Our hostel in Rome offered laundry service, so since pretty much all of our clothes were dirty, we decided to take advantage of the service. We had planned on giving them one large mixed load, but they suggested we divide our laundry into darks and lights, so we added a few items we though might bleed and were going to hand wash. When we got our clothes back in the morning, it became apparent that they had all been done together, and all the white stuff is now slightly blueish. It made me really mad and upset for a few minutes – I just wanted to go home where I can more easily control things. I’ve calmed down though, and am trying to look at it as a growing experience – I can’t control everything, and need to do my best to roll with the punches. Plus, I now know never to let a hostel do my laundry 🙂
We left for our 11:15 tour of the Vatican at about 10 (it was within walking distance, and the buses we’d found out can be a bit unreliable). We got there early and were able to skip the huge, several hour line which was awesome, and meant we could go … shopping in the gift shop! I was really glad that we had taken a tour, because the Vatican museums are a little crazy. There’s kinda just a lot of random stuff, and it would’ve been really easy to get super bogged down looking at everything. The museum was completely packed with people – wall to wall, and we essentially moved with the tide of the crowd. I can’t imagine what it’s like in the summer. Our tour guide was a cute and sassy Italian woman.
The Sistine Chapel was really cool, but I was really disappointed that you couldn’t take pictures, especially since they were allowed in the rest of the museum. It has to do with a copyright issue (read more about it here), which is just odd and frustrating to me. I also thought it was interesting that you were supposed to be silent, but of course most people aren’t, so the volume would reach a low roar before the guards shushed everyone again. It’s amazing to think that Michelangelo painted the whole thing by himself in only four years.
We also got to go into St. Peter’s Basilica with the tour, which I thought was pretty awesome. I think it’s amazing that the paintings are all made with mosaics (when the frescoes started to crack, the pope decided to replace them with mosaics) – in most of them, you can’t tell at all. I also really enjoyed all the Bernini sculptures that i’d learned about in art history class.
For dinner we walked over to the area we got pizza the first afternoon. We had a good dinner, and got dessert too (tiramisu = so yummy) – tipping/asking for the check was still weird though. Sigh. We were in a part of town called Travestere, which seemed like the place to be, which was cool. It would’ve been better to have eaten there the evening before though so that we could have explored a bit more, as we still had to pack and were leaving for Pisa/Lucca/Florence early the next morning.