Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roman Holiday Part 10 - The Mouth of Truth!!

Previously: I had some pizza and wine and I hugged the Pantheon and then I went to sleep.

When morning arrived, I hopped out of bed and put on the one set of gym clothes I brought with me and my sneaks. I put on my ipod (which has been on battery rest since Friday) and headed out for a run around Rome. The NYC Marathon is only a few weeks away at this point in time, and though I’ve been walking my ass off for the past couple days I haven’t gotten a proper run in since Thursday. That just won’t do! Since I saw several people training in the circus Maximus over the weekend, I decided to go down there. It was really cool! It was a neat thing to get to run around the place where chariot races used to be held. There was a noticeable amount of party debris that had been littered along the stairs from some celebration the night before, but other than that it looked lovely. I did several loops around the area and then ran back up the hill to the Colosseo. After that I ran back to the hotel, showered and changed, and picked up my camera to once and for all get a picture of me in front of the Mouth of Truth.

I get to the proper piazza, which is only a little bit away from where I was just running laps, and I have to laugh at myself for missing it before. I’d walked through this area at least twice before over the weekend, and had no idea I was so close to the Mouth of Truth. I locate the correct church and go inside. I don’t see it. The church is very pretty, but there's no Mouth of Truth in here! I look all over the place, and I can’t find it. I go into the gift shop and there is all sorts of Mouth of Truth memorabilia on sale. This is definitely the place. Where the hell is it hiding? I go outside to retrace my steps. And there on the far wall on the outside of the entrance is the Mouth of Truth just waiting for me, looking at me as if to say, “I’m right here, dummy.”

Finally! I got this other tourist dude to take my picture, but it’s on the disposable so I can’t tell if it turned out okay, but I figured I’d just have to chance it. I strike the customary pose of sticking my hand in the actual mouth. As legend has it if you try to tell a lie while your hand is in the mouth, the stone will bite your hand off. Good times! I depart from the Mouth of Truth feeling very satisfied at having uncovered the last of the many attractions I set out to see while in Rome.

(I'm so happy to have found the Mouth of Truth, and that's no lie!)

On my way back to the hotel, I find that I’m right at the base of Aventine Hill. I decided since there was still time, I’d make another trek up the hill to look the keyhole in the green doors one more time. It really was such a treat. I which I could’ve take a picture of it, but I only had a few shots left and I really didn’t think the image would come through.

When I got to the top, the soldiers with their big guns were still there guarding… whatever. I really don’t know who they think is going to attack this place nor what secret they might be protecting inside, but clearly it would make a good plot for a Dan Brown novel. I looked through the keyhole again and the sight was as awesome as the first time. After I get a good look, I take a stroll through San Anselm, a beautiful church that is on the other side of the street from the Green Doors. When I left San Anselm, something unexpected and awesome happened. A maintenance truck was entering the Big Green Doors! I gasp as I realize this is my chance to escape into Narnia, if I can just run along side the truck and not be seen by the armed guards. Surely the pay off would be worth the risk of getting riddled with bullets. Unfortunately, the guards are posted everywhere and I can’t make a move. I was able to get a better look at the space when the doors were opened. I stood at a place where I could see inside and the guards didn’t raise their weapons on me, so I assumed that meant it was okay. Seeing it not through the keyhole lessens some of the mystique of the rows of shrubs, but the view of St. Peter’s Basilica is still a marvel. I want to live on Aventine Hill!

Time was ticking away, so I made my final trek back down the hill, knowing this will be last bit of time allowed for exploring. I checked out some more great churches and church grounds as I wound my way down to Circus Maximus below. Then it’s once again back up to my hotel where I gather my bags and check out. I really had a lovely stay at the Mercure Roma Delta Colosseo.

As I’m dragging my suitcase down the street to the metro station, storm clouds are rolling in. NOW it decides to rain? After so many beautiful days where it was predicted I’d have nothing but rain, the one day they predicted sun, was the one that was stormy. It held off as long as it took me to see all I wanted to see. Divine intervention, I’d say. Thanks again, mom!

I passed by the Colosseo one last time as I headed into the metro, blowing it one final kiss on the way. Before I went down into the station I had time for one last gelati – this time apple and pear! Mmmmm! Then finally I had to board the subway, and just then the rain starts to fall.

Next time: Planes and trains, but no automobiles. And maybe I leave Rome, and maybe I don't.

My previous adventures: My Flight There, Emperor Palpatine's Hill, Good Times at the Colosseo & Vatican, SPB & The 39 Steps, The Pantheon, Gays and Dining Out. Owen & Nilor Take Via Borghese, The More Than 39 steps of Vittoriano, The Battle For Aventine Hill and Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

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