We had no activities booked for our first full day in Italy, though the Pope has an audience on Wednesday mornings, and although you are supposed to have a ticket it’s entirely meaningless – no one checks, and the Pope himself has said you can attend without one.
So we started the morning early, heading in the general direction of the Vatican. After 15 minutes walking through charming narrow streets suddenly we came to the Trevi Fountain. Mina and Jess were blown away by this. We were there around 7:30am, and though there were a fair few people there it was not crowded (as it would be later in the day). We chucked in the coins as is tradition and continued on.
Next great photo op was Ponte Sant Angelo, a bridge with statues leading directly to the impressive Castel Sant Angelo.
Finally we came to the Vatican City. But now it was about 8:30, and the crowd already there was massive. After passing through security we stayed at the edges of Piazza Sant Pietro in the shade as it was already too hot in the sun.
The Pope started early due to the heat, driving down specially prepared gaps in the crowd in his pope-mobile. Just standing near the edge we probably got closer to him than most of the seated crowd. The he did his sermon, which even the English bits were hard to understand with the echo of the speakers around the piazza.
The basilica is closed Wednesdays so we couldn’t explore here further, so we ventured back across the Tiber and grabbed our first pizza in Italy.
Moving on and we stumbled into Piazza Navona. The fountains here are impressive.
Next we came to the Pantheon, though the queue was long and in the sun, so we continued on as it was getting way too hot be this point. We stopped at a supermarket on the way home to collect supplies, then rested for the rest of the day. For dinner we ventured a few streets down to Habemus Pinsa where we had a couple of very nice pizzas for dinner.
Next: The Vatican