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You Could Say I ROME'D Around!! (But you probably shouldn't)

Took the train into Rome from Florence this morning.  No issues with the high speed train.  Took a quick cab (less than 10 Euros) to my hotel hidden in the back streets of Rome's central area.  I mean it's basically right in the middle of the city centre.  Only problem is that the 'single' bed, which in Florence was slightly smaller than a double, is real small, like dorm room small.  Four nights.  Hopefully I don't roll onto the floor.

Since I had the afternoon I took to seeing the outdoor sights nearby.  The first was Piazza Navona, a big plaza with three fountains and an assload of tourists (including me).  Then a two millennia-old temple to the ancient gods called the Pantheon -- it's technically a church now -- but it's still in the Roman style.  Took a ten euro quick tour with a guy they said was an 'archaeologist'.  I have no idea whether or not that's true but the tour was entertaining and worth the ten euro.  Plus I learned that Raphael (who's buried there) died of syphilis, so you know, that's something new.

Then it was on to the Trevi Fountain, which was mindblowingly cool (see picture).  Just an enormous fountain from the 18th century coming out of a building.  Truly impressive.  Then on to a couple more Piazzas, including the Piazza di Spagna, where I went up the Spanish Steps and took some elevated photos of the city. 

BTW in a lot of the main attractions and piazzas you see these obelisks covered in Egyptian hieryoglyphics.  According to my Pantheon guide all of them were gifts from Cleopatra to her lovers, either Julius Caesar or Mark Antony.  All of the obelisks have a bronze topper with a cross on it.  That's how the Romans did it -- if it wasn't Christian they didn't destroy it -- they just added a cross and made it Christian.

I'm hoping to knock out the Vatican tomorrow.  The line for the Sistine Chapel (and the other museums) is supposedly absurdly long if you don't have reservations (which I don't).  I'm sure I'll get in.  Just a matter of whether I'll have heat stroke or not.


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