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Published: November 10th 2017
Today I decided to take it easy. I had two things on my "must do" list. 1) Laundry, despite over packing clean clothes were starting to get sparse, and 2) see the Pantheon. The hotel receptionist had given me a flyer for a self- serve laundrette around the corner. So I figured that would take the most time so off I trundled in the morning with a bag full of laundry. It appears the Italian idea of self serve is somewhat different to the Aussie interpretation. I wander into this laundry to be greeted by an attendant (surprise she was Asian) who weighed my bag, quoted me a price and took it away for me. So I wasn't stuck in a laundry for three hours washing my clothes, the morning was now mine again
Just down the road from the laundromat was a beautiful big church called the Santa Maria Maggiore. Lovely church but it was closed, on a Sunday. Catholicism is different in Rome. So I took a couple of happy snaps and decided to make my way to the Pantheon, which was across town, this time I took a cab to avoid getting lost. The Pantheon was beautiful.
Thrown out of church
It is remarkably well preserved as it was converted from a pagan temple to a catholic church in 609 AD. In order to survive the destruction of the popes the old temples had to be converted to catholic church's or they were torn down and their materials used elsewhere. Inside the Pantheon are gorgeous paintings of biblical scenes. Once again artwork everywhere but not as overwhelming as St Peters. I was in the Parthenon about 20 minutes when all guests were politely asked to leave so the local parishioners could hold their mass..... Once again booted out of the church. I could have stayed for Sunday services but I think we all know how religious I am.
As it turned out I should have stayed. The sky's opened up later in the day and rain pours through a hole in the ceiling. The hole is supposed to be there folks, it called an Oculus (not sure about the spelling) and is supposed to represent a great eye where the ancient gods could look down upon their worshippers. The water flows in and is captured by the aqua-ducts below the floor. However, as I had been booted out of yet
The eye is watching
another church I decided to make my way to Piazza Navona. Another beautiful piazza, with beautiful fountains designed by Michelangelo or Caravaggio or one of those arty types. I stopped here for lunch when the rains came down. I did pack an umbrella, which I very cleverly left back at the hotel. Not very Melbournian of me. So I was trapped at this little cafe where I had to sit and drink wine for a good hour while the rain came down. It was just awful :-)
Finally the rain stopped and I decided to make a move back to the town centre. I found the right road no problem, but turned the wrong way again! I swear my sense of direction is going to kill me. I found myself on the Tibera river. I knew that couldn't be right, so about face and walk all the way back into town, by which time my feet were aching again. So I stopped at an Irish bar for a refreshing drink. Gotta love the Irish, they're bloody everywhere. After that my day was kinda boring. Collected my washing, packed my bag, had a siesta, you know, the usual. Tomorrow, Firienze!
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