My feet are killing me. This is definitely a walking city and if you are a gimp you are in big trouble.
I started out by navigating the Metro. It was Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica and Cistine Chapel Day. I got off one stop before the Vatican stop to try out the best pasteria in Rome, Faggalini. Do it on Vatican Day. Get off the metro one stop before the Vatican Lepanto, as soon as you exit the metro turn right go about three block until you see Faggalini on the left. I was the only tourist there.
I spent five hours at the Vatican museum. Highlights were a replica of Michelangelo’s Pietra; the original is at St. Peter’s Basilica, painting my Salvador Dali and Rhodan’s
The Thinker and of course the Cistine Chapel. Tours were 45 Euros so I opted against, also I could read the Italian signs so that helped. But if I were to do it again I would do the audio tour. Another fun thing to do is buy postcards and mail them from the Vatican Post Office. I recommend that if you go through a gallery you like you purchase a postcard from the nearest shop you hit, because the shops throughout the museum offer different things.
After I made it through the museum, I headed over to St. Peter’s Basilica. I spent a half an hour trying to rest my feet and playing with a puppy, a baby golden retriever, named Durido. I then headed to St. Peter’s Basilica which is actually a church and where all the Popes are buried. Just as you pass security on the right is the Swiss Guard that guards the offices, if you want tickets to see the Pope you can walk up the stairs and ask the guards, they are free.
The actual statue of La Pieta by Michelangelo is to the right as you first enter, behind bullet proof glass because of an incident in 1979, where a man claiming he was the real Christ tried to damage the statue with a hammer.
The Basilica is beautiful, I was there for about two hours, while I was there mass started and I also spent about 45 minutes talking to a young man from New Jersey who is one year away from taking his vows. His name is Nick, he wasn’t even raised Catholic, but he has found his calling. It was nice just talking to American. He said that he would pray for me and as I was walking out I felt very peaceful.
I barely made it back to the hostel, it was a painful trip, the pads on my feet were completely worn out and every step was excruciatingly painful, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I reached the hostel. I took off my boots changed clothes and made it downstairs for a glass of wine, then I went out to dinner with a couple from Australia, Pam and Cam. After dinner it was all I could do to crawl into bed. I had a new roommate when I entered the room, Rebecca also from Australia, we talked until about 11:00 p.m.