Saturday, July 09, 2011

Today turned out to be very hot -- about 85 or 90-degrees. Since Linda and I were covering much of our day on foot, it made for a lot of "stops and hydration!!" -- in other words we sat and drank lotsa water...

Our first stop was the church at San Pietro in Vincoli to see the only Michaelangelo outside of the Vatican in Rome. It's the "horned Moses"and was, if I'm correct, completed in 1515. The sculpture is just beautiful -- it clearly understood why the Pope's of the day wanted Michaelangelo to complete a v
ariety of work -- including the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

We had tickets to gain entrance to the Coloseum at noon, so we made our way there and spent a hour or a bit more wandering the ancient structure. Lemme tell ya, there was a hugh crowd of people there, and by buying our tickets on-line, we didn't have to stand an hour or
more in line.

After looking at the map, we found that the Jewish section, the Synagogue and Hare Krisna Temple were a short walk, so we set off to find all three of these sights.

One thing about the tourist maps of Rome is they are incomplete! I figured it would be an easy walk to this section of town, but after a couple of twists and turns, we found ourselves lost in the neighborhood. We were "close", but couldn't find our way to the specific streets we needed. Luck would have it w
hen we saw an older man walking with groceries toward his home. A quick question or two -- with a complete explanation of where we needed to be was forthcoming. Of course, his instructions were in ITALIAN, but we pretended we understood him and finally found our way. It took three more questions, including one to a local traffic cop, for us to find our way.

All in all, it was worth the journey. The heat has been pretty oppressive over the past day or so, but by taking it slow, we're able to get along OK.

We made our way back to the hotel by bus at around 3 p.m. It's interesting to note that riding the bus in Rome is a test in endurance and patience. Today being Saturday, the buses were very crowded, so even though we bought a ticket, we didn't get close enough to the "validation" machine to have to use them. It seems that most bus riders in Rome don't pay, they just hop on and hop off!! Yet, the system seems to wok, the buses are on time, and if you can stick it out, you'll get where you want to go -- with a ticket to use another day!!

So, either tomorrow or Monday we'll head off to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. We plan to head up north to Follonica on Tuesday or Wednesday.

As always reader -- more to follow.....