Public transportation is back in action, at least for now. We’ve become masters of the metro system here in Rome and have wandered the city quite a bit. Yesterday we decided to visit Rome’s central park, Villa Boroghese, which has their zoo in it, the Bioparco. We spent a lot of time at the zoo and enjoyed seeing the animals. D is at a fun age where he is just starting to really watch and care about the animals. The monkeys especially loved him, which I think says a lot about his personality.
We also went to an Italian board game store, and Z properly freaked out at all of the games and the limited edition games in Italian. After 45 minutes, I told him we can return another day, since I recognized he was no where near ready to make a decision about what to buy. So a return trip is planned for Wednesday.
Today we got up at the crack of dawn (even before my alarm went off, thanks D) and set off for the Vatican. Several things: it’s the last Sunday of the month, so the museums were open and free, and the pope does a blessing to the crowd at midday. So, it was busy. And I mean busy.
Yes, that is only one tiny chunk of the line. We got there at 8:30am, it opened at 9am, and we were in line until 10:10am before we finally entered te Vatican. We followed the masses of people through the Vatican museums and saw many beautiful paintings and sculptures.
They had a room with different globes in it that were pretty amazing. We saw the Sistine Chapel, which was very beautiful, but they do not allow you to take pictures. And it hurts your neck to look at the ceiling so much. But it was pretty incredible. We about ran out of the Vatican museums though because I was hot, tired, and feeling nauseous. We recovered outside and had a really nice lunch at a local restaurant. My house made lasagna was fabulous!
We enjoyed family nap time this afternoon and made sandwiches for dinner at the apartment. We then decided to take D to a park down the street, and it was fairly nice, besides all of the graffiti, which seems to cover everything here. We also went and had our first gelato at a highly rated place online, and we figured we found something good when there was a large group of Italians standing outside the place. Zac got a pistachio cone and I got a cookie cream cone. It was delicious.
I think I’ve decided that while it is great to see some of the things that are incredible works of art or architecture, enjoying the neighborhood we are staying in has actually been my favorite part so far. Watching D play in the park with a local boy, laughing at Z while gelato dripped off his beard and got everywhere, talking to people and trying to figure out Italian; these are authentic experiences that make me happy. Tomorrow we check off some big experiences as we are headed to the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Hopefully I can find a way to see past the crowds and find beauty in the experiences. Time to go read up on my history and enjoy the 1.5 euro white wine (about $1.75!) I got at the store.