The start of my Sunday is not great but the end of it cannot be better!
7.42am in Rome – A strong earthquake wakes me up. My bed is shaking. The disturbing sound of the hangers in the wardrobe. The chandelier directly above me is swinging… fast. This is the fourth earthquake in the last three months I have lived in Rome. I have never experienced that many tremors in my life. Should I be used to it by now? No, it is fearful.
This time the epicentre is in Norcia, a city in Umbria, my favourite region. Immediately I think of my friend who has relatives in Norcia. Fortunately, my friend confirms that no one is terribly hurt but many buildings collapse. Among the buildings is the Basilica of San Benedetto. I am sad.
An earthquake is not like an erupting volcano, yet the damages they cause can be equally devastating. If I stay home, I will keep thinking about the earthquake and also the volcano I visited yesterday.
The sun is shining. The sky is blue. Life is beautiful. And the Vatican City comes to my mind.
I make a mistake of taking the bus 23, which is completely packed. The traffic is terrible (as always). As if it cannot be worse, the main road to the Vatican City is closed, and the bus turns left instead of going straight.
Whatever. I believe that my day will be good. As I walk toward the St. Peter’s Basillica, I hear drum beat and see a crowd lining up. Normally I avoid crowds but this time I feel like I should not miss this. Ok, let me see what is going on. And wow, intricate costumes, colourful flags, flag performances, a sense of history and… happy spectators from all walks of life and nationalities. I start to feel a lot better.
Why have I chosen the Vatican City to brighten up my day? Every Sunday the Pope gives his blessing from his window’s apartment. Every last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are free for everyone from 9am to 12.30pm. Then on this particular Sunday there is a parade called palio featuring historical costumes and representing different states of Roma. Of course I visit the Vatican City because… it is on the way to one of the best pizza places in Rome!
Well, watching the Pope on the Internet is kind of enough for me as I am not fond of being in a crowd. The same for the Vatican Museums, I’d rather see images on Google than being distracted by… a huge number of visitors. I just want to see the legendary queue in front of the museums. This… is more exciting for me than being in the queue for a free visit. Finally, I had no idea there would be a parade today.
Meanwhile, I have heard a lot about this pizza place near the Vatican City…
Part two is coming soon…
Sunday, 30 October 2016
I am uploading a video on Youtube, click here if you want to watch the parade.