Metro tickets? That was the question we asked repeatedly as we walked to the tram on Wednesday morning. Metro tickets are sold at tobacco shops in Rome, but apparently not that day. That day, like Seinfeld soup Nazis, clerks told us “no metro” over and over. We’d had no problems every other day but on Wednesday they were out. Could it be because the pope was hosting an audience? I have no idea. Still, without tickets, we kept walking to our friendly neighborhood junkyard where we boarded the tram anyway. After all, we had a Pope to see. Despite the signs on-board that warned us we’d have to pay 100 euros if we were caught without a ticket, (thankfully) no one asked us to produce them. By the time we made it down to St. Peter’s Square the pope was already speaking to his audience. We were expecting it would be a chaotic scene, and while it was busy, it wasn’t overwhelming. We didn’t have tickets but easily got close enough to satisfy. Catholic or not, seeing the pope is a worthwhile experience — and totally worth our second transportation misdemeanor.
A few days earlier we had stopped by St. Peter’s Basilica when it was much quieter. Yes, you will have to wait in line for at least 30 minutes and go through security to get in, but it’s worth it. Plus, there’s plenty to admire from outside as you’re standing in the queue.
Inside St. Peter’s Basilica is truly impressive. We were first here for Christmas mass in 2008 and it is as beautiful as we remembered it. The size of it alone is breathtaking not to mention the incredible art you’ll see here, like Michelangelo’s Pieta. You’ll need at least an hour inside to feel like you didn’t miss anything.
Dark clouds were beginning to roll in as we headed back to the train. By the time we got home heavy rain was coming down and pooling in the streets. We inspected our cupboards, put on our rain jackets and ran out to the store just across the street. It was the perfect night to stay in and cook.
Have you ever been to St. Peter’s Basilica or seen the Pope speak? Share your story in the comments below!