Is it me or are these getting shorter? It might have something to do with wanting to go home.
Yesterday afternoon it was overcast, did I tell you that? Oh yes, I did. This morning when we got up around 9, it was POURING! And beautiful. We got breakfast and then went back up to the room to figure out what to do. After about 90 minutes it stopped and we headed out.
Today we had two places we wanted to visit. First, the Coliseum; then Castle Sant'Angelo. We took the bus over to the Coliseum and headed straight in skipping all of the lines. We found out that yesterday's ticket to the Forum would also get us into the Coliseum - sweet!! We decided that after all the other days of disappointing ruins, this one we would pay for a guided tour. It was definitely worth all $5. We learned that after the Coliseum was no longer used for sporting events people started using it as a quarry and looted the hell out of it. Granted it had been badly damaged during an earthquake and that's why they stopped using it. So steal away! It was looted continuously until Napoleon came and said it should be revered and cherished. And that it has. We wandered around. I took lots of photos. Then we made our way towards the Piazza Venicia, where the Venicians stayed for diplomatic purposes. Or something like that. We toured the whole thing. It was big. There were a number of small exhibits inside, but I don't think I looked at any of them; I was just happy to be out of the sun because it had gotten very hot and muggy. Then we walked towards the island in the river and our bus stop, but went down the wrong street and ended up near where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death. Cool. Small pizzeria across the street - AMAZING!! I had eggplant, Matt had potato pizza. Delish! Onwards (again with that word) past the Synagogue - very pretty. On the bus towards St. Peter's and the Castle. The Castle was huge, so much bigger on the inside than I thought on the outside. It was used as a mausoleum, a prison, a fortress, and the papal residence (not all at the same time, but close). We went the whole way up and could see the whole city from the rooftop. Gorgeous view. I took our last picture of the two of us (Matt made me pinky swear I wouldn't take another) and we started climbing back down. Then we came back to the hotel, realized we didn't have any cash left and showered. Now we want to find somewhere cheap for dinner before going to bed and getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the airport and GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Out for dinner. Had one last pasta meal. Matt likes minestrone with rice in it. I can make that. Met a couple on their honeymoon from Dallas. Talked with them about Rome for about an hour. Gave them our inside tips to Rome:
I. Buy tickets for the Vatican ahead of time. Then skip all the lines. If you have tickets you don't need to be in the line!
II. Get your ticket for the Coliseum at the Forum - there is NO LINE and the same ticket works at both places for 2 days
III. Audio guides - YES @ the Vatican, NO @ the Forum & Palatine hill. Guided tour @ the Coliseum
IV. Pompeii - it's cool. We could have done without it. There were no bodies we could look at. And it was a LONG DAY. We could have done without it.
V. The hop on/off buses - if you are there for an extended period of time (i.e. 4 days) they are worth it because you don't have to pay for taxis/metro. They get you there, eventually. But are super convenient if you are not in any rush.
VI. The water in the sketchy fountains is very clean & fresh even though the fountain itself looks questionable.