Rome Madrid 1974 part 9
7/5 Friday Rome
This is the last day for which I have a journal entry for expenses for the trip. According to the journal I spent nothing.
Today we went to the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel , St. Peter’s cathedral, and Vatican Museums. http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-Info/MV_Info_Ingresso.html Ann and Lisa got lost in the Sistine Chapel. To me the Sistine Chapel wasn’t what I had expected. It seemed darker and smaller than what I had imagined. I liked some of the other frescoes better. This does not mean I can’t appreciate what Michelangelo did, though. I think it’s sad that I don’t like it. Went into St. Peter’s and it was beautiful. Went to the top. It’s easier to appreciate the magnificence of the basilica from the balcony inside the cupola. I could see much better that the letters really were six feet tall. From outside I also got a fantastic view of Rome. I could see all around and even into the private gardens of Pope Paul VI, the top of the Sistine chapel and could barely see the forum. I could also see that the hills of Rome have really flattened out, until they are almost non-existent. The best was to tell you are on a hill is by what’s on it not by noticing the slope.
After lunch I walked to Castel Sant’Angelo (Hadrian’s tomb) with Simon a little boy with Jamaican parents, who is staying at our hostel, but it was closed. Hadrian is buried there. This place is really well fortified. In times of danger the Pope used to sneak from the Vatican over to it, through a secret underground tunnel to avoid capture. I really wish I had gotten inside, that was one thing I wanted to see. After that Simon had to go to the bathroom so I took him in a tunnel. We almost got caught. Since Hadrian’s tomb was closed I walked to St. Peter’s again to find Simon’s mother. While I was there I went under the church to see the tombs of the Popes. I finally found a Swiss Guard and had a chance to talk to him in German. This one was guarding a gate and wouldn’t let cars in or out. I asked him where the Pope, Paul VI, lived and he told me. I had a lot of fun today.
After dinner we went to the Tivoli gardens. There are many fountains there. My favorite was the walk under one and the imitation of Rome. I started out with Lisa and Ann and they got lost. Later they said they were molested by some Germans. I guess they can’t scream like Cheri. I walked around the gardens with Michael, Simon and some others after the girls got lost. On the bus ride home I made up some more stories.