Italy part 1
As we were walking through the Piazza del Campo (really) in Siena and watching the merry hordes of tourists, Ruth commented that kids must love visiting Italy because they get fed a non-stop diet of pizza and gelato. And its true, my expanding waistline and childlike mentality can attest to this. But its an adults wonderland as well with lots of sights, sounds and tastes to behold. And so it goes like this...
We arrived in Rome and immediately went to the Trevi Fountain, an impressive water feature in the middle of town possibly designed by Jamie Durie. Here's Ruth soaking up the atmosphere. I wanted to jump in like Sophia Loren in La Dolce Vita but apparently that kind of behaviour is frowned upon by the local Polizia.
Rome is the kind of place where every corner is a photo opportunity and there are statues and crazy historical shit everywhere. A simple side street detour to a public toilet will lead you to fifteen or so landmarks of history so a lot of the things I took photos of... well, I really had no idea what they were. Like: why does this guy have horns? My answer: Satan!
Speaking of Satan, no visit to Rome is complete without paying a visit to the original Death Star, the Vatican! This is where the Pope gives his sermons to the masses. I have to say, it was a pretty lavish extravaganza of classic architecture and religious iconography. Also, by visiting the Vatican I have officially visited the smallest country in the world, a fun fact I learnt at pub trivia some time ago. Another fun fact: the Pope's nickname in Catholic circles is "God's rottweiler" in honour of his conservative views, German heritage and some incident that happened at a frat party in his Uni days.
If you're going to be the centre of the Catholic universe you better have an impressive church and St Peter's Basillica is nothing but impressive. To pull it off you have to follow the check list. First: frickin' huge church - check.
Second: Michelangelo's Pieta by the front door - check.
Third: impressive ceilings and domes - check (no one does a ceiling like the Catholic church!).
Fourth: hundreds of amazing artworks showing a LOT of suffering - check.
Finally, ghostly lighting through windows to make you think God is watching you - check. And there you have St Peter's Basilica!
Sadly, the Vatican Museum was closed that day so we had to make do with going to the Colosseum. I know, I know, bummer but we all have to make sacrifices. Anyhow, the Colosseum is the oldest man-made structure I've ever seen as it was built in 72ad. Apparently, it was in use for at least 500 years because watching people kill each other or get eaten by lions never gets old.
Next to the Colosseum is a bunch of ruins of various buildings which are, urm pretty ruined. But the emphasis on pretty, oh so pretty.... Oh yeah, that's the Roman Forum. Apparently, its pretty famous.
We also needed the obligatory column shots.
The ancient romans also created some of the greatest inventions in history such as the Monty Python foot and...
...the oversized novelty hand so popular at local sporting and lions-eating-christians events.