Rome, Italy Day 61

Does size matter? I’ve noticed something as I’ve been traveling. I’m going to say that roughly 50-60 % of the people out there traveling in Europe have big-ass cameras. I’m talking the type that you would see a professional using, with huge long lenses and giant camera bodies. I don’t know about you, but I would find carrying something like that cumbersome so it begs the question…. are they really taking that much better photos than I am with my tiny point and shoot? That is one of the things I love about my camera. It fits in my pocket, and when I don’t have a pocket it just fits perfectly in my hand. No fuss, no muss. I know I’m (obviously) not a professional photographer, but I think I take some pretty damn good shots, and it’s all in the framing of them. I usually take at least 2 angles of a subject, then when I’m reviewing the photos later I reject the boring one. I’d rather look at an interesting vantage point of something rather than just a straight on view. I’m sure there are benefits to having one of these camera’s, but I’m not sure the benefits outweigh the negatives, at least for me. I’m sure some of these people are professionals, but I’m going to say the vast majority are tourists like me. I guess in the digital age it’s now easier (and cheaper) for anyone to be an amateur photographer, which is why most of the photographers I know are having trouble making a living from their art. I’m just going to say it… it’s not that important how big it is, it’s how you use it that matters. (:
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I started my day at St. Peter’s Basilica. It’s a pretty impressive beast! All of Vatican City makes for a pretty imposing figure actually. I had to wait in line to get through the metal detectors to get in the church. There was a big sign saying “No Swiss army knives.” Oh crap, I had mine in my bag, now how will I cut up my apples if they confiscate it? But somehow it got through the X-ray machine, I think the guy was sleeping or something. Oh, it was hot in that lineup! And it combined my two least favourite things… excessive heat and excessive people. I’m really finding it hard to enjoy a lot of these sites as much as I could because of that. I like people in general, don’t get me wrong, but I’m finding that I’m enjoying the smaller, less touristy churches and sites more than the monumental ones that everyone just HAS to see. Then I can have a quiet moment to myself and enjoy my surroundings rather than getting shoved about and crowded.
Ponte Sant’Angelo over the River Tevere.
St. Peter’s Basilica. Built in the early 1500’s, and St. Peter’s crypt is located under the alter.
Do you think it makes the new pope feel bad that everyone is still in love with the last pope? I see more images of this guy than the new one everywhere!
Inside the basilica.
I’ve already mentioned I’m not very well informed of most things religious, especially the Catholics! They just seem to have so many rituals I can’t keep track of them all! So, all of these people were crowding around this nun who was going from person to person and collecting pieces of paper and rosaries. Then she walked over to the alter and put them down. Then one the guards came over and talked to her, and she collected of the of things together and started returning them to the people. Why? Can someone please enlighten me?
You know I love my mosaics!
The painting of the man is in fact NOT a painting, but a mosaic as well. Just brilliant!
A small part of the bronze entrance doors to the basilica.
The bottom of the door was lined with different animals. I liked the little hedgehog!
I think these guys are the Swiss Guards.
Vatican Mail!
Yup, I’ve had my share of pizza here…
The entrance to Piazza del Popolo.I came here on the suggestion of my parents. they told me about Bernini’s twin churches so I thought I better check that out!
I dipped my feet in this fountain and 4 minutes of pure bliss. It was 28 degrees today, but with humidity felt like 33. Actually felt to me like 43, but that’s just me.
The twin churches! I peeked my head in one later in the day when I came back to the area to go the the opera. There was some sort of service going on so I couldn’t get  great look, but what a stunning church. Times two.
The Spanish steps.When I was back later that night (to see the opera) there was a free opera concert set up at the bottom of the steps. A full black tie orchestra and singers doing songs from various opera’s.
Trevi Fountain. Soooooooooooo busy. And you’re not allowed to “bathe” in the fountain or steal the coins (duh!) But they take it very seriously. There are at least 4 security guards watching that fountain like a hawk, and if someone even gets close enough to dip their toe in it their whistle comes out! I saw one girl dip her feet in, and she was dragged away by 2 of the guards! Seriously! She was crying, and I felt kind of bad for her, but the rules are the rules! You think I didn’t want to stick my feet in there too? It was sweltering!
More Pinocchio.
The square outside The Pantheon.
The oculus.
Piazza Navona.
Just before I got majorly splashed by some annoying teenage girls. It felt really good though, after I got over my annoyance.
Some b-boys! They were really good.
On my way to see the opera La Traviata. See the 40 Things tab for more on that!

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