Hiding behind the ancient dirty exteriors of the buildings of the old
city of Rome are beautiful palaces, with works of art as beautiful as
those in the Vatican Museum. We Romans know how to live! So says Nino,
our guide for our day at the Vatican. He is right too, when you walk
around at night, and look into the windows of some of the places you
see, you will notice that although the exteriors look pretty shabby, the
interiors are very beautiful.
Having a guide is really the only way to go when visiting the vatican,
otherwise you just wander around aimlessly looking at stuff without
knowing the story behind all of the amazing things you see.
I’ve always been drawn to this photo on the ceiling of the first of the
Raphael rooms, wondering what it was all about. The title really tells
you all you need to know. The Triumph of Christianity. The fresco was
commissioned by Pope Gregory XII in 1582.
Although it was a bit cloudy it was a nice and the clouds made an
excellent backdrop to the statues in St. Peter’s Square.
After the Vatican we turned the students loose for some time on their
own. Jane and I went out in search of a restaurant. We, of course, had a
couple in mind that Jane had researched prior to the trip. However that
all went out the window when we were standing outside a pub only to see
Ãzil score a goal for Arsenal against Tottenham. Now we were sucked in.
Reviews aside, we were right across from the Vatican at what would
surely be expensive, but there was football to watch. So into the Ris
Cafe we went. Since many patrons were there getting lunch before the
Italy Ireland Rugby match there were no tables available, so we agreed
that as long as we could see the game sitting at the bar was fine. Soon
a table opened up. But it had a horrible view of the game. So the
manager asked the couple sitting at a different table to move to our
table so we could have a better view. It was, but only marginally. We
had just sat down and started to look at the menus when he came back and
announced he had a better table for us in the other room. So we moved
again. This time we had a great view of the game at a really nice table.
Perfect. We were settled in and enjoying a pint of beer and the game.
Ten minutes later the manager appeared again with a grin, and said “now
you have to go back to the bar!” He started laughing, and we knew he
was just having some fun with us. Sadly, the evil Tottenham Hotspurs
outscored the Arsenal in the second half. Even more sadly, was that with
four minutes left in the game, they changed the channel! The Ireland
versus Italy rugby match was starting, and I believe we were the only
people in the bar who cared one bit about Arsenal at that point!