Quite often I do not make specific plans for the day, but set off, and see where I go. Today I went to the Doria Pamphilj gallery. This is still privately owned. I have been there before, but cannot miss the opportunity to see Velasquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X, and the Bernini bust of him, as well as many other famous paintings, including several by Caravaggio. I hired an audio guide, but this covered only a small number of the paintings. Although the artist of each painting is on each frame, there are no titles, and nothing sbout the artists. I spoke to one of the staff afterwards. His explanation was that the family has maintained the building/gallery as it was and there was no room to displsy any other information. This does not seem to me to be good enough. Surely people who visit should be treated with respect, and given information.
After the Doria Pamphilj I visited Palazzo Venezia, from the balcony of which Mussolini used to appear and wave to the crowds. I did not visit the main collection, but instead went to a large exhibition of an Italian sculptor, Venanzo Crocetti, who worked mostly in bronze. He made the sculptures decorating the doors of Saint Peter's. I liked his work very much, and there was a very interesting film about him.
I headed off to the Vatican, to revisit Piazza San Pietro, not all that crowded, but with lenghty queues wanting to enter St Peter's. I crossed the Tiber via Castel Sant'Angelo, such a grim, vast and impressive building. The bridge was almost impassable because of pedlars and their wares, none of which appesred to be made in Italy.
There are heaps of pedlars selling what I can only describe as splat toys, soft plastic clumps which when hurled on the ground go Splat. Really weird!
The bus trip back was totally packed, just like yesterday's, with the strike. Impossible to move, or validate the ticket, stuffy and rather claustrophobic.. I have done most of my packing, had a very pleasant dinner with Jenny and Graham, who insist on escorting me to the station tomorrow, to catch the train to the airport. Then the wait for the flight, snd the long long way back home, to arrive late at night, and hoping to find that all is well.