Headed out to see a museum that began its illustrious life as Hadrian's mausoleum and ended it as the castle to which the pope would escape if the Vatican was under attack! The lower section of the fortress is a massive piece of amazing engineering with a sloped path running a full circle up from the entrance at the base to a huge room where three urns would have originally stood. The top of the fortress has been fortified, four turrets and an outer wall added, and beautiful apartments for the Pope created. There is also a raised walkway that is still connected to the Vatican. This way, if the Pope needed to escape, he could quickly get to Castel Sant'Angelo.
We enjoyed exploring that and since we were so close, we headed down to look at the Vatican. Before we came on this trip we had already decided we wouldn't go in. We'd heard that the crowds were horrible and that you are basically on a "conveyor belt" of sorts where you are not allowed to stop or speed up. Added to that, the stuff we really would be interested in seeing (the Sistine chapel, for example) is difficult due to its size or distance away. So we stood in the Vatican courtyard, talked about the Catholic church and Dadam dodged the Politza to grab the Vatican cache (not officially sanctioned).
After a lovely pizza lunch in the castle park, a play in the playground and another cache, we headed off to the Shelley/Keats museum and the Spanish steps. The museum was a small one (tiny actually) but was interesting. It has Keats' bedroom and some information on American and British artists and writers who came to Rome for inspiration and culture.
We walked up the Spanish steps and the down past the Pantheon again. We wandered by the column of Marcus Aurelius and back to the bustling plaza outside our flat!
We enjoyed a delicious dinner of fried fish, apparently an invention of the Romans, and quite different to the fish and chips available in the UK. And then some sleep before our last day of sightseeing!!