If any city is built for strolling, it’s Rome! Rome has a vibe all its own… it’s ancient, historically fascinating, overflowing with art, bathed in amazing colors, full of delicious food and wine—and ridiculously stylish!
I started one morning past the back of the Colosseum, to Palatine Hill, then onto the monstrosity they call, Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, or mockingly, “The Wedding Cake.”
From there, I strolled toward the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basillica. Along the way, I found a delightful little boutique, staffed by two sweet ladies who could tell my size on sight! It was late in the season, so things were pretty picked over, but I managed to score a dress and a skirt at 30% off :)
Walking through the Vatican soon becomes tiring because of the aggressive gauntlet of people trying to sell “jump the line” tours, cheap scarves, and other touristy crap. At first, I’d politely say “no, thank you,” but it was obvious they weren’t listening, so I decided to have some fun, and all of a sudden, “no, thank you” became “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…”
I was having so much fun that responded to all inquiries with either a line from a nursery rhyme, or with some other random statement, like, “oh, I don’t smoke” or “I’d rather watch paint dry, thank you.” Not a single one of the hawkers even blinked, and I had a lot of good laughs ;-)
I’d considered going to the Vatican Museums, but the line was 2 km long, and I weren’t sure they’d let me in due to the length of my skirt, so I decided not to risk offending God with the sight of my knees in black tights.
I did however run into a priest on my way out of the Vatican who seemed to appreciate my fashion sense. I hope he went to confession ;-)
I crossed back over the Tiber via Ponte St. Angelo, a pedestrian bridge from 134 AD that’s lined with ten angel statues. The statues are beautiful, and a bit haunting against the stormy sky.