I’ve become very fond of the Italians. They are a rule unto themselves and I kinda like that… except when this lady thought we were taking too long at the metro ticket machine and stepped in front of me and started inserting her own coins. She couldn’t understand when I said she was rude and had butted in, she seemed genuinely baffled that I was upset that she’d cut right in front of me as I was putting my ticket transaction through. The other idiosyncrasy is the ‘rules are a suggestion, not a directive’ attitude. This is illustrated quite well by the picture here of a car parked on a corner – driven straight up on to the pavement. It wasn’t the only one either. Try that in London and you’d be towed before you’d even put the handbrake on!
Parking Italian Style
Yesterday we walked, and walked, and walked. We went to the Vatican and saw the pope. We had a spot of tea with him and looked around his crib. He’s been on MTV cribs actually; you might have seen the episode. (That is a lie, an outright fib, a fabrication to make my story more interesting).
Sooo the Vatican. It’s quite a cool place, but quite a long tour. Sorry if I don’t seem cultured but jeeeeeesus (excuse my blasphemy) how long can you talk about one bloody painting. I was skipping rooms and rooms ahead of my tour group. For two reasons really, the first to get a seat and the second to look like I wasn’t part of a tour group (although the MI5 headpiece gave me away I’m sure). There’s something a bit embarrassing about it all, being herded around like a flock of wayward sheep. Anyway, our guide was good. He was from the same tour company as the day before, so was also on speed and WAAAAAAY way over excited, even just saying hello to us he was jumping up and down.
I really liked the cherubs and ended up taking loads and loads of pictures of them.
I also really liked this picture, it’s quite gruesome but there was something about it that captivated me
Stunning yet gruesome
The Sistine Chapel… This little gem had been hyped from the start of our tour and when I first saw it I was like, is this it? I think if you had a chance to walk through by yourself and contemplate then you’d be awed. But wrestling through a throng of people, getting stood on, camera flashes everywhere and the noise level the same as a bustling market took away from it. It was only when I got a seat, blocked everyone out and stared at the ceiling for ages that I got it. What an amazing feat. Shame he was a grumpy bastard and that’s how he is remembered as well as being an amazing artist.
We left our tour group, I felt liberated, we could go anywhere we wanted! So after a quick look see in St Peters Basilica we headed off through the square and out into the wilderness of Rome.
Free from the tour!
We were starving! We sat down for pizza anticipating a thin crust and lovely fresh topping. That isn’t what we got, it was the worst pizza I’ve ever had. We ordered a capriosca (spelling?) but when our pizza arrived it wasn’t the same as on the menu – it had tuna and some sort of mystery meat that I think was meant to be parma ham, gross. I called the waiter over who informed me that the menu was more of a suggestion and yes, this was our pizza even though not one single topping matched the menu. According to our waiter, the caprioscca is ALWAYS made with the closest things to hand. Not in my world buddy, I sent it back. It came back again totally wrong again, so we ate around the tuna wanting to leave as soon as we could. The waiter came over again to repeat his story, like I was slightly dim and needed educating about the Italian pizza way. I wanted to beat him with the dry disgusting pizza. I gave him my most withering glare (as much as you can behind sunglasses) and he finally got the hint. I warned some other friendly tourists not to eat there as it was so terrible, culinary justice was served and the world dining karma balance restored.
After a bad food experience you have to ensure that your next food experience is excellent, to ensure the great food equilibrium is maintained, so we had afternoon tea at our favourite local patisserie. I had walked enough to build up quite a few calories in the food bank and spent them wisely on a cake AND some gelato! They make all the cakes onsite and do a bloody fabulous job. A thin wafer, dipped in chocolate, covered in jelly, sponge and creamy topping. Fresh fruit toppings, tiramisu flavours, and the tiniest little wild strawberries I’ve ever seen! I’ve made a pact to eat gelato, cake and limoncello every day. You need rules to live by and these are mine for the holiday.
Heaven in a wafer cone
Loving the cake a day rule