We checked in at Casa Il Rosario, a Catholic nunnery-slash-hotel. The location was excellent, a couple of blocks from The Colosseum. The nuns made a mean breakfast with homemade yogurt, granola, and pastries. The hot chocolate machine was amazing and so was the lingonberry juice.
We walked to the Borghese Gallery. The Borgheses were a rich noble family in Italy since the 12th Century. We wandered among Bernini sculptures, Caravaggio and Raphael paintings, and Wendy fell asleep on some steps.
Throughout our trip we listened to Rick Steves’ audioguides on our iPhones. I highly recommend them for giving some context and interesting tidbits about what might otherwise become an endless parade of statues and paintings.
After the gallery we had time for a quick visit to the Capuchin Monk crypt, a monastery where the monks decorated walls and ceilings with bones and bodies of their deceased brethren. Wendy didn’t go in because she is still recovering from the Paris Catacombs 16 years ago, but I walked through the crypt part twice before they turned off the chant soundtrack and started flashing the lights to get the tourists to leave. A high-pressure saleswoman convinced me to buy a postcard from the gift shop. Everything in the shop was blessed by the monks, she said. She was disappointed I didn’t buy a book with no price tag on it.
We crashed for the night and most of us woke up at 3am with jet lag.