Italy: Day Three

There was NO chocolate cake at breakfast today. Bullshit.
The Rome Marathon was today, so there was very little chance of getting many places, as the marathon route pretty much looped the entire city - going past all the big interesting spots. Because I am terrible at deciding what to do, and she is awesome at it, I handed the morning reins to my mum. She decided to lead us to a couple of churches.
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is the largest Roman Catholic church in Rome dedicated to the holy mother. And it is gorgeous. We trekked the few blocks across town to check this place out, and it was well worth it. Completely beautiful. Gold and marble and frescos and statues and mosaics and room after room of just WOW! We even managed to be there as a Sunday mass was starting, so we got to see some of that, which is pretty damn impressive. Singing and pipe organ and a lot of Italian yammering about "o padre" and somebody named "Christie"? Anyhow, I was psyched that we got to see part of that. It was truly awesome. In the gift shop, I could not be stopped from adding more religious doodads to my collection. Raised without a lick of religion, I am not necessarily a believer, but am DEFINITELY an appreciator. I love all of the ritual, the idolatry, and the STUFF! I added a silver rosary to my collection, as well as a set sacred mother keychain and medal, and some tiny thingie that hangs on the wall and has a picture of Mary and Jesus on it. Maybe it's for holy water? Dunno, but I like it. Mum says I'm going to burn in hell.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. Another Roman Catholic church, this one is one of the SMALLEST in Rome, I believe my mum said. The dome is oval shaped, which is unique. It was very pretty, very musty smelling, and was noticeably lacking in gift shop. Humph.
After that, we went back to the hotel to wait for my sister, Wendy, to arrive. I have not seen my beautiful seeeester since knitting dad's birthday, just over 3 years ago. So I was very excited when she decided to come join us on this trip. When she arrived, after a quick clean up, we went back to our hotel's restaurant, where mum and I have had two meals now, and got a late lunch. I had spaghetti with egg and bacon. Um. Awesome! I'm SO doing this at home! Wow. Then Wendy wanted to see the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, so we went back to the steps. She bought the same fake Prada bag I bought, only in black, and managed to talk her guy down from €35 to €15. She musta looked like she had more money than me. The steps were even more packed with people than they had been on the other trips up and down them mum and I had already taken - we assume from the marathon since the route went right past the bottom of the steps. We then walked over to Trevi Fountain again. I went into about the 400th tie shop, looking for paisley or bow ties for Steve, and again, found none. I decided to buy him a tie that looks like the same one I have seen two very snazzily dressed older Italian gentlemen with suits and pocket squares rocking the past couple days, as it is clearly what is hip here... Not paisley. Or bow ties.
After the fountain we decided to go check out the palace that the Italian president lives in. And we just happened upon a marching band rocking out in front of it. Pretty cool. On the way back toward the hotel from there, we stopped into another church... Sant'Andrea al Quirinale. I was trying to enjoy its beauty, but what I was really doing was trying not to shit my pants. Because out of nowhere, while we were there, I felt sick as hell! We were not too far from the hotel, though, so I tried to hold it together. But when we stopped back in so Wendy could see San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, I was about to lose it. I hustled the next few blocks back to the hotel while they went back to the creepy Capuchin Crypts, and I exploded.
Feeling much better at that point, we went BACK out to get a gelato. Again. And it was ridiculously rich and delicious. Again. Then Wendy and I went out for a what mum called "young" time, but, as we both feel OLD, we just called sister time. We grabbed salads and Shiraz at an outdoor cafe, and just talked. Which was cool. We used to be super close, my sister and I. And it's not like we've been estranged or anything stupid... Just, you know, life. Getting in the way. So it felt great to catch up, just the two of us.
Now it's back at the hotel, sister and mum are passed out, and I am fussing about on my creaky hide-a-bed, trying not to keep them up while I type. Tomorrow we are going to try to do the Coliseum. I hear it's full of cats. And then we are making a special trip for YOU, Gale Freeman!!!!
Oh. And I bought (ridiculously expensive) postcard stamps. So get ready, Spencer! My little hooligan!
Xxo, Phoebe


I can't wait for him to get his card!!!!!!! Eek!!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
Hiya Phoebe, Dawn here again, please say hi to your mom and Wendy too! Just had a chance to catch up on your blog and you seem to have forgotten about the flu, but maybe your belly hasn't? i hope you are drinking enough water! But with all the cake and gelato and gift shops you must be having a fabulous time! SO happy for you all! I can't wait to see pictures of the faux prada bags and the pope bracelet and the wall thingie, etc! Don't worry about hell, it isn't real!
How do you like the ipad? Ha, your blog at least does not make me capitalize it! i have a couple friends have them and they love 'em but i'm personally afraid to get one for the same reason i have avoided laptop computer- i don't want to be the geek that drags it everywhere with her.
really, really glad you're all having so much fun and i look forward to the updates:-) take care Phoebe and many ovenkisses to you all.

xoxoxo, dawn

whoa-! my code words are "atheasta" and "nisguall". i am certain they are full of deep and secret meaning.

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