Day 3 (Mon., Nov. 12, Roma)

by Jonah

Day 3 (Mon., Nov. 12, Roma)

All museums closed

On Mondays all of the museums in Italy close. A lot of restaurants close too. We hadn’t intended to stay in Rome an extra day, but all the flights out on Sunday were pretty full while the ones on Monday were relatively empty. That extended our vacation by a day, and we decided to spend it in Roma rather than Milano.

Foro Romano

Fortunately, you can still walk around the Forum. Berck had already spent untold hours there and not by choice. While I could have spent hours staring at foundations of ancient buildings imagining them fully built, there’s plenty in Rome to see otherwise.

Piazza Campidoglio

On top of Capitoline Hill we admired Michaelangelo’s trapezoidal piazza that he creates an optical illusion within using different colored paving stones to make it appear perfectly square. In the center was a bronze sculpture of Marcus Aurelius that survived being melted down because Christian Rome thought it was Constantine. It was a marvel until the Renaissance because the horse is standing on only three legs. The original is now in a museum and a copy stands outside in the pollution.


Next we went BACK to the Pantheon. On the third try, I finally got to go in it. It’s a remarkable building. The Romans weren’t really sure how to make a complete dome, so they left a hole in the middle of the ceiling. It was turned into a church soon after Christianity was legalized, so it escaped destruction by quarrying. It was a marvel to all of Europe until the Renaissance when mankind figured out how to make domes again. Pantheon

Piazza Navona

We also walked back through the Piazza Navona and then to Berck’s favorite pizza place. It was still closed, and the hours sign on the door still said that it didn’t open until 18:30.

Berck wanted to visit the contemporary art museums, but of course, it was Monday. We figured out which bus to take to one of them anyhow, but it was indeed closed. We got wireless outside it, though, so Berck checked his e-mail to see if he was supposed to show up for work anytime soon.

Crypt of bones

We were about out of ideas, with all the museums closed, so we went to see the crypt of bones in the basement of a church. It was weird.


There was still time in the day, but our legs were still aching from the strenuous hike the day before. We were bushed. So we headed back to the hostel. We found out where the nearest grocery store was and walked over and bought three bottles of wine (a Chianti, a 3.50 Euro Malbec, and a bottle of sweet bottle of Est! Est!! Est!!!), a corkscrew, some cheese, and a fresh loaf of bread. Then we borrowed a couple of cups from the kitchen, sat in our little hostel room and watched Top Gear on the laptop while enjoying our bounty. The hostel had free pasta at 7:30, so we got some, but all the seats in the common area were full, so we just went back to the room and drank our second bottle of wine.

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