Sunday, October 21, 2018

Italy in 10 efficient days -- Rome (2-3 days)

True to my travelogue style, I'm going to give advice about what to do while you're in Italy, but I myself didn't follow this plan.

So I'll also tell you what actually happened.

Day 1: The first day I was in Italy I had no plans, so I just went to the National Roman Museum, which is right next to the Rome Termini station. It has a ton of ancient Roman artifacts, perhaps most famously the discus thrower. Otherwise, if you're planning on visiting the Vatican museums even a little bit and you're a little on a tight schedule, this museum is an easy miss. You can also get entry into the related museum (you can buy entry to one for 10 Euro and both for 12) to the old Roman bath ruins that are also right there by the train station. But you can also see basically some Roman bath ruins by going into the Basilica S.Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, which is a part of the Roman bath building converted to a church by Mihelangelo. I checked into my hotel at around 3:00 pm and thought about just staying there (long flight and not a lot of sleep), but because I'm so hardcore about sleep schedules when traveling, 

I forced myself to uber over to some other second tier place. Ubers are good if you can't find a taxi stand (you don't really hail taxies, you have to find a taxi stand), although they are all black car so more expensive than American uber. Second tier activities, because I was going to be in Rome again in a week with another sociopath friend and I knew she would want to do all the first tier stuff with me. So I went to something that seemed safely second tier (although I ended up going again with socio friend just for a quick look), El Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. This one has a couple Berninis and a few Carravagios and it is a nice look into a Palazzo while also combining some important pieces of art. Heads up, there aren't really any big state run museums that have all the good art, but rather they all come from private collections and mostly have stayed in those collections, even if they're available for viewing by the general public, so don't expect something like the Louvre with a consolidated collection in Rome. But maybe the best thing about this Doria Pamphilij place is that the audio guide is narrated by one of the heirs to this family fortune/collection, and his little remembrances of his family are often hilarious glimpses into wealthy old money Italian families. I also saw the Palazzo Venezia, which is very missable unless you're into Mussolini locations, bu it was a good example of what the audio guide narrator at Doria Pamphilij said -- that in Rennaissance onward Roman society, it wasn't enough for a family to have money -- it had to have things. And that's what the Palazzo Venezia looks like, just room upon room of very precious (I'm sure), uninteresting things. I also took the elevator to the top of the Altare della Patria, which people say is the best view of Rome because you can't see the Altare della Patria in the horizon. ;) 

Day 2: I meet new friend Daniel who is maybe 7-ish on socio scale? He says he is on the more hyper rational side of things. We had emailed about hitchhiking down to Naples (he has a whole theory behind it, maybe he'll let me publish it) and had talked about leaving that day, but he said he'd rather spend one more day in Rome, so we just hung out. We met at the Colosseum, he looked at my shoes and was like, looks like you can walk around for 10 or 11 hours. Not quite, but a lot that way. We walked all over the place. They say walking is the best way to see Rome, and it is probably true, but also heads up that you need some good shoes for the rough cobblestone streets, sidewalks, and just all of the very hard surfaces you'll be on. We walked first to a park on the other side of the river that is high and has a good view and then on to St. Peter's, which is a masterpiece of architecture and the cleanest older church I have seen. It really looked like it could have been built in the last decade, it was so clean. Of course Michelangelo's Pieta is there in bulletproof glass, as well as a bunch of dead popes. No cost to go in, but a long wait for security with a lot of people from cultures who are not used to queuing. You can climb to the top of the sexy ass Michelangelo dome and should because it's sexy as hell. After, we hung out in the Vatican-y sort of area around the river and just wandering until I took a cab back to my hotel, which luckily had vacancy. I lost the first of my personal items there -- a jacket. I had packed light because of the hitchhiking plans, just a normal sized backpack, and I ended up losing basically half of my clothes on this trip. Tsk tsk.

Day 3: Things I did later in Rome and that are worthwhile is a tour of the Sistine Chapel and Vatican. I did the Pristine Sistine, because I had such a good experience seeing Stonehenge early, but even before it allegedly opened it was packed. Maybe still a good idea if it's high season? And the Vatican museums seemed complicated to me, so it was nice to just burn there through with a guide explaining things. I also did a Colosseum and Roman Forum tour because I figured otherwise I wouldn't know what was going on in there. That was also probably a good idea because the ruins are so partial it's not clear what is what.

Finally, I went to the Borghese Gallery. Heads up, the way they do it is let a group in for two hour slots. Two hours is more than enough time to see everything, so no stress, even if I could have stayed longer. But! As is the case at a lot of places, what ends up happening is that middlemen buy up all the availability and so reservations have to be made at least a week in advance for your time slot or you can try to buy from these third party resellers. I ended up staying a day longer than I had planned. Because I stayed longer, I also did a Walks of Rome tour of the catacombs, which was also interesting, especially sort of piecing together the history of Rome with the history and spread of Christianity. If you're short on time and/or money but want a flavor of old Christianity and bones, another good option is just to see the Capuchin Crypt yourself, which is easily accessible within the city limit. It was very not crowded when I went and also has its own Caravaggio.

Also sort of must see is Bellini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa, which is just in a small church and is free to see but the hours are sort of particular. I went at least once when it was closed and then again when it was closing and sort of sketchy to see it after a Missa.


  1. Are not all socio people much more rational than others? Does super-emotional psychos exist, people ruled by giant feelings?

    1. A dominant quality of sociopaths is their rational approach to life. So by definition; No, emotionally dominated sociopaths do not exist.

    2. Extreme rational thinking is "inhuman"; its the "demonic" feature people fear in sociopathy. What many think of as pure evil most likely is the result of that mindset.

    3. I like the think of rationality as the ability to appropriately model the environment and make appropriate responses.

      Psychopathic people model within an emotionless framework (or diminished-emotion) framework.

      This doesn't necessarily lead to optimal modeling.

      Psychopathic people "see clearly" but this doesn't mean they read us accurately, especially when something is at stake.

      I like the clarity **-* offers. I really enjoy his take on things: it always shows me my own interpretation is not the only possible one. He shows me other considerations.

      But I don't consider his reasoning superior to my own. It's useful for drawing me out of my own head and rounding out my perspective. Ultimately, I have to proceed by incorporating my own understanding of social currents and emotional factors, collaborative intentions and capacities that he doesn't have the infrastructure to grasp. Because that's who I am.

      In other words, we each optimise our own capabilities. The brain is a statistical machine that efficiently seeks outcomes. It's the job of the conscious mind to deliver data to the subconscious so it had the opportunity to improve the brain's models.

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  3. A dragon advisor in a fairytale met a jittery woman. "-I like to portray myself as hi-end, miss posh" said the woman. The dragon sighed and said "-You have the same reptile nature as me, dont give me the golden turd stuff, remember who you are talking to". "-But I´m just like everybody else; I love culture, friends, dancing & want to live life!" screamed the woman. The dragon poured a drink & put on a halloween-mask which resembled the woman (it hade a cold & cruel design). "-Will this denial-nightmare ever end?" the dragon asked with a weary voice.


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