Rome is, well, Rome. Even with jet lag, I know that I'm in a place like no other. Rome is beautiful and ancient, new and graffiti-covered, rude and welcoming--all sorts of paradox material. I love it. I have never been here before, and there is much to learn.
Romans are welcoming and rude---they give you a great deal on dinner, and overcharge you for cappucino. They will speak English if you try to speak Italian, or if you ask first, instead of just walking up to people and starting to babble at them in English and expect them to understand. I have found people to be very kind, helpful, and loud. In that order.
I'm in "pinch me" mode. Ohh, we are driving by the Colosseo---pinch me. We are driving by the Forum. Pinch me. The first glimpse of Michelangelo's dome over St Peter's Basilica. Pinch me. Walking into St Peter's for the first time and feeling very, very small. Pinch me. I can't believe I am here. Pinch me.
And so on. I am bruised from all the pinching.
It will get worse from here.
1. Lateran Basilica---the offical cathedral for the Rome diocese. And this is the 'seat'--the pope's cathedra when he is there.
2. Lateran Basilica--way up at the top are statues that are said to hold the relics of the heads of St Peter and Paul. Cant't verify...
3. Swiss Guard at the Bronze doors
4. Statue of St. Peter in the Basilica---everyone rubs his feet, whch are nearly worn down completely.
5. Holy Spirit window--St Peter's
6. Looking up into the dome...
7. Tickets for the papal audience!
Please note--I didn't have my real camera with me--these were all taken with my phone...