I moved to my new accommodations today. This was a bit interesting since the lady who had the room didn't speak that much English. The room was in a large apartment. There are several rooms in the apartment. They each have their own private bathrooms and the only common space is the hallway and a small room with a table and a TV, so it's really not much different than a hotel room. I was not too impressed with the first room the lady showed me. I guess it would have worked, but not for the price she was asking. Given my lack of Italian and her limited English it took a while to communicate that message, but it was done eventually and she showed me a much better room down the hall which I took. The room comes with a breakfast, the only catch is that I have to walk about 4 blocks to where the lady owns a restaurant for the breakfast.
Once I got settled into my new place it was time for some site seeing. The first on my list was Vatican City, mainly St. Peter's Basilica. I didn't have time for the Sistine Chapel, but I may go back for that. An older Australian couple I met two nights ago said the line up was huge, so I'll have to see if I'm up for that. On my way to Vatican City I stopped in at the Pantheon and passed through a few other sites like Piazza Navona. There is so much to see that I didn't even bother to try photograph much of it.
After my first full day in Rome I definitely agree with others who say the place is intense. The streets are narrow, packed with a ton of people, and filled with traffic. And, what makes matters worse is you often have to walk where the vehicles drive because there are many cars or scooters parked too close to the buildings. I couldn't imagine what it might be like if there wasn't the law that only allows the locals to drive their vehicles every other day. Both Paris and Arles had plenty of scooters, but they are nothing like Rome. They are buzzing all around you like bees around a bee hive! They have lines marking the center of the bigger streets. But it seems they're only a guide as cars and scooters will do everything possible to maximize the throughput of the streets, go as many lines wide as they can, often using up some of the on coming lane and sidewalk to squeeze through tighter sections of the road.
The city buses in Rome are much smaller than back home, almost half the width and a third the length. I guess that's so they can navigate the tight streets.
Here's few photos taken along the way to Vatican city.
Victor Emmanuel Monument.
Notice the big beam of light shinning in from the top.
The beam of light did a good job in lighting up one area of the inside.
It would be interesting to visit this place at different times of the day and year to see different parts of the inside lit up by the beam, like this area for instance.
St Peter's Square, the Obelisk, and St Peter's Basilica.
Inside St Peter's Basilica. This place is massive!
I did the long 500+ step climb to the top of the dome. On the way up you get to stop at the bottom of the dome on the inside, which gives you a great view of the inside of the basilica. You are however behind a screen, so it's hard to take pictures from there.
Looking from the top of the dome out over St Peter's square. If you look closely, you can see the roof of the Pantheon, the Victor Emmanuel Monument, and the Coliseum.
A close up of the Victor Emmanuel Monument and the Coliseum.
A close up of the Pantheon and the Victor Emmanuel Monument.
Part of the Vatican City grounds.
The Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel is in the bottom right of the picture.