We slept in a bit more today, 8:30am. Headed downstairs for our normal breakfast, and then headed out to find the metro (subway) to visit the Vatican area. We couldn’t figure out where to find the Metro A line. We found the Metro B line, but not A. We found an information booth and got directions (Jen was a bit frustrated). Who would have thought Metro B was in front of the train station and Metro A was in the basement of the train station. The metro was hot and smelly. Everyone told us to watch out for pick pocketers…we can see why! You are literally crammed in the metro. It would be easy to steal from someone. We got off on our stop and walked to St. Peters Basilica. There was a huge line of people to get it, turns out it was to go through security. After about 20 minutes we made it in. We had never seen a “church” this big….and so much decorations and gold. They had some type of mass going on. We even saw pope John Paul II…they had him on display (we couldn’t tell if it was really his dead body or some wax body made to look like him).
We then got in a separate line to climb to the dome of St. Peters Basilica….we waited an HOUR! Our feet hurt so bad after standing that long. We had the choice of paying 7 euros for an elevator ride ½ way up, then 350 steps to the top or 4 euros for all 550 steps. We decided to get a work out and only pay the 4 euros. Man oh man, did we choose wrong. After a few breaks we made it to the top. It was beautiful, especially when on the roof you could see the entire Vatican city. On the way down we snuck onto the elevator. Dustin’s knee was hurting (only going down steps…weird, eh?). By now it was 2pm and we were starving. We munched on some beef jerky as we walked to the Vatican museum to see the Sixtine chapel. We got stuck behind another long line (this one moved faster), and realized the museum was only open for another hour and a half! We rushed through everything to get to the Sixtine Chapel Room. It was packed with people inside. The staff of the museum went around telling people to be quiet and yelled at people when they took pictures. The room was painted everywhere and it had been preserved nicely, the colors were very bright.
Afterwards we headed across the street for lunch/dinner at a pizzeria. We wanted to go to the Castle of St. Angelo before calling it a day. When we arrived at the Castle there were tons of moving trucks and movie costume trailers around. Apparently they closed the castle for the day and were filming a movie. Dustin was very sad…he wanted to see the inside. We decided to walk around the area. It sits right next to the Tiber River, and the scenery was beautiful. We saw another “freak show”, this guy was standing outside the movie trailers in a suit and an umbrella. He kept growling and making faces, then would walk a few feet and do it again. We sat on a bench and watched him a bit until he finally left. Then we noticed a dog park behind us. We must have spent 30 minutes just chilling on the bench, taking funny pictures and watching the dogs (there was an Akita!).
We headed out and grabbed some gelato. On our way back to the Metro, we found some street vendors in a plaza. We stopped and looked around. We found a nice silk tie for Dustin for only 5 euros…a tie like this in the US would cost at least $30, we got it for $6! We then headed to the metro (we found it easily this time!).
After getting off the metro we walked to our hotel…tried to get money out of an ATM, but only one of our cards worked. So once back at the hotel Jen called the bank and they had no blocks on the card…so better luck next time!
Our last night in Rome….