Tuesday in Rome
Tuesday 22nd October 2019
More sightseeing punctuated with food and drink, the main event today being a visit to the Vatican Museum.
Italy October 2019
Some ancient edifice or other near our apartment.
Returned to the Pantheon this morning, and it was much quieter so I thought it would be good to take some photos.
Erika in the Pantheon.
I was kind of surprised to learn that hole in the top isn't glazed - if it rains the people inside just get wet. It's also the only source of natural light for the whole building.
Erika took a couple of pictures of me in the Pantheon.
Another "al banco" (at the counter) attempt - this time at a cafe called Sant Eustachio. This is always the natural way to have a coffee in Italy - I can barely contemplate the thought of paying extra to sit at a table - but again it doesn't work quite so well when there's four of you!
They also sold coffee beans here. I considered buying some but I'm not sure I actually enjoyed the coffee that much so decided against it.
Outside the cafe.
A roadside foundtain.
The rather swish looking Piazza Navona.
Erika throwing another coin into another fountain.
The Castel Sant'Angelo, where the Pope historically retreats to at times of conflict.
I spotted a bit of that Venetian effect whereby the light reflects from the water onto the underside of the bridge, but you can't see it so clearly in this picture.
Approaching the Vatican now.
Somehow it didn't really look how I'd imagined it from TV and movies.
The girls in front of the Vatican. For some reason Erika was trying to hide a bit.
Having a quick pre-lunch espresso - mainly so Erika could use the toilet at this cafe, as the sandwich place we'd chosen didn't have one.
The sandwich place where we had lunch.
It was called Mordi.
We still had a bit of time to kill before our pre-booked entry time at the Vatican Museum so we went and browsed the nearby shops for a bit. I was impressed by this place which seemed to be half pharmacy, half cafe.
Old tree stumps carved along this road.
A dramatic advert in a window for non-iron shirts.
A market we passed by.
We managed to get into the Vatican Museum a bit early. Here's the sort of spiral staircase near the entrance.
We split up to go round the museum, figuring Erika and I would probably rather go a bit quicker, whereas Chie and Yoko-san would like to see all the exhibits more thoroughly. Erika had studied ancient Egypt at school last year so at least to begin with she was quite interested in some of the antiquities.
There were also some Greek gods which is her current topic at school - Erika and Demeter here.
Oh so in fact that Egyptian statue is the Roman Antinous, presented in an Egyptian style.
I forget who this is now.
This little courtyard was quite pleasant.
...and was surrounded by figures from Greek mythology, so was quite interesting for Erika. I guess that must be Perseus.
Looks like Dionysus.
I was reminded of the Pantheon.
From here on the museum turned into a bit of a trudge, and Erika's enthusiasm waned (as did mine to be honest) - there were very long corridors, it was difficult to deviate from the proscribed route, and the endless tides of slow moving people absolutely everywhere were starting to wear us down...
...and we were shouted at for trying to take a shortcut! That really was the final straw and at that point we both just wanted to leave as soon as possible.
So here we are on the way out...
We got an Uber back to out apartment, and decided to try the gelateria immediately downstairs.
After a bit of a rest back at the apartment (during which Chie and Yoko-san were still wandering round the Vatican museum), I dragged Erika away from the apartment so we could try "L'Antica Birraria Peroni".
The waitress was rather surly, and having already been subjected to surly staff at the Vatican Museum I was starting to go off Rome a bit.
I thought it might be something like a pub, but it just goes to show what a special and precious institution the pub is.
Still, at least Erika seemed to be enjoying her fizzy drink.
...and we got some nice silly photos.
The Roman answer to beans on toast.
The bar area of the Birraria. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to be here with a child, so we ended up seated, but I think this bit would have been nicer.
Outside the Birraria.
The Galleria Sciarra, which was quite attractive.
Basilica de Santi XII Apostoli.
Inside the basilica.
I really liked the facial expressions of this pair of lions guarding the entrace to the basilica.
The restaurant we chose for dinner - Trattoria Galleria Sciarra.
To my surprise and delight Erika chose pasta with porcini for her dinner.
I had a porcini pizza.
Erika had strawberries and cream for dessert.
I asked for a "digestivo di Lazio" - I don't think it was actually from Lazio in the end, but somewhere nearby perhaps? It tasted a bit like grappa.
The Trevi fountain by night.
Erika took this picture.