Mel is relaxing now after the Burnetts journeyed into Rome three more times this last week. At least she is now used to walking in the heat, so her legs no longer look and feel like two large, swollen hot dogs (“American style”) at the end of the day.
The Clampetts (because that how the last post reads – “The Clampetts Go Into the Big City”) now have getting into Rome all figured out. See below for details, future Rome travelers.
Rome was amazing but overwhelming. The Burnetts absorbed antiquity like a good shammie, leaving very impressed with the architecture of ancient Rome, the sculpture of the Renaissance, and the stained glass of Art Nouveau. Of course, even a good shammie has a limit before it starts leaking. We had to stop touring before Mel got inspired to paint naked white people and muscular babies on the bottom of the bridgedeck.
The Burnetts did have one close call. Announcements in the Metro station are translated into English. The other day they overheard: “Passengers must please wait their turn before proceeding to the obliteration machines.” We were startled, but the Italians weren’t. So we went back to our travel books and lived another day.
Travel stuff: Mel will put the details here. This kind of stuff is boring to read if you are not trip planning. Okay, here is how you get into Rome from the port in Fiumicino/Ostia/Lido. 1. Rent a car. Cheaper than taxis. 2. Drive either to the Ostia Antica metro stop or the one we used, the EUR Magliana stop. At EUR Magliana you can park in a pay lot for 2.50 Euros a day or fight for a spot on the street for free. Google maps works. 3. Buy your train tickets from the person at the newsstand. Don’t bother with the machines or the “ticket office.” This is weird, I know. Just do it. Get two one-ways (for there and back) for each person if you are a walker, not the day pass. Cheaper. 4. Once through the stalls, go up the stairs. The train to Rome is on your left. If you have a good Metro map, you can figure it out from there. 5. The Roma Pass put too much pressure for us to see things in three days, so we didn’t get it. We did buy passes/combo tickets online ahead of time for the Borghese Gallery, Colosseum/Forum, Domus Aurea, Vatican Museums – you can skip lines. You have to book a specific time for all but the Colosseum/Forum. Note they only let you see Mussolini’s underground bunker twice a month; bookings essential. 6. The dress code at the Vatican museum is more lax than they say these days, probably because they are more worried about terrorism than shoulders and knees. Saw plenty of tank tops, shorts above the knees, and short skirts. Might be stricter in St. Peter’s itself – we skipped it this time. 7. Download Rick Steve’s Audio Europe App, and get the walking tours of the Pantheon, Colosseum, and Roman Forum. They are awesome. We were able to stick Mel’s phone in a Solo cup and broadcast it to just the four of us that way. This method doesn’t work in the Sistine Chapel, though. You are not allowed to talk, so it’s too loud in there to use it. Go and you will understand.