Sunday, 16 May 2004

Day 11 Sunday

Sightseeing - I did the real tourist thing. With the street map I bought yesterday was a list of the twelve "must sees" of the Vatican and Rome. Having "done" the Vatican yesterday, this left Rome. I listed the things to see, identified them on the map and then listed them in order so that they could be seen in a broad sweep - they were all in roughly the same area -

Roman Forum
Campidoglio (the Capitol)
Monument to Victor Emmanuel II
Fountain of Trevi
TrinitĂ  dei Monti (which I didn't see)
On the way to the Coliseum, I decided to go via Roma Termini to buy a ticket for the train tomorrow morning in order to save time possibly queuing and also identify the platform number - 17. On the way, came across "All Saints Church of England Anglican" church. Thought I might attend the 10.30 morning service (it was then 9.45), but it was not to be as it turned out because it was quite a way from the station and time spent queuing for the ticket made it impracticable.

So headed straight for the Coliseum. Impressive although, I have to say, not as impressive as I'd been expecting. There was scaffolding up inside and visible through the archways. Plenty of touts selling tickets for entry but was not persuaded.
The Forum was quite amazing with its plethora of ruined buildings and columns here and there; the backdrop of other historic buildings added to the incredible sight.

The most memorable aspect of the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, apart from the fact that it was built to celebrate the unity of Italy in 1870 was that a few floors down were some very underused loos; apart from these, public loos don't seem to exist; you have to go into a café and buy a drink to use the loo and that means you have to do the same again a little later.

The Pantheon was awesome, totally dominating the piazza it looks on to. Had lunch here, on the steps of a fountain - superb pizza bread with tomato and mozzarella.

Mid-afternoon, I'd had enough and headed back towards the YH. I went via the Anglican church. It was locked but a side entrance was open. The church was being used, as I quickly found out when I couldn't at first understand a word that was being said, by the Filipino church community. I think it was a baptism service, very informal. I stayed about fifteen minutes before moving on.

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