Americans on a bus – Rome Day 5

Our last day in Rome and I’m sure it will be awesome (or not…)  We are all ready for a change of scenery.

The day started out well enough.  The plan was to visit St. John Lateran, one of the 4 major basicallas of Rome (the others being St. Peter’s, St. Mary Major (see Day 2) and St. Paul Outside the Walls (more on that later).  It was mentioned by our priest that there was a Capuchin museum near the Metro stop we were headed to and it might be worth a stop.  Who doesn’t like a side trip??  If you are not familiar the Capuchins are an order of monks.  I’m not sure how exactly to describe the museum.  The first part is regular, run of the mill museum stuff – history of the order, famous monks, etc.  And then you get to the main attraction.  Back in the day it seems that these monks were not receiving proper burials due to the land constraints in Rome so one of the monks went and collected all of the bones of the buried friars and made artwork with them.  No pictures allowed but it was unlike anything I had ever seen.  Check out the webiste

We then headed to St. John Lateran.  The popes lived at this basicalla until the 1700’s and it was quite beautiful.  They claimed to be offering tours of the papal apartments on the hour.  I decided to check it out but could never quite find the right door to enter and none of the security guards spoke English (yeah, right…)  At this point the group was splitting off into different activities for the afternoon.

One group was going to check out the catacombs and one group was going to see more churches.  I had enough underground ruins during the Scavi tour and, truth be told had seen enough churches (there are still more to come in Assisi and Lourdes).  I was tempted by the church group because they were headed to St. Paul Outside the Walls, the 4th and final major basicalla.  They were also going to a church which has Oscar Romero’s bible but decided to my own thing.

I went in search of the yarn/underwear store I had found online.  I took a bus back to our hotel area and the following transpired.  Family of Americans gets on bus, mom & dad & 2 kids who are about 12 and 14.  Dad is Joe Tourist with his bus map and explanation of the plan.  They will get off the bus two stops after the Colosseum and head to the Pantheon where Boy wants to go.  Mom pipes up that Girl wants to eat at, wait for it, McDonald’s before the Pantheon.  At this point they are sidetracked because we are driving right next to the Colosseum and Dad is desparately searching for stops on the other side of the road so they can take this bus back there later (you know, because buses only run one way in Rome and who wants to see the Colosseum?).  I am now pretending I don’t understand a lick of English because these people are right out of European Vacation!  However it did make for an entertaining bus ride!!

Back to the yarn store search.  I got off the bus and was tired, hungry, and thirsty and there in front of me was the Roman version of a mall!  Number 1 travel rule: malls are always a savior, they have whatever you are looking for – climate control, food, drink, bathrooms, somewhere to sit.  So I sat, had some lunch and studied my map.  If you can track down a Rome bus map they actually have a very reliable bus system but it is tricky getting that elusive map…

I took a bus and found the street but never found the store.  It was kind of sad but was okay because I found an amazing market that had everything you could want (I figured out later it was the Campo D’Fiore market which was on Amanda’s list).  I near Piazza Navonna and had missed it one night so I headed that way.  Also, a woman I knit with had highly recommended the gelato bomb at a cafe in this piazza and it was definitely time for a gelato break!  The piazza was beautiful and the gelato bomb delicious! (Unfortunately the picture is on my camera so I can’t post 😦 )  With all that done it was time for a siesta!

We headed out for our last dinner in Rome and it was very nice, and close to the hotel!  After dinner the “kids” wanted a last night at the Trevi Fountain and we adults wanted gelato and bed because the train is leaving at 7:58 in the morning for Assisi.

Rome was great but I am ready to move on.  It is very busy and very crowded and very exhausting.  I feel that I saw everything I came to see and do not feel any great need to go back.  I am happy I came and am happy to be going!

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