Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rome, Day 3

This morning, we managed to take the bus on the right side of the street, which means it only took us 30 minutes to get to the city center instead of 2 hours. Nice! Since we didn't leave our hotel until 11, the first thing that we did was eat lunch at good 'ol McDonalds, like any good American tourists.  

After lunch, we headed out to St. Paul's Outside the Walls (that's the official name, seriously), the church built over the body of St. Paul. It was a beautiful church, with nothing exceptional to note besides the actual tomb, directly under the high altar. 

After our visit to St. Paul's, we headed over to the Protestant Cemetery. For a long time, protestants were not allowed to be buried inside the city walls of Rome, so they established their own exclusive cemetery. Now it's run by private owners and family members of the deceased. They were SO excited to have visitors and they were very kind. 
We really enjoyed our time in the cemetery. It was peaceful, beautiful, shady, and far away from the hoards of tourists at the more famous sights. My kind husband saw the groundskeeper picking up pinecones so he picked up a few himself and took them would have thought it was Christmas morning! 
We also saw the grave of Keats and Shelley. This is Keats, who wanted an unmarked grave inscribed with the words, "Here lies one whose name was writ in water." I took this picture in honor of my British Lit class and my brilliant professor, Mrs. Sikes. (Oh, for a draught of vintage...)
Moving on to our next tourist attraction, we headed over to San Giovanni Church, home of the Holy Stairs. The stairs are supposedly the same that were climbed by Jesus and were brought from Jerusalem to Rome by Constantine's mother, Helena. You are only allowed to climb the Holy Stairs on your knees and there were many signs with strict instructions in several languages. Neither Scott nor I climbed the stairs (I personally thought it was one of the stranger things that we'd seen) but it was interesting to watch. For some people, it was obviously a very significant moment in their spiritual life and the overall mood in the building was very solemn. 
After this we were quite tired, so decided to slowly make our way back to my favorite dinner spot, Campo di Fiori. We had a lovely dinner on the square and once it was dark, we headed back to the Colosseum so that I could take night pictures. 

The Colosseum after dark is spectacular and we spent awhile there people watching and eating some gelato. We were sad to leave such a beautiful city, but we were truly exhausted and looking forward to the more peaceful city of Florence. 

In saying goodbye to Rome, we thought it would be good to document the bathroom at our hotel. Here we have Toilet #1......

...and Toilet #2? Apparently we need two. And it's not a normal toilet. It's a toilet....with a faucet. I remember the confusion when I first got to Spain because it's a Europe-wide trend. We were all at the school the next morning asking each other, "I have two toilets. Do you? Which one is which? Which one do you use? etc." It was rather confusing to us Americans who have had to muddle through life with just one toilet in our bathrooms. One of our professors explained the function of the Mysterious 2nd Toilet, but I really can't remember what she said. I think it's intended to wash your feet. If it is, I came pretty close. I used it to rinse off my shoes every night. 
And finally, the bathtub-type thing. This was our shower/water-park adventure. You get in, sit down, shut the door, and pull the lever to lock yourself in. It's a little like the Log Ride at Six Flags. You know you're going to get wet, you just don't know what is going to get wet. It was a bizarre experience, but good for a laugh at the end of the day. 

The next morning we were headed to Florence....and hoping for a normal shower! 

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Meagan, I love reading your blog! And seeing all your pictures from Italy. My husband is Italian, and I have vowed to take him there some day. I'm definitely taking notes from your trip! :)