Day 3: Holy Roma

Holy Roma… Our first full day in Rome was dedicated to Holy Rome, the Vatican City and its sights. But first, we had to have some breakfast. Jenn woke up before any of us and headed over to Campe De Fiori on her own… she came back with some fresh fruit and a happy expression. Campo was excellent for our needs, and breakfast was great.

We had heard that the morning lines at the Vatican could be troublesome, so we booked a guided tour of the Vatican Gardens. It was a successful technique for avoiding the security lines (which were surely longer than an hour) and shot us right inside. The inside of the Vatican is not simple… it took some time to get the right tickets and find our way to our guide. While the tour iteslf was a bit longer than I might have chosen, the guide was good, and it was cool to see many parts of the Vatican City that few others see. My favorite moment was when she started complaining about the quality of some recent additions to the exterior of St. Peter’s Basillica and the quality of the Roman water. She was, at least, honest.

We exited the garden tour and found our way back into St. Peter’s. Lines weren’t bad, and the timing worked to tether Lindy to my back with Keeley’s backpack (which was quite helpful). Lindy slept while we explored the huge basilica and considered climbing to the cupola. We wisely chose not to, and instead headed over on the 2km walk to explore the Vatican Museums. This was an occasion where Rick Steves served us well. Visiting after noon allowed us to avoid all the security lines and shoot right in (again). We basically checkout some mummies (as the girls were into them) and cruised straight down to the Sistine Chapel. We felt it was something we had to see. While it was impressive, I was weary. And I have to admit… I just don’t get historic pieces of art all that much. My eye sort of blocks out the entire area and labels it “old art”. Good art, bad art, imitation art, I can’t really distinguish it at all. But, I’m happy to have seen it.

My favorite moment, though, followed immediately after the Sistine Chapel. The museum is massively long and straight. A hall that takes many adults 15 minutes to walk without delay. Well, we were ready to be done, so we told Lindy to go for it. And she ran. Seriously, she was running full speed the entire way. It took Jenn walking full speed to keep up with her at all. The only time Lindy stopped was when Oakley told her she couldn’t run. She yelled at Oakley and said, “I can’t walk that fast!” So, off she went again, full speed. It was funny to watch the train of Martins spill through the halls of the Vatican. To me, it was funnier still. I said to Jenn, “Lindy is the personification of my spirit released.” It was time to go to the apartment.

And so we did. We relaxed a bit, rested, and picked a dinner spot. Alfredo e Ada was one Jenn had read about at home, and it wasn’t far from the apartment. The entire restaurant has 5 tables, and no one there seems to speak any English at all. But they were more than hospitable. We sat down, and Ada herself joined us very quickly. She drew pictures on the table cloth, made Lindy sit in her lap, and we gesticulated at each other as we shared no language at all. (Although she was convinced that I spoke Italian or some other language. For that matter, though, she was convinced that I was either Australian or German. I take this as a compliment; At least she didn’t think I was a “dirty American”.)

The food was fun (no menu at all… they just brought bread, pasta with red sauce, and offered us “beef or veal”, and some biscotti. A fun experience, a memoable place, and a memorable proprietor. As Lindy removed her bib, Ada took it and signed it with the marker she had in her hand. (This is really funny to me, as it is literally the only bib we have for Lindy. It looks like we’ve written her name on it forever. Oh well.

One last funny moment… While were walking through the halls of the Vatican museum, we spent some time examining busts of various people. Oakley’s reaction? “Will they make my body one day?” This one does not lack confidence in her body.

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