Today we did Rome. We arrived late on the 13th and went straight from the train to our hotel, the Aquarium, which is a pretty good economico deal that is a block from Termini in Roma. It Is 140 euros for 2 nights and 2 people. Today we visited the Vatican and climbed the 320+ steps to the top of the cupola which overlooks the city. On the way San Pietro’s square, incidentally, TV Boy is there once again on an electrical panel.
Roma is covered in graffiti. It seems that everything that stands still for more than 2.5 seconds is subject to tagging or writing of some sort. (although, I saw no tourists with maps on street corners tagged) The Metro cars look like giant multicolored murals, and even the stairway to the top of the cupola at the Vatican was tagged and even stickered.
After the Vatican we took the Metro to the Piazza di Spagna. The Spanish Steps are not so impressive…and we walked from there to the Pantheon, which is quite impressive. The only thing about the Pantheon is that, although it is still a functional church, it is sadly empty of any of its original history. All pagan god statues were of course removed by the Christians, pretty much erased completely, leaving behind only the symmetrical pagan crosses. The bottom alcoves are now filled with Christian symbols, and the upper alcoves are just empty spaces.
From the Pantheon, we walked even further to Fontana di Trevi, where we were approached several times once more by the rose salesmen, who are all of one nationality/race which I haven’t figured out yet. (they were also selling bubble guns).
Following the fountain, we made our way to the Coloseum and Constantine’s Arch, which were both pretty impressive, even in the dark. Afterward we made our way back to the Metro and grabbed due panini for the hotel room.
Channel 37, whatever it is, is some sort of independent music channel. In Milano, there were several english language stations – not so in Roma. However, Channel 37 (maybe called “betatest”?), was the only “english” channel, but only because there were so many bands that I listen to playing on it. Amoung the bands they showed videos by were Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Ravonettes, Arcade Fire, Le Tigre, Gorillaz, Beck, Four Tet, Royksopp, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Beastie Boys, Franz Ferdinand, Kasabian (Ian Brown from the Stone Roses newest band), MIA, Sleater Kinney, Daft Punk (and another iTunes commerical band I can’t remember the name of), and ____ Trash featuring Brian Molko from Placebo amoung others. There was also a video by Juliette and the Licks — I didn’t even know that Juliette Lewis had a band — that was just as freaky as you would imagine, and a crazy goth freak band named Wednesday 13 doing there song I’m with the Zombies. The channel was sort of like if you combined 120 Minutes and Amp from MTV, but made them commercial free and actually play cool stuff that you don’t see in regular MTV rotation. (ok, so nothing like either really).