Postmark Here

Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

Roma, 00186

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The one and only Colosseum

Dear ——–,

We had intended to start the day early with a long walk starting from Campo di Fiore. Only our internal clocks — and our usual alarm clock, little Stella — were way off. We didn’t get out of bed until 10:45 a.m.! So the first thing we did was meet our friend Brian for lunch in the Monti area. He took us to La Cicala e La Formica (the Grasshopper and the Ant), which had a fantastic-tasting pasta for 5 Euros. We had intended to go to a place called L’Asino d’Oro, but it was closed. Apparently Italians like to take Monday off. (Other things closed on Monday: Gelateria Fatamorgana, Villa Borghese and several museums we wanted to go to.) So our planning today wasn’t exactly great, but we did get to the Vatican Museum by about 3:15 p.m. for our 3:00 p.m. entry time! (Part of the reason we ran late was that we at least wanted to see the Colosseum, which was tantalizingly close to our lunch place, before heading back to the Vatican area.) We hustled our way through most of the galleries, stopping for a little extra time in the hallway painted with maps and the Rafael rooms. Then, after carrying Stella up and down what seemed like hundreds of staircases, we stood still for a spell in the Sistine Chapel, where we were cheek and jowl with hundreds of our best tourist friends. Then, we walked over to St. Peter’s Basilica to see the most impressive church we’d ever seen. We felt like little ants in a cathedral built for giants — the scale was unbelievable. The late afternoon mass was underway and we were bathed in the sound of hymns.



Ceiling in the Vatican Museum


The Swiss Guards


Entrance to the Vatican Museum




Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

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