I’ve noticed that whereas we call the ground floor – G for Ground, and in the US they call it – 1 for Ground, in the hotel lift (or elevator for our US readers) it is called – 0, hence Ground Zero. This afternoon I decided to explore around about my hotel. Immediately (well about 100m away) I discovered another set of stairs ( see below).
This may come as a shock to the Spanish should they think they have a unique set of steps to repossess. At the top of these stairs is another Spanish Mission-ish looking church. I’m sure after a few drinks most tourists couldn’t tell the difference. I think I will be able to persuade the Romans to accept the doctrine of Escalatory Substitution.
After my ascent I continued towards the Villa Borghese for an art fix. On the way I was horrified to find someone had stolen the wall at the back of the Melbourne Club in Little Collins Street and transported it to via Francesco Crispi (see below). Rest assured that I have reported this to the appropriate authorities
The art museum was a delight and I refrained from any photographs inside, principally because my camera was confiscated for the duration. How sensible I thought, recalling the recalcitrant dog-walkers. Whilst the paintings were most interesting, it was the extensive grounds of the villa which made the afternoon special. Imagine Albert Park full of statues and no Grand Prix (ever).
It was quite picturesque, even the trees were fascinating.
Of course I wandered off into the rough, like like my golf game, and found myself in the Galoppatoio, a cross between parts of Centennial Park in Sydney and the Bois de Boulogne. Smelt like the show ground. I even stumbled upon the OK Corral (pictured below).
Somewhat parched and needing to find a hole in the wall that spews forth cash, I made my way towards the Villa Medici (weren’t they bankers?). The view is exceptional, no doubt why they built in this position.
Here we see the spire of All Saints Anglican Church where SCP members will concelebrate Mass at the end of our conference. St Peter’s Basilica is off in the haze. My skills as a photographer must have preceded me as several couples asked me to take their photo with their camera. On the other hand I probably looked too tired to run off with it.
Parched as the proverbial …, I made my way through the Piazza Di Spagna (yes there again, chocked with tourists today) and to the via dei Condotti (ditto).
Of course there were no cash machines there, everything just goes on the plastic. I passed the restaurant where I had proposed to have dinner, but it was now a dress shop! I finally found an ATM and was able to buy a drink. Should I now also invest in an umbrella for the next rainy day whilst I have change in my hand?
I then encountered my first gypsies. They wait until you are trying to navigate a confined space and close in. The mother asked for money while the younger woman kissed my arm (gross). I told them where to go in English. The old nun behind me let them have it in Italian, complete with death stare. Priceless. I chose not to get my camera out at that moment. There could have been more of them waiting around the corner. The nun and I shot through.