Wednesday, September 14, 2016

No Bologna, No Pants, No Problem.....Our Rome Roadtrip Continues......

Day two in Rome was our only full day to explore so we began early with the free breakfast that came with our hotel room. Since the guest house is tiny we were given cards to have breakfast at a nearby restaurant so we walked two doors down. The choice for our free breakfast was a croissant or pastry along with peach juice and coffee.  Not at all something we would usually eat for breakfast, but it was free and as they say, "when in Rome....."

Last time we visited Rome it was for just one day on a cruise ship shore excursion. While we did manage to take a tour of the Vatican museum and Colosseum, that was about all we could fit in.  Although a visit to the Vatican is anything but spiritual with the hoards of people there I really didn't want to ever go back there.  But we did miss out on seeing the famous St. Peter's Basilica that is also in Vatican City so off we went. We hopped on a bus nearby our hotel for a short ride.  Once back onto the street we made our way passed the crowds and tour guides offering their services and entered the line for security. While it looked rather long it went rather quickly and soon we were inside.  St. Peter's Basilica is THE Catholic Church of the World where the Pope regularly holds services, so a must see for most tourists.  It was free to enter and look around the massive structure that was lined with marble, gold and other expensive stuff.

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy

A Small Mass In Progress

Ancient Bronze Statue Of St. Peter
His Foot Is Worn Down From People Touching Or Kissing It
He Is Holding The Keys To Heaven

The Swiss Guard Outside

We stopped for a sandwich for lunch before heading out by foot to our next stop.  Something we'd never heard about before, and perhaps many tourists haven't, is the Crypt of the Capuchin Friars.  Housed in the cellar of the monastery and convent we began in the museum and ended up in the crypt.   Rather off beat and unusual this place is a bit eerie and creepy and would be the perfect stop on Halloween night.  Complete with eerie music for sound effects we passed through crypts lined with bones that were set up to form artwork, for lack of a better term.  We were NOT allowed to take photos along the way and since the place was full of security cameras we abided by the rules.  But there are always those that choose to break the rules and post their photos online for people like us to borrow. The Capuchin Friars dress in heavy brown robes held together by a thick white rope, the classic friar look.  The name "capuchin" comes from the hoods or caps that hang on the back of their robes.

The Crypt Of The Capuchin Friars
Those Are Skeletons Of REAL Friars

More Dead Friars And Graves On The Ground

Bizarre But True
One Room Has No Bones But An Alter Where They Hold Mass For The Dead
To Free Their Souls From Pergatory

Next we took a stroll along the Ponte San Angelo (a bridge) that runs along a picturesque route of old buildings, statues, the river and tourists.  This is one of the more popular spots in Rome to take in the sights, stop for a rest or just relax a while. 

Sights Around Rome

The Bridge

Then we went looking for the Spanish Steps, a famous set of stairs known to anyone that visits Rome.  Our GPS led us directly to the square where we spotted a lovely set of bright white steps leading up to a lovely white building. There was some work being done in front of the steps keeping most of the tourists at bay.  While they did NOT look like he photo of the steps we'd seen on line we were so sure we were in the right place. Well, it turns out that the Spanish Steps have been cleaned up and look brand new now, not resembling any of the photos we saw of them online. The building behind the steps look the same but the steps are now white and pretty enough to confuse any tourist.

The Spanish Steps

Another Fountain

Tired from two days of walking on cobblestones we stopped frequently to rest since I was moving slow.  Perhaps it was from eating way too much pizza, pasta and gelato (ice cream)?  I was mourning the loss of salad and cooked vegetables with chicken. We came here expecting to eat a healthy, Mediterranean diet when the reality of it all hit us in the face.  Like many Americans many Italians are overweight from eating a high carb diet. Breads, pastas, pizza and gelato are everywhere and being consumed in large quantities by both locals and tourists alike.  And ask any Italian IF it's ok to share a pizza and they will look at you like you have two heads.  "Share a pizza....NEVER!" Everyone at the table is supposed to order their own pizza, but since we eat less than many we can get away with sharing just one, which of course leaves room for gelato. And most pizza crust here is thin and topped with only veggies and rarely meat.  But when they DO eat meat here it's always prosciutto, a dry-cured ham that is thinly sliced and eaten raw or something called speck, another form of the same. And you animal lovers out there might want to skip this next line because here in Italy it is very common to eat horse meat.  We saw some at the grocery store labeled, "carne de equine, " and had to come home and look it up and sure enough, they do partake in equine here. Apparently it's high in protein, low in fat because horses live such an active life they are full of muscle and low in fat.

Beggars Can Be Spotted Here And There
Even Outside The Vatican

This Car Is A Twizy
Cars Are All Small Here With Little Parking And Gas Prices
Around 1.40 Euros Per Liter x Four = $5.80 Per Gallon

Not Much Bigger Than A Motorcycle

Italian Military Presence

Random Churches

A Government Building With Guards And The Press Waiting Outside

Guards Outside The Building

Street Performers
The Faceless Man

Subway Ride

All of Rome is rich with antiquities of enormous proportions.  Everywhere we looked we saw something new and worth taking a photo of in order to remember our Roman holiday.  On the way home our GPS picked up on an accident up ahead and rerouted us through the city of Bologna. While going through some round-a-bouts we spotted two young girls standing on the side of the road.  A blonde was dressed in a itsy-bitsy white dress and it really looked like she wasn't wearing any panties.  Her cute, young butt cheeks were sticking out for all to admire. She wore high heels and stopped to chat with a nearby car which she later jumped into.  A young brunette girl was left behind. She was also dressed in ho-ware, a tiny dress, high heels and tons of make up.  We later found out that prostitution is legal in Italy and the girls are allowed to hang out on the street corners and solicit men.  Although we didn't manage to get any photos Clyde DID miss his turn, due to the malfunction of the GPS and surely NOT because he was checking out the little girls butt. Another day of adventures, a smack upside the head for Clyde and plenty of things to see as all roads lead to Rome......along the gringo trail.

Sights Around Bologna, Italy

No Pants, No Problem?

Clyde.....Wait.....Don't Leave Me Here......I'll Be Good

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE

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