Before we left Firenze we had one more stop to make. Thanks to the museums being closed on Monday and our trip to the Cinque Terra on Tuesday we lined up to see the David, Michelangelo’s interpretation of the boy who slew Goliath, in the Galeria dell’Academia on Wednesday morning. There have been many interpretations of this stunning masterpiece over the years, but this was an opportunity to look at the intricate details and appreciate it for yourself. It’s interesting to note that originally this statue was to be placed high above the Piazza Duomo which would have given it a very different perspective than viewing it literally at eye level. Once again, pictures are not allowed inside the museum.
Our accommodation was not in Roma itself, but just southwest in the town of Albano. This town was created around a crater lake adjacent to the papal residence. At one time is was used as the garrison for the Roman army. We quickly found B&B Albero Gemello ( http://www.bb-alberogemello.com/index.html ) and our wonderful hosts Mary (MacIsaac) and Mario Munari. After more than 4 weeks on the road we couldn’t have asked for a nicer place to stay prior to our return home. They had been recommended to us by a friend and we immediately felt welcome and we became fast friends. After a quick description of the local area and the sights to be seen, Mary gave us directions to Cantina’s for dinner that were close by.
We then headed into Roma for a look around and to get our bearings. Although we had been driving in Italia for a week, this was our first exposure to Roma drivers.
Many of the streets don’t have lines painted on the road and if they are, it’s mostly symbolic. Motorcyclists use cars like pylons on a slalom course and Stop signs appear to be more of an idea than even a suggestion. But once we got used to the driving style we realized that these people were intent on getting somewhere and that was their sole focus. We didn’t see anyone talking on a cell phone, shaving or doing their make-up. Having said that, finding a car without some sort of scratch or dent is fairly rare, but these appear to be merely misunderstandings between two vehicles.
We parked along the Tiber River and then walked from Castel Sant’ Angelo. This was built as a tomb for the emperor and through the Middle Ages as a place of final refuge for popes who were under attack. There is an elevated corridor that runs from Vatican City to Castel Sant’ Angelo to allow the pope to travel back and forth without being detected.