Italia: Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowship


Thursday, January 26, 2006

An appointment with the Pope, Pinocchio and a chance meeting with Russell Crowe

January 22nd:
Today was another big walking day jammed-packed with explanations. It was also the coldest day I spent in Italy, about zero degrees. Meanwhile it was a humid 38 degrees in my beloved Blackmans Bay back home where everyone was sweating it out. We visited many of the sites we had seen the night before. We passed a little toyshop and met Pinocchio where all the soft toys enjoying the trip had the mandatory photo. Then we checked out the Pantheon. We stopped at the Trevi Fountain once again to get a group photograph. The above group photo one is courtesy of Fiona. A few members flipped coins towards Neptune and the Tritons following the famous custom of throwing it over their shoulder while facing away to ensure a return to Rome. A second coin entitles you to a wish. I wonder what the Latin Lover wished for! A guy with some kind of magnet attatched to the end of a stick was having the time of his life collecting coins from the fountain until he vanished as quickly as he appeared when the police made their presence felt.
We also saw an interesting system of penalties imposed on those who knowingly or unwittingly park in the pedestrian zones. A apparatus is placed around on wheel of the car which is then only removed once the fines are paid. The highlight of the day was listening to the Pope in Piazza San Pietro giving a speech and welcoming the crowd in Italian, English, German, Spanish and Polish. Goretti and I stood among the crowd and whooped as loudly as anyone. The Swiss Guard added a welcome splash of colour.
Whilst we were waiting for our guide, Stafano, Goretti spotted a gladiator and said she wanted a photo with this Russell Crowe. Most of my friends reckon he looks more like Shrek! The Roman Forum was also a highlight for me with its patchwork of ruined temples arches and basilicas. We viewed it from the Capitoline hill where we could make out the Sacred Way. Some of the ruins are now under restoration. We again viewed the colosseum but unfortunately not the interior as it was closed. You could still imagine how the mammoth structure could seat 55 000 people cheering for the blood of some poor gladiator.

The guided tour finished and quite a few members of the group stayed on shopping in the city centre whilst some of us returned to the hotel. I spent a bit of time layering the luggage and had a beer with Goretti.

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At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Bart said...

Funny and beauty pictures


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