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Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We flew out of Paris yesterday around noon and arrived in Rome about 1:40pm or 13:40 as they say here in Europe.  The people we are renting our apartment from had a driver meet us at the airport.  Once settled in the apartment we walked down about 4 flights of stairs to the street below us and planned to eat a late lunch.  Surprise! they take siesta here in the mid-afternoon.  So we found a grocery and picked up some fresh tortellini, stuffed bellpepper, basil pesto, bread and pastries (of course), and other necessities.  We had a nice meal.  The internet was out but our landlord got it fixed this morning while we were out.
After dinner Cindy and Mike walked to the Vatican, our apartment is across the street from the Vatican wall and 200 meters from the Museo Vatica, then about 500 meters more to the Vatican Gate.
I hurt my knee in Paris climbing too many stairs navigating the metro so stayed in and nursed my knee. 
This morning Cindy and I walked to the Vatican.  The cue for the Vatican Museum was LONG, and this was at 8:45am.  So we continued to the Vatican.  The cue for St. Peters Basilica was pretty long also so we decided to check out the info station.  While there we found out there was an english speaking tour at 9:45.  So we waited for that and met up with about 12 other people and Penelope our guide.  She was a little old english lady who took us into the Basilica bypassing the long lines of people waiting to get in.  Once inside she pointed out all of the more important features.  One thing she emphasized was the size of the church.  It is deceiving due to the immense size of some of the statues and paintings.  The statues and paintings at ground level are big and the higher they are the larger they are.  So the scale of the building inside doesn't seem as large as it actually is.  Truly amazing paintings and statues, marble columns.  A lot of the paintings are mosaics.  Above the main altar is a huge dome with a much smaller dome in the middle.  Penny told us the smaller dome is large enough to hold the huge altar.  Very amazing and inspiring place.
Cindy couldn't wait to ask someone for directions

After spending over 2 hours in the Basilica we walked about the square then walked a little ways and found a nice cafe to enjoy lunch, with gelato after.  Cindy had coconut and I had fruitte bosco, absolutely delicioso!

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