Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Rome Trip (Day 7)

Day 7: Tuesday, May 23
Art Museum + Vatican Area Tour
Our first stop on our final day in Rome was the nearby Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporaneo (GNAM), which was just down the hill from our hotel.

The collection is currently displayed in a unique manner in alignment with the theme Time is Out of Joint, so instead of having artwork organized in a traditional way based on century or style or artist, each gallery contained an eclectic assortment of art, and it was left up to the viewer to determine what theme or concept might link the works together or how each piece of art might reference or reflect another. Fascinating! We particularly enjoyed several of the sculptures and some of the other pieces composed of non-traditional materials.

The GNAM collection includes works by some very well-known artists, including Monet, Klimt, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol.

Our original plan was to take the tram from the GNAM over to the Vatican area for our afternoon tour. However, after waiting nearly 15 minutes and not seeing any trams pass by, I decided to double-check the info at the station and luckily noticed a small sign indicating that the tram stop by the GNAM wouldn't be in service on May 23 or May 24. So instead we retraced our route through the Villa Borghese to board the Metro at Flaminio and ride it two stops to Ottaviano to save ourselves some walking (and some sweating -- another warm & sunny day!).

Once we managed to dodge the annoying folks along the sidewalk trying to sell Vatican tours and tickets, we found the lovely, quiet, and air-conditioned Rendez-Vous cafe as a lunch spot. Mr. E had pizza, and I had a salad with tuna along with an Aperol spritz.

We stayed in the shade as much as possible on the way to our tour group meeting spot. This was another tour booked through Trip Advisor/Viator and operated by City Wonders. And again, we had an excellent guide, the very knowledgeable, friendly, and unflappable Rosanna, who kept her calm and pleasant demeanor even when one of the other guests somehow managed to lose her Vatican Museums ticket about two minutes after Rosanna had distributed them to the group and warned us that we'd need them for entry!

Our 3-hour tour included parts of the Vatican Museums, beginning with the courtyard, where we also stopped in front of some explanatory posters about the Sistine Chapel, since Rosanna wouldn't be able to make any group presentation during that part of the tour.

We then joined the herds of people touring through various parts of the Vatican Museums, including the Raphael Rooms. Yikes. Way too many people. We couldn't linger in any area for very long, and even just trying to see the art was challenging sometimes due to the enormous crowds. Mr. E did still get some good photos, but I'd definitely recommend to anyone else to opt for the early-morning 7:30am group tour option in order to access the site before anything is open to the general public.

Our tour finished with a rather quick stroll through the Sistine Chapel, where we glimpsed the famous ceiling, and then Rosanna released us near the entry to St. Peter's so that we could explore the cathedral on our own.

As we left the Cathedral to walk through St. Peter's Square, we finally saw some of the Papal Swiss guards in their colorful uniforms.

Although we had hoped and planned to see the other part of the Menorah joint exhibition, we weren't able to find the right spot to access, so we just walked back to the Metro to return to the Flaminio station and find somewhere for dinner. Our primary criterion for an eating spot was functional air conditioning, as we were a bit overheated from all of the wandering around during the day, and we luckily found the nearby My Bags cafe, which offered fresh, light, made-to-order salads and sandwiches. Yum! And of course I had to order an Aperol spritz to go with dinner. We finished the evening with a final walk up the hill to our hotel to pack up and get ready for our departure the next morning.


Blogger Stephanie Goodner said...

I want to try an Aperol spritz!!

11:39 AM  

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