It's Pope DayUnsurprisingly up early but a good nights sleep for us both.

Since an early start for the Vatican was recommended we thought this would be an ideal opportunity so a quick breakfast, healthy fruit followed by an unhealthy but delicious chocolate croissant on the way.

Turns out Wednesdays are the days when the Pope come out to address his flock in St Peters Square (it's not, it's round). The faithful were there in numbers (8:30 for 11) and the church is closed for the occasion.



Not to be put off we headed round the corner to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel only to find that the rest of the tourists in Rome had the same idea. There was some uncertainty about when it opened (sign said 10 but it had to be earlier than that as we got in about 9:30).

 Queues at the Vatican MuseumWhat a collection of art and the value! Words fail. You'd have to wonder why the Catholic Church needs any more money.

The disappointment of it all is the pressure of people is huge and lack of care of the treasures from the people is a worry. For example the Sistine Chapel was packed, standing room door to door only. Do 16th century paintings get damaged by the humidity from 10 million people a year? I don't know but it looks like the Vatican plan to find out.

We bought some sandwiches for lunch and returned to the flat to have them as by this time the eyes were heavy as well as the legs. A brief foray to find the local supermarket  and an unsuccessful go at receiving email were followed by another siesta. Nasty to find that the War on Terror (!) requires photo ID to be produced at the internet cafe, doubtless this is an insuperable barrier to terrorists. Yeah Right.

Much effort found the supermarket and supplies for the washing machine so all set for clean grundies tomorrow.

Drinks in the Campo di' Fiori (again) with an excellent meal in the Lonely Plant's recommendation of da Sergio alla Grotta. The waitress was clearly unhappy but Mary brought her around with smiles and chit chat.
Crowds in the Map Room