Friday 12th September – I should send an empty page as parts of today left me speechless.

Where to start. I should send an empty page actually as our visit today to St Peters Basilica, the Sistine chapel and the Vatican has almost left me speechless. Nothing prepared us for this and I doubt I can convey in any real depth what we have seen and done. We switched to an apartment just around the corner from the Trevi Fountain this morning so pretty central to the swish part of town. We have paid 214euros, equivalent to about NZ$350 for two nights and that’s cheap for what’s going around here, but we are still in high season and we left booking till last minute. I would advise book early and stay central like people told us, but we didn’t listen…

When we went to grab a meal everything looked so fabulous. I asked the girl to make up a plate of a selection of lots of different things for us to share. I was laughing but I meant it. She laughed in reply and said it’s not possible. You must have single servings only, then she stopped laughing. She meant it. So this is the secret to all these gorgeous women sipping coffee and eating chocolate laden croissants for breakfast and still thin I’m thinking. Single serves. Haha!

Our apartment is nice with shared kitchen-lounge space but private large bedroom and bathroom. Which is perfect. Gilbert says I’m a snob after the cruise, but I don’t like sharing a bathroom. Good quality set up and piano music drifting in through the open window as we arrive back this evening pulls us out for a stroll. We find a bottle of merlot for four euros which is cheaper than most of the restaurants per glass here and fortunately it’s good. We buy some bread and cheese and that’s dinner, well within budget. Perfect.

But I’ve dived straight to dinner….We did another round of the ‘hop on and off’ bus as tickets covered 24 hours and as the weather was great we were able to sit upstairs and really enjoy the view with a lovely breeze as there’s no top.

Building colours are gorgeous all in the soft creamy shades with yellow and orange undertones so in the morning or evening light they have a really beautiful glow coming through.

The Fountains are massive and clean and beautiful. These ones were built similar to what was at Diocletian’s Palace which is in Split remember? It was just blimmin Wow! All day. I really wanted to see the Trevi fountain but it is in the middle of restoration. As most of these things are centuries old it’s either been done, is being done or will be done and the Trevi is covered in scaffolding 😦 so no pic there sorry.

I will devote a page to the Vatican, because it’s worth it! But here’s the first view we got walking up which is mostly St. Peter’s basilica and then the two arms outstretched either side and St Peters Square. This space can hold some 500,000 and the Papals blessing on a Wednesday sees a fair crowd I’m told. This is also where huge crowds await the announcement of the new Pope. Remember? The cardinals take a vote and it has to be unanimous. If agreement hasn’t been reached after counting, the ballot papers are burnt along with some black powder. Black smoke means no agreement. When it is agreed white smoke shows.

I’ve really enjoyed today but looking forward to a wander around shops. See the latest fashion collections for the winter upcoming. Eat pizza and sip wine in the piazzas. I could be Italian I think…except perhaps for the single portion thing…or maybe that’s just the merlot?

Well folks it’s time to turn in, after sipping this delicious red, and today’s big day, I’m hammered.

Talk soon!

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