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Published: March 4th 2013
Day 19 - Wednesday 1st March
Another day just for sightseeing. I decided that it was probably best to look around by myself so that I could concentrate on my own preferences and after waiting 20 minutes in the foyer, there was still no sign of Michael and Heather and so I left the Hostel and headed into Rome to St Peters Square. The Vatican is awe inspiring and simply amazing with its pillars, the overall superstructure and the statues. Inside the building is so very beautifully decorated especially its primary altars. The work of Bernini, the statue of St Peter, Michelangelo's Deity and the prayer chapel with St Peter kneeling before an altar. Just amazing architecture and paintings.
Next stop the Vatican Museum for 500 Lira but unfortunately it closes at 2pm whereas you could easily spend all day enjoying the artwork. My Rome guidebook was difficult to follow - probably to make you buy the Vatican version. I walked the length of the long corridor to the Sistine Chapel admiring the walls covered with frescoes, tapestries and statues. There were also lots of memorabilia of the Popes - robes, decorations and pens. The Sistine Chapel is just so impressive with its comprehensive paintings covering the walls and ceilings. Next stop was the excellent paintings in Raphael's room. I passed through a few other rooms before finding the main Picture Gallery at 1.50pm so really annoying !
Six hours was enough of buildings and so I decided to walk to Giancola Park, which overlooks Rome. It was a fairly long walk but well worth the effort for the excellent view and the statue of Garibaldi. Then it was back to the city centre through the many obelisks and the Piazza Navona with its many fountains including the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. Phew that's it for the day and so a quick visit to Poste Restante (but no more post) and then back to the Youth Hostel. The day had been fairly cold and wet but alas no hot water at the Hostel to revive one's tired body. Manchester Dave had arrived from Florence and so I chatted with him until Michael and Heather appeared at 9pm. We agreed that it was best to leave for Ancona tomorrow as the twice a week ferry to Yugoslavia leaves on Friday afternoon. It was time to dump some more clothes and the little radio which has not been used since England.
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