Next on our itinerary was the Pantheon! I’m a big fan of ancient architecture. I like the enormity and solidness of the structures. They appear to be indestructible and considering that most have lasted through earthquakes, wars, etc., they are. We attempted to catch a bus to the Pantheon. I attempted to ask the female driver if her bus was the correct bus to catch as I was about to put my foot on the steps. Before I could get the question out of my mouth, she started yelling, “No! No! No! No! No!” and slammed the door in my face and pulled off. Did I mention the racism or colorism was alive and well in Rome? Anyway, we made our way to it. The Pantheon is also free to enter. Outside lingering around are men dressed as gladiators to take photos with the tourists.
The Fontana del Pantheon (Fountain of the Pantheon) sits imperialistically in front of the Pantheon. The sea gods and serpents are carved from marble. It’s pretty scary-looking up close. Several people left roses on the fountain. I saw a small child dip his hand in the water and put it on his face. Since it was 200⁰F (really a little over 100⁰F), I needed any excuse to cool off. I followed the kid’s lead without thinking. The water was cold and cooled my face immediately. I didn’t regret doing it until Nurse Renae (she really is a nurse) reminded me of the horrible microbes that could have been in the water from everyone dipping their hands in it. Actually, she took a lot of pleasure tormenting me about it. Ewwww!
I walked toward the huge columns of the Pantheon while Renae took photos and the crowd was in awe too. The massive doors were open and welcomed us. It was glorious inside. The dome opening allowed light to expose the grand religious paintings and statues adjacent to the walls. The altar is facing the door opening. Several people were listening to a lecture while seated near the altar as others prayed. Many were probably taking a break and enjoying the splendor of the place while escaping the hot sun.
I stood in the middle of the Pantheon and videotaped the inside while turning in a circle. I snapped photos of each painting and the Tomb of Victor Emanuel II (first king of Italy). Several tourists were taking turns standing under the dome’s opening with their arms stretched out. The sunbeams sprinkled light dust around them as it appeared as if they were worshipping the sun. It was a great photo opportunity.
After taking several photos, we watched a street vendor escape capture from a policeman. The tiny man wiggled free from the policeman’s grasp by shimmying between his legs and leaving his merchandise. I must apologize for laughing but the way the man calmly walked away caused me to giggle. I imagined him saying, “I might get in trouble with the boss for leaving that stuff, but I’m out!” The policeman thought the vendor was harassing tourists.
After taking more photos, we decided to leave. The unbearable heat made us hungry, feel dirty and tired. We headed back to the hotel. The next day was going to be our tour of the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii!
However, we got sidetracked. You guessed it – Thrift Stores! Ha! You should scroll right on past this section of the blog if you hate thrift stores. Don’t do it! You are missing a treat!
As you have seen in the other photos of thrift stores, most of them in Italy appear to have only 70’s clothing. Yet, there are many gems in the mix. Thrift store shopping is exactly like treasure hunting – you never know what you might find and how valuable it is. We did not purchase anything. We were saving our dough for serious shopping of leather goods. It’s no way you should go to Italy and not purchase leather – especially on your first trip!
Next up Amalfi Coast and Pompeii!