Sunday, 17 July 2011

End of Week Four - catchup blogging

So, been even more slack than before in my blog posts and have several weekends and weeks of news to catchup on. I will be fairly brief then, but I suppose that means you will be spared my excessive rantings on the purty art or the crazy archaeology. So, starting with my second weekend in Rome.....

The Vatican - was amazing. As if I needed to tell you that. We booked our tickets to the Museum for 11am and were there till closing at 5.30 (absurdly early I must say), and we missed about half the Museum. We had planned to go straight to the Sistine Chapel before the busy post-lunch rush, but turns out you have to go through the entire Museum leading up to the Sistine Chapel. It was just me and a friend of mine (Jacob) and being the Museum whores that we are....we couldn;t just rush through, so we only got to the Sistine Chapel at like 3.30. On the way we saw the Raphael rooms, with the School of Athens and the Constantine rooms.....awesome. We also got sidetracked into the Near Eastern and Egyptian section for a wee while. The Sistine Chapel is truly mindblowing, and quite a bit larger than the term Chapel implies. We sat for close to an hour and just enjoyed the art and discussed the perspective. By then we kept wandering through, looking at awesome maps and statues and things. The Etruscan Museum was closed, which was a bummer. Also we tried to find the Prima Porta only to discover that the Museum was closing.....this was most irritating, but leaves something amazing for next time. We also saw St Peters Basilica which is totally different to all the Basilicas I've seen so far, which is nice. Its good when yet another church can still take your breath away with the artwork and sheer size.

Via Appia and the Frascati market - Sunday morning was the monthly Frascati market, which was full of antiques and lovely jewellery stores. I saw a beautiful Yad for sale, but turns out it was 100E, and a lady bought it while I contemplated liberating this likely looted piece of Judaica. I got a beautiful antique handmirror that needs a little cleaning but I am quite attached too. Then we headed into Rome in the afternoon to see the Catacombs on the Via Appia. The main one that was open was a massive disappointment. The bit you could see was completely reconstructed with hardly any original architecture visible. You also had to take the quided tour, who hurried you through in less than an hour and knew fuck-all about the catacombs or Roman/Christian history. He talked about barabarians invading Rome in 800AD, and when we asked him after which barbarians invaded in the 9th century he said "no, no 800AD, not 9th century" and didn't know which barbarians. We  looked it up later, turns out the Pope invited Charlemagne to invade Rome to kick out the Lombards.....dang those christian barbarians really fuck people up. After that we wandered down the Via Appia, stopping in for a look at some random churches and some interesting looking ruins from afar. We ended up sprinting back to the station in ridiculous record time to catch our train home. We flagged down a bus, sprinted from the bus to the metro, from the metro to the train....it was brutal.

It is way past my bedtime now (11pm)!!! I would have been in bed ages ago if I hadn't had a lovely sleep in and only in finds lab cleaning pottery tomorrow. Catchup blogging will continue on the morrow. Hope everyone has a great first day (or day) at uni! Missing you all

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