27 January 2010

Arrivederci Roma; happy Australia Day

Tonight is our last night in Rome, tomorrow we say goodbye to the Eternal City, to Italy and to Europe.

While here, I have bee struck by a few things.

First, everything is big. Oversized. Like the bills for morning coffee at Babbington's Tea Rooms and like the giant pine cone they have sitting in one of the courtyards of the Vatican Museums. (The pine cone is ancient, from an Imperial Roman racecourse or something of the sort and very imposing - it's at least three people high.)

Second, and a limitation of the above, one thing is very small. The Pope. We went along for a blessing on Sunday from His Holiness and I was struck by how tiny he looked in comparison to the oversized windows of the Apostolic Palace and the oversized LED screens that helpfully showed the words for the crowd to chant like a Sabbath sing-along.

Third, I've been struck by a case of Appian Bum. You won't find Appian Bum mentioned in the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Medicine, but it is real. It's an ailment that one suffers after going for a three-hour bicycle ride along the Via Appia (the ancient Roman road, Queen of the Roads in its time, along which such illustrious personages as Augustus and St Paul travelled), which still features some of its original state-of-the-first-century-BC-art paving. As you can see, the Romans went in for the large, bumpy boulder style of road paver; either time has worn them down or the Romans had rock-hard rears. Here's hoping the 24 hour flight tomorrow doesn't require much sitting!

So, all in all, Rome's been fun, if a little disorganised. Will be glad to wash again in a shower that is larger than five cubic feet of water and will be excited about having a lock that works on the front door. But I guess feeling a little dirty and running the gauntlet of having your flat broken into is what a stay in Rome is all about, isn't it. That and seeing churches everywhere. And domes, lots of domes.

1 comment:

Jacob said...

Sounds like you had a good trip, Appian Bum not withstanding. Your blog caught my eye because I do a lot of biking on the Appian way. In ancient times the roadbed was smoother. Good luck in your travels. I've enjoyed reading about them.