December 8th, 2016


Roma 3...

We got to use the lift up in the Colosseum, because of 'the lady with the stick'. Embarrassing, but glad of it. Coming down was bad enough. There weren't any scary-height places, either. We saw Nero, the official Colosseum cat, a handsome black aristocrat. There was one other cat, a tabby, there, sitting outside on the lawn, posing for tourist cameras. I had expected a lot of street cats, rather like in Istanbul, but evidently the city got so overrun with them, that they've been fed contraceptives since the 80's. The only other cat I noticed was a ginger, up in the convent gardens, chasing parakeets.
I visited a lot of churches on my own, and Alvise the guide took us into the gorgeous St Ignatius, where an orchestra was rehearsing for a concert. They were playing the Easter music from PARSIFAL, and it was so lovely I nearly fainted.
On Sunday, I wandered down to the Vatican with one of the group, who had a ticket for the special Mass. She was already very late, so I told her to hurry on, while I nosed around in shops, etc. Eventually I followed the crowds that were still about, to the front of St Peter's, where they were piping in music, and screens were up so that people could get a better view.
The Mass was over, but I could see Swiss Guard helmts bobbing along, and then(Whoa!) the actual Pope himself, waving from a little white chariot-thing. He was tiny, his face just a

wee pink blob, to me, but he waved in my direction, and I actually felt quite excited. Everyone was clapping and carrying on.
I liked Rome, except for the heat and humidity, but I think Venice was even better. Glad I went, and got home before I got so dreadfully ill. Imagine being 'like that' on a plane! Oy!