A serious change in the weather. After several warm and sunny days, today it was cold, windy and raining heavily. Dad elected to go the Colosseum as the tickets from yesterday we valid for two days. In the end it was far from successful as the Colosseum is almost entirely outdoors and the rain was heavy and unrelenting. Never the less, it was still heaving with people. On his shivering return Dad admitted that we wouldn’t have been wetter if he had swum home.
The Colosseum is certainly spectacular, but really needs to be seen in better weather and preferably with fewer people and here is a basic conclusion about visiting Rome. There are countless things to see and the less popular ones (e.g. Etruscan museum, many of the churches) are not significantly less worth seeing than the key sites but much less stressful and usually cheaper!
After lunch we went to the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in the centre of the city. It has some excellent paintings in sumptuous, if sometimes slightly faded, surroundings but there was one slight snag. They had run out of audio guides. This didn’t seem to be a big problem but it was. Normally an audio guide is just an adjunct, but here is is the only guide available. In most art galleries (at least in the UK), the is written information about all the paintings. Sometimes this is small sign next to each one or perhaps there is folder on a table in each room which you can consult. In the Pamphilj there are none of these things. Each painting simply has the name of the artist and a serial number. Some (perhaps 1 in 20) of the paintings has a number referencing the audio guide but for the other 95% there is nothing to be discovered even if you have a guide.
You can buy two guide books in English, but one just lists the titles and dates of all the paintings whilst the other gives full details but only covered the 5% covered by the audio guide.
Finally, we went to an area near the Spanish steps to see a plaque on a house where Gogol lived.
The weather remained dreadful all day, but the combination of rain and wind was excellent for our “Broken Umbrellas” photo project.