Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rome, Italy

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Hotel Milani - via Magenta, Rome. (1 block from the main train terminal)

Tuesday 1/7 - Arrived at 8.15pm. By th tim we got our luggge took the bus & train into Rome terminal & found out hotel (only 1 block from the train terminal) it was 10.30pm. We went to a nearby restaurant for a late dinner then bed.

Wednesday 2/7 - We slept late this morning. Hey we're on holiday! It was very hot so we decided to laze about the hotel in air conditioned comfort & then take an open bus tour of the city late in the afternon when t's cooler. So we read & did our emails & blog. The bus tour was good, and included an audio descrbing the city sights. Saw the colleseum, St Peter's, vatican city, circus maximus, lots of other Piazzas & fountains, the trevi fountain & the spanish steps. An early dinner (8.30pm), then back to the hotel & bed.

Thursday 3/7 - It's 10.30am and I am updating our blog. Mark & Bree are still in bed. Touring around sure takes it out of you! 1pm - we met up with my cousin Anthony who works at the Vatican. He gave us a tour of his building - the holy office which is right next door to St Peter's Basilica. He introduced us to one of the archivists who took us into one of the vatican archive rooms & showed us ancient texts that not many people get to see. Most of what we looked at was from about the 1540's. Hand printed books and books from the holy index which is an index of prohibited books. It was amazing to see such old books. Most of them have been restored. You can see the difference in the parchment (they use Japanese parchment for the new sections as they are acid free & will not damage the original parchment they have been melded to). Then Anthony took us up to the roof of his building and we had a view of St Peter's, the Vatican & the surrounding areas of Rome - breath taking, awe inspiring and unique (as only friends & relatives get to go up to the roof). We took a few photos so we can brag! Said goodbye to Anthony about 3.30pm and walked next door to see inside St Peter's & the Pope's tombs. Magnificent! Hot & tired & didn't want to cue for the vatican Mark & Bree will have to come back again to see the Sistine Chapel (I saw it last time - 20yrs ago). Back to our hotel, dinner & an early night as we have an early start tomorrow.

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