A Travellerspoint blog

Vatican City

Rome, Italy

Went to Vatican City today. Started with the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. I don't have any photos since I put the camera in my bag before going through security and didn't take it out again when I dropped the bag off at the cloakroom.

On the way we were touted a couple of times about buying tickets from tour guides. One claiming that the ticket was half the price of their total cost, so the rest was for the guided tour. Also that we could skip the lines since the tickets are pre-purchased.

The price was a lie. The claim to skip the lines probably wasn't a lie, but was misleading since they didn't mention that the line was about five minutes long. So instead we got through quick and used a simple audio guide.

The museum was really good, and I'd gotten tired of them by now but the collection was really good. The Vatican Museums were bigger than we thought though, taking up a surprising amount of the day.

The Sistine Chapel was amazing. We spent a while there. Listening to the guide, which spends a lot of time on it, but also just looking at the frescos. There was a constant stream of "no photos!" from the guards. And there was quite a few people we spotted sneaking photos.

Afterwards we walked around the wall to the front to see Saint Peter's Basilica.

VaticanBasilica.jpg

It was pretty amazing, though probably would have been much better before seeing such buildings as the Florence Cathedral. The outside of the basilica was pretty impressive too.

Posted by cannon_fodder 10:44 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Transit

Florence to Rome, Italy

Spent the early part of the day travelling to Rome.

The room wasn't ready for a couple of hours due to me not thinking "estimated time of arrival" seriously. So we walked up to Monte Mario, which I thought ws just a park since it was a green area on the map but was a reasonable hill. We got a good view though.

RomaView.jpg

When the room was ready I had a bit of a nap. Then we went for dinner at a place that served a good three course meal. The first course was pasta that tasted good but was a little under cooked (def not just proper al dente but undercooked). The others were really good, especially the last chocolate dish.

Posted by cannon_fodder 12:23 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

History of Science

Florence, Italy

Today we went to the Institute and Museum of the History of Science, which showcased old scientific instruments, displaying them in chronological order so you can see the path of the development of the instruments.

It also had three of Galileo's digits displayed in cases (and a tooth), which didn't protect them from decomposition. That was a bit gross.

A lot of the instruments were interesting since they we made for nobles who were interested in the sciences. So there was a lot of decoration on the instruments and a lot of spectacle mixed with the experiments.

It seemed like a small museum, but a lot of time had passed when we exited. We went on a round about walk through the city, having a couple of coffees and stopping at a couple of shops.

One of the shops recommended a place for dinner to us, which we tried and it was a pretty good restaurant. They served a meal of three different pastas and I had a standard cheesecake for dessert.

Posted by cannon_fodder 12:47 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Southern Florence

Florence, Italy

Today we decided to checkout the section of Florence below the Arno river. We crossed three bridges across the Arno as we moved eastward, crossing the Ponte Vecchio bridge again.

We visited the Palazzo Pitti palace and took a walk through the various gardens around it, which was very picturesque.

Then we visited the Palazzo Vecchio Palace on the way back, which is a castle with a tower from the outside, and is a set of private apartments for the Medici on the inside. The Medici were the rulers of Florence and Tuscany for a time so calling them apartments doesn't convey the extravagance and beauty of the rooms.

Had an average meal for dinner. Even though I'd had a bolognese yesterday, I saw a spaghetti bolognese in particular on the menu so ordered that. It was nice but roughly the same I would have in Melbourne. But I had a very nice cheesecake.

Posted by cannon_fodder 11:59 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Churches

Florence, Italy

Finally climbed to the top of the dome of the Duomo this morning.

FirenzeDuomoTop.jpg

Then went to the Saint Croce church.

FirenzeCroce.jpg

The church was pretty big and had a good audio tour. You can see a bunch of markers for burial spots on the ground of the church. They are all over the place, mostly in a haphazard pattern.

It is also the final resting place for Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Niccol├▓ Machiavelli. There is also a funerary monument to Dante Alighieri, whose book/poem I read as part of research for a work project, but his body wasn't buried there. And the monument wasn't as touching as the others anyway. Michelangelo had a statue of himself with the goddesses of Sculpture, Painting and Architecture weeping. Galileo the same with the goddesses of Astronomy and Geometry.

We then had a cow tripe burger from an outdoor stand since it was recommended by yesterdays guide and a local delicacy for Florence. Wasn't bad but probably won't have it again. The taste was good, but the texture wasn't.

Then, to finish off the day, we went to the third church that was also recommended by yesterday's guide. It was good but wasn't as big and didn't allow photos.

For dinner I had a good Gnocchi Bolognese since it was recommended to have a Bolognese in Florence. Then a good Tiramisu.

Posted by cannon_fodder 11:53 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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