Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Rome the fifth

My last couple of days in Florence I dug out my Rome guidebook and started to freak out a little because it was thicker than the one that covered the whole of Florence and Tuscany. Behold my efficiency though, as I knocked off the whole south side of the city today. Er, that is, I mean to say, thoughtfully and introspectively explored it.

Although to be honest, in terms of attractions it's really the quieter side of the city. The northern part, by the station, is what could politely be referred to as the Emporia of Crap quarter, and the southern part was quite studenty.

Porta Maggiore. I was actually expecting something a bit more major. On reflection, the grandiosity of Rome is clearly having an effect on my sense of perspective.

San Giovanni in Laterano. I can't quite follow all the guff about its significance, but suffice it to say its kind of a big deal, the pope's home away from home or something. 

This is the front porch. If you look carefully you can see the pope's gumboots.

Only the pope is allowed to conduct mass from this altar. Because nobody wants pope cooties.

St Peter's all "Beep beep, I've got the keys to the jeep!" The photo makes it look small - it's probably twice life-size, and there are 11 of his mates lining the nave.

If for any reason the winner is unable to perform her duties she will be assumed into heaven.

I saw a reference to this, maybe in my guidebook, that said "Rome's only pyramid", as if to say "Rome only has one pyramid. That's weak. I eat more pyramids than that for breakfast." I say, anywhere that's not Egypt that has a pyramid not on a miniature golf course is doing pretty well.

The other thing Rome only has one of is islands. I was expecting it to be the home of the wealthy and fabulous, but really the main thing on it is a hospital. I guess back in the day islands were just a convenient place to shove the contagious.

I didn't find anything too exciting in my circumnavigation of the island, although parts of it were pretty nice. I did see what looked like a rolled up rug floating in the river, the work of Mafia hit men or lazy carpet layers.

Porticus Octaviae, built in honor of Octavia Minor. Her husband left her for Cleopatra, but I'm sure she was consoled by this gate. This is in the Ghetto, which is just like the everywhere else except the restaurants are kosher, the church is a synagogue, and I saw a yarmulke.

And some old-school Kodak signage for Bee.


  1. I bemused myself by misreading the map as having "Chinese San Clemente" on it.

    You go, Kodak sign!

  2. I have this theory that time in Europe runs 3 times as fast as here. I'm positive I read this daily then for some reason there are always 3 days worth of blog to catch up on.

  3. It's true! I check the NZ Herald site in the morning and then again in evening, and it hasn't been updated at all, like, doesn't time move at all in New Zealand?