Thursday, July 25, 2013

Well That Was Fun and Theme Thursday: Askew

Finding myself breathing the air of the Western Hemisphere once again, ruminating over a whirl-wind of an adventure for a middle-aged housewife from Florida, my interior compass is telling me it is time to write some of this stuff down before it becomes muddled in the mix of experience that is everydaynes: you know, the Colosseum by moonlight, kneeling in front of Blessed John Paul II's tomb, the exotic smell of Isaac's diaper, breaking up an argument over who ate the last fruity snack (the answer to that is invariably Jude), it all starts melding into one for those of the soft minded, like myself.

Allora...I went to Rome for a total of four days (after travel) to fulfill a decade long wish of visiting my little soul sister, Mary Nolan, who makes a living as the editor for the Weekly Edition in English of L'Osservatore Romano, the official paper of the Vatican.

Two days' worth of flights and the expense and the hassle, for four days of Mary and Rome? Worth it.

I flew into Rome FCO wide-eyed, lost-ish, and with little direction. Somehow I was supposed to bring myself from the airport to Mary's office in Vatican City with these instructions, copied and pasted without alteration from my last email from Mary:

(to get to my office you go to the Porta Sant'Anna of the Vatican. Proceed in through the gate and take an immediate right, walk down the street until you see on the right side a little sign that says photo service. Ask for the English edition)

She did give me the further instructions that Porta Sant'Anna was to the right of Saint Peter's, and that there would be a Swiss Guard who would stop me at Porta Sant'Anna who would ask where I was going, and I was simply to answer "L'Osservatore Romano" and that would be enough for him. Okay, good. All good.

So after roaming about the airport unattended, 

OMG! all alone for the first time...ever! do i look phased?

I discovered I could take a taxi to the Vatican for about 60 Euro, and be well looked after, or take this crazy shuttle bus for 6 Euro that would drop me of at their stop titled "Roma Centro / Citta del Vaticano." Takin' it. I'll get there somehow.

I was dropped off at a spot that looked, well that was, exactly this: 

And where drivers believed this to be a perfectly suitable way to park:

I therefore deduced I was in fact in Rome. At which point I began asking, "Scusi, Dove Piazza San Pietro?" (I can't figure out how to put the accent mark on the "e", mi scusi.)

Scusi? Mio Losto!

And ran into sites such as this:

On Ponte Sant'Angelo in front of Castel Sant'Angelo

Which I thought would be a perfetto shot for Theme Thursday: Askew! Va Bene!

For the record, asked a total of twice before I ended up here:

The Colonnade that denotes you have in fact made it to St. Peter's Square. GO ME!

And took this picture in case I died of a heart attack and wanted to prove to Mary that I in fact did make it:

quite possibly the worst tourist shot of The Basica of St. Peter's,
glad to have that distinction

From there, I asked a very nicely uniformed polizia in the Square, "Mi Scusi, Dove Porta Sant'Anna?" To which he answered in English, go outside the Colonnade, twenty meters to your left, it is the big iron gates." I felt like answering that I don't know what meters are because I'm American, but he obviously wouldn't recognize me as being so.

Porta Sant'Anna! With the Swiss Guard waiting patiently for me! I only tripped over "L'Osservatore Romano," about three times before he let me through.

Followed Mary's instructions, first street on the right, look for the photo sign..."

It's Foto, not Photo, Mary!

Asked for The English Edition...

And found...

L'Editrice Bellisima: Mary Nolan!!!

So yes, the journey goes forth from there, another day... For now, Buon Giorno.


  1. I would have TOTALLY taken the bus, too! Way more opportunity for stories. And that picture of askew? Fuhgetaboudit. I don't even know what to say. The colors? The topic? The angelic statue goosing the one dude on the stick?

    Hitting "refresh" like a madwoman until the next installment shows up.

  2. Wow,,.what an adventure! I think the parking picture is my favorite...I can't believe people actually park like that!

  3. Well that was definitely fun to read! Can't wait to hear more!!! Looks like the perfect getaway!

  4. Oh my, what an amazing post!!

    I LOVE Rome.Hubby and I were there in summer of 96, pre kids and plan to go back one summer soon with them in tow! Love the them.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  5. That's amazing. What pictures. I love the floating man!

  6. What a trip! Thanks so much for! like everybody else!

  7. I love this! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip :)

  8. Okay, you do not even know what this post does to me. I was missing you, er, your posts so much, worried you were drowning in packing boxes, but NOOOOOO! You were off on the adventure of a lifetime. I would be insanely jealous if I wasn't so dang happy for you. But now that you're back I forbid you from ever leaving me, er, I mean not blogging for weeks and weeks ever again. Got it? Good. (wink wink) (I know you hate emoticons, so wrote it out.)

    Your askew photo is quite possibly one of my favorite photos of all time. Breathtaking.

  9. What an adventure! Thanks for sharing it with us. I thoroughly enjoyed the photos and beauty through your lens.
    Perfect ASKEW!! :)

  10. What a fun Roman tour, can't wait to see more!

  11. So jealous and excited for you! Can't wait to see more pictures. =)

  12. Ah, ye beauties...I miss you both - can't wait to hear more!!!

  13. Wow, when I opened this link I certainly wasn't expecting a Roman Holiday! How fun!! I'm excited you got to go on such an adventure. Thx for sharing it with us!


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