Italian Espresso: Day 3 on to Florence

I actually managed to have breakfast that morning–which for me is an accomplishment–and then it was bags to the coach and off to the Vatican. The same guide as we had had in the Forum the day before took us through the Vatican Museum. You could spend days just walking through all the galleries trying to take in all the details of the ceilings alone. Peter, one of our crazy Australians, and I discussed plans to steal tapestries to extract the gold and silver threads–our get rich quick scheme, art and history be damned.

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Ceiling in the Vatican Museum. Most of the pictures I took there ended up being of ceilings.

I have a problem with the Sistine Chapel,  they wont let you take pictures in it. Now I understand a no flash rule, so as to not damage the ceiling with the light. However, to say no pictures in the age of digital photography is ridiculous. It does not preserve an sense of quiet contemplation in that room, not when there are already about a hundred people talking to each other constantly.  We were warned that if we were caught taking pictures we could be thrown out, but I decided that because their rules were pointless I would take the risk and get my picture just because they told me not to. I got my picture, got caught doing it, didn’t get thrown out only told to put my phone away. Take that Vatican City!

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My blurry and illicit picture of the Sistine Chapel

 

Leaving the stringent photography rules behind we went into St. Peter’s Basilica, a place I could have spent hours trying to capture all the details on film. It is impossible to convey both the grand majesty of it as well as the beautiful details that make up every inch of the Basilica. I am not religious, but it is impossible to not be awed in that space.

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St. Peter’s Basilica

Lunch was a quick affair (more pizza!) and then we all settled in for the drive to Florence. I put my headphones in and watch the scenery fly past. A bit of quite before heading out for the night.

Dinner was pasta and limoncello–done as a shot though I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be sipped. From there we migrated to a karaoke bar. We all got up and sang. Our trip manager Jimmy proved he is in fact the king of karaoke. Four of the guys had been planning for days to sing a Backstreet Boys song, and did so to much acclaim. A reunion tour already in the works!

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The Backstreet Boys (photo courtesy of Tiffany)

I got lost in the streets of Florence, and eventually found my way back to the hotel by sheer luck. Maybe I should have paid more attention on the way to the restaurant.

More Florence in the morning!

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