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Italia 2- Angels & Demons by Mikael
June 29, 2010, 5:33 pm
Filed under: A Little Me, Good Things, Remembering, Roam, Try

Now we’re onto June 4th, our first full day in Rome.  Guess what we had planned?  An “Angels and Demons” tour around Rome!!  Any Dan Brown fans out there?

Last September, my mom did this tour and told us to get Roberto as our guide.  Said he got really into it, knew the book inside and out, and a highly entertaining and informative guide.  Well folks… he was sooo much better than my mom described!

We arrived at Piazza del Popolo at 8:30 AM to make sure we absolutely got Roberto as our guide.  My mom had given Twinner and I a picture of him so we knew who he was.  Oh, we found him all right.  He got so excited when we requested to be in his group because of a recommendation.  Roberto is half American and half Italian, and sometimes he’d slip between accents.  It was cool!

When my mom said he was animated, she totally downplayed it.  It was like he was an award-winning one-man Broadway show of Angels and Demons.  No joke.  He knew everything, acted stuff out, read lines from the book, and got so into saying “VITTORIA!” that I’ll never ever forget what a great time we had on that tour.  Bonus… he LOVED me!  Haha, I was the only one in the group who had read the book, seen the movie, and knew nearly as much about the book as he did.  He even let me hold his copy of the book in our group photo at the end.  I felt so special. :D

Now onto what we saw while on the tour…

Started at the Piazza del Popolo like I said, saw the Santa Maria Del Popolo, the church where the first Preferiti (favorites for Pope) was suspected of being.  The first altar of science, Earth, if you will.  We couldn’t see where the Angel was that was to point us in our next direction, because it was covered, supposedly being restored or something.  Luckily, it was the only one of the Angels that was covered.

According to Roberto, the Vatican has banned talking about “Angels and Demons” within their walls just because of Dan Brown’s other book “The Da Vinci Code”.  Right as the movie came out, the Vatican covered all the Angels depicted in the book.  It wasn’t until the public complained enough that they decided to uncover them… but now people can’t discuss “Angels and Demons” inside those locations.  Weird, I know.

Next stop was the Vatican actually.  We walked through the monstrous pillars on the south side and Roberto assigned us to find the “West Ponente” plaque on the ground.  We found it.  And got pictures with us and St. Peters Basilica!  Seriously, that building was sooo humongous.  Everything in Rome is a lot bigger than pictures can tell.  Except the streets.

After the Vatican, since we didn’t stay long, we went to the Santa Maria della Vittoria (VITTORIA!).  Very understated and simple on the outside.  Oh, those Baroque masterminds… the inside was so extravagant, colorful, and full of frescoes, statues and even a sarcophagus of a woman’s skeleton that they covered with wax to create a doll-like appearance.  Creepy, but nonetheless kind of cool.  But the Angel statue in this building was hands-down my favorite of all of them.  The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.  Stunning.  Absolutely… stunning.  The lighting gave it such a marvelous glow.  I swear that whole tour was worth it just to see that statue.

The Pantheon was next, the temple built to worship the gods.  Heeeee!  Remarkable architecture… historical architects are still not sure how they created that dome.  Their best bet is that they filled the whole thing with dirt, molded the ceiling around it before draining it all out.  I don’t think so but I can’t think of anything better either.  It was, like everything else in Rome, larger than life.  The pillars were staggeringly tall and wide.  We saw Rafaello Santi’s tomb.  I took a picture from the dead center of the room, getting a great shot of the  oculus with sunlight shining through.

From there, we walked to Piazza Navona where the Fountain of the Four Rivers stood.  Then continued to Castel Sant’Angelo via the Bridge of Angels.  The Angels here, I remember, each held something that played a role in the end of Christ’s life.  Pretty cool.  It was at Sant’Angelo the tour ended.  Sad day indeed.  I seriously could have spent my entire Rome stay with Roberto… He was so wonderful.  I made sure to get pictures with him before saying goodbye.  Tears were almost shed on my end, I swear.

The rest of the day was spent walking to the Spanish Steps, looking in the molto expensive shops surrounding that area like Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada, and Burberry just to say that I’ve been there, buying a cute top in one of the boutiques, and getting hit on at dinner by the waiters.  The pizza I ate that night turned out to be the best I had on the whole trip.  Twinner even agreed.  Hmmm… I can still taste it!  After dinner, we witnessed our first Italian strike on the Spanish steps… fascinating.  Boycott of Jerusalem or something.  My aunt had warned me about the strikes, saying that they might put hitches in our plans.  Not here they didn’t!  And lots of cute police were around to monitor it.  BONUS!

I should make a public photograph gallery of my trip of something… thoughts on that?

Next up, Italia 3 Pt 1- Vaticano.  I’ll try to punch it out a bit faster this time.

Italia 1- Colosseo & Trevi
Italia 2- Angels & Demons
Italia 3- Pt 1: Vaticano
Italia 3- Pt 2: Club Crawl
Italia 4- Toscana Tour
Italia 5- Accademia & Uffizi
Italia 6- Veneziamore
Italia 7- Verona
Italia 8- Milano
Italia 9- Cinque Terre
Italia 10- Ciao Roma!

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