Eventually we found ourselves at the spiral ramp/staircase and exited the building...this staircase is really cool. I had seen pictures long ago and remember being disappointed not to see it last time (I know...how greedy am I? Seeing the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel weren't enough for me apparently, I wanted to see a staircase as well! lol) In my defence...hey, this staircase is really cool!! When we got out to the street, I looked down the sidewalk, jammed with people, and thought man, that sun has got to be baking hot beating off the wall of Vatican City (the sidewalk ran along the wall, which is HUGE.) So Mom and I crossed over to the shady side, all the while pitying those wilting in the heat on the sunny side. We came upon one of Rome's ubiquitous and oh-so-refreshing fountains so we stopped to splash ourselves and have a drink (the spouts have a hole a few inches from the end, so when you plug the end with your finger, a stream of water shoots up to form a drinking fountain...how clever is that?!) We also stopped for gelato, also refreshing, especially limone...such a tangy burst of yummy!! We had thought to climb the cupola of St. Peter's but we missed it by thaaat much. Closed just minutes before we got there.
So we hopped bus instead ,wound our way up and over Gianicolo hill and found ourselves in Trastevere. I asked Mom if she was okay with a visit to the Santa Maria in Trastevere...indeed she was. After mildly losing our way, we came upon this old church, one of the oldest in Rome. The piazza reminded me a bit of Santa Annunciata in Florence...sketchy but full of life and pretty cool in a down to earth kind of way.
The church is beautiful, but my interior shots are not really worth posting (only had my cell phone camera with me, which takes fantastic pics, but not so good in dimly lit church buildings or when close ups are in order.)
We ate in, once again winding down by relaxing with a glass of wine on our terrace, admiring the parasol pines and the warm night air...ahhhh, heaven!