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Rome

Okay Rome, it has 2500-plus years of history, more recognizable sights than just about any other city in the world and they are just the tip of the iceberg. Old buildings, ruins, cathedrals, statues, Piazzas Rome has it all, even the Pope is here. So needless to say there was way too much to see but we were going to attempt it.

We had a plan, get a metro day ticket, work from the outside south to the outside west then work our way in.

So we set off to San Giovanni Lateran, previous home to the popes. We went inside for a look and again the artwork is truly amazing and the papal alter is just magnificent, the statues are huge and brilliant, in fact this is just about the biggest church we have been in I think.

From Giovanni we headed to Manzoni, some ruins that we aren’t quite sure what they were other than a cat haven. There are cats everywhere in Rome and dozens of them.

From Manzoni it was on to Vittorio

From Vittorio it was onto Piazza della Repubblica with the fountain of the Naiads, Michelangelo’s Santa Maria degli Angei church which is built into part of the old Baths of Diocletian.

From Repubblica it was onto Barberini, and Bernini’s Fountain of the Triton. From Barberini to Spagna, home to the famous Spanish Steps.

From Spagna it was onto Flaminio and Piazza del Popolo, up the steps of the the Pinco for a view of Vatican City.

From Flaminio it was onto Vatican City and St. Peter’s, where in 1929 Mussolini, under the Lateran Treaty gave the Pope full sovereignty over what is now the world’s smallest country.

By this stage it was almost dusk so we decided against going up the cupola. We wandered St. Peters square for a little while then headed down via della Conciliazione to Castel Sant Angelo (a castle), making our way over the river heading back into the centre.

We went on to the Pantheon, the best preserved building of ancient Rome. The original temple was built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa, son-in-law of Emperor Augustus, and dedicated to the planetary gods. Agrippa’s name remains inscribed over the entrance. I must admit it was not nearly as grand on the outside as I thought it was going to be – I also thought it was going to be much bigger. Its pretty cool just not what I pictured.

It was dark, cold and we were weary, so we headed for home, went to the laundry shop did our washing, hung it up across the room (drying was an extra 6 Euro) and walked next door to this little Italian restaurant that at 9pm was almost full. It was a great little place, a little mama and papa home made cooking type of place. The food was excellent.

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