Stop – Look – Listen. There is even a tune to go along with the phrase. Armed with such knowledge I have been confidently crossed streets for decades – until Rome. Are we walking on a road? a pedestrian alley? We never know. Instead of Stop Look Listen, we stand on a corner or where ever we want to cross and wait until someone else, who knows what they are doing, crosses. It shouldn’t be that hard but it is. In Rome they have some sort of driving rules that appear to mimic those in the US BUT they have a caveat called “Logical Option” which must mean if you want your car in a certain place, getting there anyway you want is a logical option. Red light or green light – it doesn’t matter. You want to park by the side of the road but all the spaces are taken up? Double parking is fine – as long as at least a moped or clown car can get through. And scooters and mopeds are rampant here – they must have there own set of driving rules.
The rain was much lighter today and we braved the soggy streets to check out the Spanish Steps. We took pictures, climbed and counted. This were many vendors and touris
“Baby, you have big muscles!”
Brent was marked! Brenna and Brody witnessed the pawing of their father’s arms by a Roman Siren and her friend. Brent knew his puffy jacket was covering the guns so these women could not be for real. Brent shoved his hands in his pocks and jerked away from them. Then mom snapped the picture above. The rest of the day we commiserated with Brent on his victim-hood. Brody most of all strove to desensitize Brent to the statement “Baby, you have big muscles” by repeating it to him all afternoon. Brent, he is a survivor.
We revisited Trevi fountain and were rewarded with some sunlight. The girls found their smallest coin denomination and tossed it over their shoulders. Now they are destined to return – Scarlet and Brenna already have their tickets! Sun meant Gelato where the new favorite Nutella flavor was discovered.
Even though we did about 50 churches in Venice we HAD to go check out the one in Rome that claims to house the chains which held the Apostle Peter. You can see them above -all aglow. We don’t know exactly how they have them traced back to Peter – there was not any information in English. To the side of the chains was a huge marble carving which included a depiction of Moses by Michelangelo. Moses has horns, there was a slight mistranslation between a word that meant “ray” not “horns”. We visited a second church which also had a Michelangelo carving of Christ and the Cross. You will have to check out Brenna’s blog or Brent’s Flikr stream for photos. It is interesting how some churches are extremely non-descript on the outside – see picture below:
Is this a circus church? They have an elephant out front and an Egyptian Obelisk. It’s so hard to tell what is inside:
And this is what we often find inside. They are beautiful. You would NEVER know just looking at the front. It is always fun to check no matter what. How often have we heard “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
During our street meanderings we came upon a carnival like atmosphere where the roads were closed to traffic and a bunch of mimes were dancing. It was some kind of Chicago mob story but we couldn’t understand the words. When they finished a lady mime in red riding a giant tricycle came by and laughed at them. It must be some sort of performance art that I don’t understand.
The act farther up the street was even stranger. There were some sort of creatures dancing on stilts. “Like a Virgin” was the exact title of the song. I wish it hadn’t been so late in the day so the picture came out better. Brenna calls these things Alien Hookers. I think the word Witch needs to be added in there somewhere. How about Prostitute Witches from Outer Space.
For dinner we hiked over Tiber to Trastevere for dinner. Trastevere has so much graffiti, not sure if it is gang related or art. It is so difficult to tell sometimes. We had a Rome meal and everyone was once again beyond pleased with their choices. It is very good but the bill was quite high – I don’t know how regular folks could ever thing to eat out – we didn’t even have the heavy entrees. We had pasta and water and it was more than all the money we spent on food during our time in Budapest! Glad we have a flexible budget.