Italy Day 4: Back to Rome

January 24, 2012

Be warned, this is a long post, but we are kicking out day 4 at one time. Shocker-especially since it took 4 posts to get through the pictures of Pompeii. 

Friday morning we woke up bright and early-like before daylight bright-in hopes of catching our train back to Rome. Like we predicted, Pompeii was a bust. We had two trains we could be on-one there, and one back. It was just too risky. So we left the hotel before getting breakfast and headed to the train station in hopes of exiting this horrid city. 

At this point it was 7:30 am, and our train had been cancelled. The next train didn't leave until 12:45. Out of the 11 people only 4 were willing to wander around Napoli while waiting on the train. I say 4 because I was happy as a lark just sitting on my luggage in a train station, when I say I was in pain people I mean PAIN. So was the whole group, which is why so many people opted to babysit the luggage. 

So off we went into the ghetto abyss that is Napoli in search of the Roman Market, which supposedly has been an operating market since ancient Roman time. Once we found the market we realized it was far to early for Italians, it was only 8am and hardly anyone was out. Well, except the school children waiting on their tiny buses. 

However, to the left was an old Catholic church, and considering how many of those we had ventured though it wasn't going to hurt to tour another one. As soon as we walked in we sat our exhausted butts down on the nearest pew and just looked around. (Normally we wandered around when we walked into churches) Not two minutes later mass started. One of the guys wanted to leave, but it was just too much of a chance happening to be in a church service in Italy, in Italian. Plus the other girl in our group was Catholic and she wanted to take communion so I really pushed for us to stay. It was just too cool. Italian Catholic services are very different from American Catholic services. This was the first mass I have been to that didn't play music. An older woman got up and read scripture and then passed around the offering plate before the priest got up, read scripture and then preformed communion. 
 This is the only picture from Napoli that day-it is of the church we went to-I was afraid to go around flaunting my camera after the events of the night before. 

After Katie had taken communion we walked out of the church-which might I add had the creepiest crucifix of all the churches we went into this trip-and onto the coast in hopes of finding the "nice" neighborhood. I use the term "nice" loosely. 

On our mission to waste time we came upon a Rembrandt exhibition, I think I still owe Daniel 3 euros for that one. We all walked into this one dark room with the solitary "Painting of a Seated Old Woman", noticed her eyes looked funny, leaned forward...and set off the security alarms. 

On our way back to the train station we hit up several street markets and bought several things very cheaply. But I will get into where to shop in my last post. The glorious McDonald's that would accept my buy one get one Big Mac coupon was right inside the train station so as we headed back towards the group I had a little stop off at the best McDonald's I have ever consumed. After that we got on our train (not really ours, but they let us on) and proceeded to be pushed to other seats by people who didn't seem to understand that due to the strike there were a lot of people sitting in seats they weren't actually supposed to sit in. Yay. 

Once back in Rome we checked into our hotel and chilled out before heading back to Barberini to for attempt #2 at seeing the bone church. 
We made it to the Crypt of the Capuchins, but weren't allowed to take pictures.  You can click on the link to see pictures of the bone church and a description of it. In short, it contains the bones of 4000 monks which also includes a few poor men, 2 nephews of a pope, and a pope's niece. But only the niece's heart because women weren't allowed to be buried displayed here. It was a whole new level of creepy. Standing in a room surrounded by hundreds of skulls and other body parts 
 On the way to the Pantheon . 

  Hadrian's Temple

The Pantheon 

Inside the dome

 Vittorio Emanuel's tomb inside the Pantheon. The Pantheon contains severals kings and the painter Raphael. 

 At this point I noticed a guy with a very professional looking camera so I stalked him and took the pictures he was taking:)
 This picture is one of the copy cat stalker photos I took. 

 Below is the tomb of Raphael. Above is the information alongside the tomb. 

 After leaving the Pantheon we headed out to find dinner somewhere near Piazza Navono. 

 There were several little characters in picture frames that depicted different scenes. It was very interesting in person. 
 Piazza Navona

 Sandwich shop in Piazza Navona. 
 One of many chocolate makers. 
 In person these horse shoes and wrenches looked very realistic. 
 The restaurant we decided to eat was very expensive. I didn't want to order, but I was starving. 
 Food Network is against powdered Kraft Parmesan cheese...but this restaurant was all for the powdered cheese lol!
 The smallest 14 euro lasagna ever. I could have eaten two of them. And this was all I got people. No salad, and bread cost money. 
 Jeremy got Osso Bucco. He was much less in shock over the prices apparently. It was so good though, best peas ever. 
 Ferris Wheel in Piazza Navona. 
 If you bought a donut they put Nutella on it. The small one is the average size Nutella we buy at the store...and the big ones really contained Nutella. I could have died. 
 Donut as big as my head. Literally. That Nutella in the background is not the regular size, it is the jumbo size. 
 I am not sure what it is, but I want it. 
 Neptune's Fountain in Piazza Navona. 

 I just loved this woman. There were many street performers, but she took the cake. If a man gave her money she insisted they kiss her hand and she acted very bashful. So cute!
 More of Neptune's Fountain.
Wandering the streets. 
 Fish market along the way. 
More street performers. Loved these guys too. They were very cute and reminded me of Snow White's Dwarfs for some reason lol. 
 I quit taking pictures at this point, but we stopped at a few liquor shops so people could buy lemoncello. We tried several versions of "lemoncello" done in other flavors like white chocolate and melon. I could have covered ice cream in the white chocolate and the melon tasted like fresh cantaloupe but with alcohol in it. We then met up with the group again at the over priced restaurant and had gelato. Perfect reason to ask price before ordering. 3 small scoops per cup was 9 euros. We got it for 1.50 at a place by our hotel. Avoid the tourist trap people!

After dessert the group split up so everyone could go on a haunted tour of Rome, but we were in way to much pain and just exhausted so we opted out. Other than the group leader we were the only ones to ditch on it. I am glad we did though because we didn't bring an umbrella and it poured down our them, then they missed the last bus (I think), and ended up taking a cab back to the hotel. They had fun, but I was glad to be in my warm bed.

On our way home we passed every major landmark in Rome. Most we had seen, but I was very happy to see the place where Caesar was murdered and the Roman Senate. But more on that in the post where we saw it during the day. 

For the two of you who might still be reading at this point I hope you enjoyed it. The next post will cover our adventures in seeing landmarks not on our list of things to see as a the rain.