Here's the most frustrating thing about it. I was at the train station an hour early! So early, I went to hang out in the food court one level up. 15 min before my train I went down to board. All the trains were right there on the lower level so that seemed like plenty of time. WRONG. My train was at the farthest platform from the escalators and at the far end of said platform. I knew I was in trouble when I showed my ticket to the woman at the info booth. Her eyes got wide and she explained where my train was and then said, "It's very far madame". Hence, the running.
The train was in sight - and it was 3:02 aka scheduled departure time - but I was not comfortably close. Should I have suspected the train wouldn't leave on time? Yes. But did I want to be at the platform watching my train pull out of the station? No. I did make it on the train but at quite a price.
30 min past our scheduled time, we arrived in Orvieto and I took a funicular then a bus to the city center to meet my Airbnb host. Thank goodness he was there to carry my bag to the 3rd floor. Don't know what I'll do without him tomorrow. Will most likely catch an early train to Florence. No use staying in Orvieto to walk around when I can't really walk around. Too bad as it does have a small town, artsy vibe.
I went to the farmacia and got an ace bandage, pain cream and more ibuprofen then to a restaurant for dinner. I noticed 3 tables of Italian men all staring my way but not for the reasons I was hoping for. It seems there was a futbol match playing on a tv inside right above my head. Time to finish up and hobble home.
Before the knee fiasco, I was feeling quite proud of navigating the logistics of a luggage locker, metro and finding my way to the right group tour in the Vatican Museum. I was first sent to an Italian speaking group. I'm guessing because of my last name and the fact that I answered "solo Lei?" with such fluency. Easy when I all have to say is "sí". That was quickly cleared up, though both guides said staying with the original group was a great opportunity to practice my Italian.
Our guide sped us through the exhibits stopping to talk about some but not others. It all became a blur and stories stuck with me more than dates and Popes. In the end she left us to explore the Sistine Chapel on our own - well us and a few hundred of our friends. It's huge inside and the iconic image of Adam and God almost touching fingers is just one small part in a whole lot of art. While everyone was wandering around and looking up, one of the guards kept repeating into a speaker, "Silencio. Silence. No photos, no videos. Silencio." While there was a low hum of the crowd, he was the one really disturbing the silencio.
And here we are. Going to do some cold/hot rotation on my leg, go to bed and hope it's better in the morning. Also, most of the photos below don't have captions beacuse I don't remember what they are. Art history majors, please chime in!
|Yes, that's a pinecone statue|
|Our guide telling is how awesome this statue of Apollo is. Too bad it's under renovation.|
|In the hall of muses|
|All the statues had eyes like this but they are precious gems and often stolen.|
|St. Peter's Basilica|
|Detail from a 2019 statue in St. Peter's Square|
|The Duomo in Orvieto|