After a very full first day in Rome, we took it slightly easier for day two. We started off by visiting the Cripta dei Cappuccini (The Capuchin Crypt), passing by the Spanish Steps on the way. Nestled under the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione, this site begins with an informational museum about the lives of Capuchin monks before you’re led to the crypt holding the bones of nearly 4,000 dead Capuchin monks. The bones are
disturbingly artfully arranged into everything from arches to columns and light fixtures, with themes like Crypt of the Skulls, Crypt of the Pelvises, etc. If you enjoyed the Catacombs Museum in Paris, you’ll definitely be interested in these Roman catacombs.
After the visit to the Catacombs, and an interesting run-in with a pushy Italian man on the metro who Rio actually smacked on the back (oh lord, thank god we didn’t get killed), we were off to the Vatican! We didn’t realize that the Pope was going to be holding Papal Mass that day, so we were a bit surprised when we arrived at the Vatican Walls and there was a barricade holding the crowds of people off. Luckily, a local Filipino saw we were trying to get in and gave Rio a tip that we could enter the nearby souvenir shop (pictured to the left), and simply exit on the other side which would lead us directly into Saint Peter’s Square without having to wait. So we did exactly that and a minute later, we were in!
Boy were we surprised when we actually got to see the Pope!! Amazing experience; more photos here. The guy on the left with the funny outfit is a Swiss Guard by the way. Below is what the Pope sees in Saint Peter’s Square during Papal Mass…albeit with a ton of people in the crowd.
After Papal Mass, we decided to take a stroll to the “Jewish Ghetto” for lunch. On the way, we saw a monk who I had to take a photo of naturally.
Left: Statue on Ponte Fabricio (Bridge of the Four Heads) in the Jewish Ghetto. In ancient times, the bridge was used by foreigners, immigrants and Jewish people to commute to central Rome since they weren’t allowed to live there. Right: Ruins in the Jewish Ghetto.
After lunch at Ba’ Ghetto Milky where I had the most delicious grilled artichoke and cacio e pepe, we were off to Saint Peter’s Basilica again so we could climb up to the dome for views of Rome. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, they weren’t allowing any more visitors up. Putain! Oh well, we checked out the inside of the church, and decided we’d return the next day.