Thrills and hills and bellyaches

Our first full day in Rome is best described as trying. It started with the loss of some money (it’s still missing but I’m hopeful it’s just buried at the bottom of a case somewhere).

Walking around the city also proved to be challenging. Being built on 7 hills means Rome is all up and down rather than flat. Add to that the amazingly poor tourist signs to help you find big ticket items like the Colosseum and we spent much of the day wondering around in blazing height.

Rome is a working city, and with that comes noise, traffic and pollution. It’s part of the big city atmosphere but the constant attack on the senses reminds me why I’m glad I don’t live in a city.

On the plus side, the Colosseum and Sistine Chapel were sites to behold. One showing the power of Ancient Rome and the other showing the power and awe of the Catholic Church in its pomp.

I could complain forever about the lack of signs to help you find the Vatican museum entrance (clue: it’s not near St Mark’s Square, the information desk or the giant queue of people sneaking around the Square).

The person working the information desk was laughably unhelpful. Short sharp answers that delivered the minimum of information.

Leaving the Vatican, we strolled the backstreets to Piazza Navona and here we found a nicer Rome. Away from the main roads is something quieter, more relaxing and an all-round better impression of the city.

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