Friday, February 19, 2010

The Pope and Pinocchio: The Vatican and Frascati, Italy


What do the Pope and Pinocchio have in common?  Beyond the fact that "Jiminy Cricket" used to be a polite expletive for Jesus Christ, these two historic figures appear to be the number one sales items in every tourist trap in the city of Rome.  So how fitting that we started the day at the Vatican and ended it at Restaurante Il Pinocchio in Frascati.  We had made reservations for the Vatican because of the horror stories we had heard about waiting in line with kids.  The irony is the that the drive in was over two hours, (no more Metro parking lot crisis on our last day we decided) and then waited twenty minutes to get into St. Peters.  We barely even had time to chase pigeons while mommy waited in line!  Ok, so how do explain the Pope and the city-state of the Vatican to a young Jewish kid?  I didn’t even try.  Sydney was really into the cupolas though, and we were all were pretty amazed by Bernini’s use of marble, bronze and general baroque extravaganza.  

I had higher hopes for Sydney’s interests in the Sistine Chapel.  Although, deep in my eighteen years of memory banks I had images of wandering for ages through the Vatican museums to find it.  Luckily, they had mummies.  Even Lij got into the Egyptian museum, comparing “little mummies, big mummies and oh, kitties!”  He thankfully passed out for the long haul through the long halls.  Finally we arrived, with Sydney about to face plant it and we got through a brief summary of the Old Testament highlights thanks to Michelangelo; the Exodus from Egypt, Noah and the Ark and the creation of Adam and Eve.  He thought the pictures were “cool,” even if we may have to still send him to Sunday school for the content.

Wasted from a long walk back to the car we crawled down the autostrada for one last supper in our favorite neighboring town, Frascati.  This is one of the castle towns of Rome with a great old church and perfectly cute shops, (including lots of childrens’ clothing which seems odd given that Italy has the lowest birth rate in the world.)  Kami had read Pinocchio with the boys before leaving and we were even suckered into getting them both wooden dolls when we got here.  Yet far from the tourists here in Frascati we turned the corner and viola, a six-foot high rendition of the puppet.  Ahhhh the finishing touches on a great trip; a last penne and ragu, some gelato to wash it down and a reservation to return to the most kid-friendly city we’ve ever seen.


toni said...

the trip sounds like it went great! You guys are very brave and your children will be grateful.

FoodieMommy said...

Love that you are starting the kids early on their history education. Go, Lij for understanding that kitties and mummies are really the same. And of course Syd for getting the beauty of pizza and the Vatican. What a family.