The hottest show in town

Is apparently the Pope's funeral. I got up at 6 am, and walked to the Vatican in the hopes of getting a ringside seat for the 10 am funeral. I live in a fantasy world apparently. I couln't even get into St. Peter's Square, and I just barely got within the walls of Citta Leonina. For those of you without a map handy, this means that I was about a quarter of a mile away from even being able to see the Square, let alone St. Peter's. So I went home. I listened to the pre-funeral show on the radio (like a lot of other Romans... old men at the corner bar had it turned on) for a little while at home, but I didn't understand much and then I back fell asleep.

After I got up again, I spent most of the afternoon wandering around the Campo dei Fiori and Campo Marzo, getting lost in whatever little back streets I could. It wasn't hard. Not a lot was open, but I bought some bread and salami at an alimenteria, and also a bottle of araniciata. I had lunch near the site of the Temple of Isis, built by Julius Caesar in about 43 BC. The Temple is long gone, but across the street from where I sat to eat was this:

Which is, apparently, all that remains from a colossal statue of Serapis, the consort of Isis, that used to stand in the Temple. This is one of the reason's that I love Roma - people parallel park between vast bits of millenium-old statues. And Romans are so casual about it... "What? 2 meter long sandalled foot of a cult god imported from Egypt in the first century BC? Sure, next block over, in the alley on the left."

By the way, you may have heard that for 24 hours around the Pope's funeral, all the streets inside Roma's ring road were closed. And they were. Unless, of course, you were driving a taxi, or a police car, or a scooter, or you were a foreign dignitary, or you were any other Roman who wanted to go any place inside the ring road at all. Closed, my foot.


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