (Why don’t all good hotels have luggage scales? You’d think this would come up more often).
After a brief death-taxi ride to the station, and a ride up in the very odd campo di marte elevators (Which you have to keep the button pressed in to do anything), I was on the train and then pretty rapidly in Rome. (It’s a little over an hour).
Getting a taxi at Rome Termini is an exercise in pseudo-organised chaos. Like many stations and airports, you queue for a taxi and the taxis line up…only in Rome the taxis are three lanes deep, and sometimes the driver one behind the front gets out and gestures at someone offering their services (and then the ones in front engage in what I imagine is a polite conversation about the weather).
The driver got me to the hotel…well, very nearly, after I googled the location for him – and after a brief trip up in the elevator I had dropped off my luggage (the room was not yet ready) so I dropped off my luggage and wandered off to the pantheon.
I was mildly surprised to find that about 10 meters from the hotel is a quite large church.
Then I remembered I was in Rome, and saying “My hotel is next to a church” is like saying “That museum had some old stuff in it” or “That renaissance painting was better than that modern art” because I mean obviously. Rome has so many churches they don’t even put most of them on the map. Hell, I went into 4 different churches and ate outside a fifth and wasn’t more than 500 meters from the hotel at any stage during the day.
Anyway, a wild church appeared. It was mostly not super exciting, but the roof had a cool 3d thing going on.
For anyone who can’t tell, the roof is flat (or nearly flat; it might have a slight curve, but I don’t think so) and starts roughly in line with the archway at the edge of the picture.
I next travelled off to the Pantheon, took one look at the queue, and decided to come back later.
some kid sure isn’t getting their balloon back.
My plan was to go to Sopra Minerva, and I’d got the hotel to mark it on the map.
A slight complication was that on the map the damn pantheon is backwards, so I went the wrong direction. It wasn’t all bad; I found a Lindt shop and stopped in for a gelato, and then found a pharmacy, which was great, because now I have some antibacterial cream and some proper padding for my foot after showing one of the chemists the problem. She was very helpful and I’m able to walk somewhat faster now than I was this morning 🙂
Got directions back to Sopra Minerva – which was a temple to Minerva that, much like the pantheon, the Christians had stolen and retasked. It is quite a pretty church.
All marble columns and statues and so on.
Coming back, I saw something I haven’t ever seen before; the back of the Pantheon. (Or I forget, one of the two)
Weirdly fascinating. And makes it even clearer that it was originally clad in something (probably marble) that someone (possibly a pope) pinched later.
Checked into the hotel, relaxed (and possibly dozed) a little, and then went back out to the Pantheon.
Don’t recall seeing these crosses previously. There are a whole set of them at differing angles around the walls of the dome.
Briefly wondered if they were part of some elaborate game mechanic, and if you turned them all the right way up it would open some kind of secret level*.
The hotel had recommended some places for dinner, so I wandered towards one of those.
As I did, I saw a guy holding out his arm in the classic “I am taking a selfie” pose, sitting at a cafe I was walking sort of past. I looked away at something else, and then looked back, and he was still doing it – only from this angle I could see that what was in his hand was half a hamburger. I mean, maybe it was just weird lighting, but I swear it was half a damn hamburger and the guy was doing what appeared to be trying to take his photo with it, perhaps to post to Instahamb. I obviously didn’t stop and stare or take a picture, but if this becomes some kind of crazy new trend, you heard it hear first.
Came across another Church (surprise!) and wandered through the open doors.
While taking this photo and looking around, I noted a church worker closing the main doors. Turns out they closed 30 seconds from then, so I left.
Dinner was only ok (their fish of the day was octopus. Some eyebrow raising occurred) – but the view was pretty good. Some music being played by what I am going to call a Cellist and a guy on guitar for part of it.
* I believe the level is called “being beaten and arrested by the police”