No offence to Greece, but we don't miss it at all.
Many things happened in the last couple of weeks. Meant to write about them but couldn't quite be bothered thanks to a Greece induced funk. But we're in Italy now and everything's wonderful. People are friendly and helpful. Kind of forgot what that was like. Businesses and museums are open longer than banking hours. The food is yummy. And it's so beautiful here. Better than I could have hoped. So beautiful that my eyeballs ache from all the amazing visual stimulation they tried to take in today.
Yesterday we arrived in southern Italy after taking an overnight ferry from Greece. For several hours there were no trains from Bari to Rome so we ditched the backpacks at the train station and went looking for the bones of Santa Claus. St. Nicolas's remains, stolen from Turkey, are entombed in the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari's old quarter. The bone thieves were sailors from Bari. Not surprised to learn this considering the wanna-be thief who was intently checking out my belongings at the train station. Bari may possibly be a den of thieves, but it's also a beautiful port town to visit while waiting for a train.
We took a train into Rome and checked in to the first of three hostels for the four nights we'll be here. Rome is booked out. We had to do a patchwork of reservations to have places to sleep. Perhaps it's people coming to see the new Pope. Perhaps it's people here during Mayday's long weekend. There are people everywhere and all of the decent places are full. We're staying in the dirty, broken window, broken toilet seat kind of place. Sometimes you take what you can get.
We walked something between 15-20 kilometers today. At least that's what it feels like. Everything aches. We started off wandering and ended up visiting the following list of places:
Piazza de la Republica
Piazza San Bernardo
Piazza del Quirinele
Piazza Colonna (Column of Marcus Aurelius)
Chiesa di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Lago di Torre Argentina
Ruins of the Portico d'Ottavia
Column of Trajan
Chiesa di Ignazio di Loyola
Chiesa del Gesu
Thanks to Chris there is a list. I would just remember everything as a blur of churches and classical architecture if it weren't for him.
Tomorrow we're off to see the Vatican - on a Pope hunt. And I'm supposed to finish at least one of the four books I'm currently in the middle of. Tonight I'm reading the one that is set partly in the Vatican. Maybe tomorrow I'll go back to the one that takes place in Switzerland. And Herodotus is still waiting with his scandalous stories of what used to happen to unattractive females in the Hellenic realm. Classical Greeks could be mean.