I took a trip to Italy with Hiroki in September, 2007.
Hiroki lives in Yokohama, and it was the first trip for him.
Though we have never met in Japan, we two old wombats had
a splendid time throughout the journey.
To my joy, I unexpectedly found "a curious tree" and I instantly liked it.
(The line of "curious trees" in Rome City.)
It was on the bus trip from Rome to Florence that
I found the tree for the first time.
The tree proudly stood out on the distant hill alone,
and it seemed as if it called out to me.
It was an eye-catching tree like a monkey pod (or a raintree) for me.
The tree soon won my heart.
I soon knew that it was a kind of pine, though.
I hope you'll enjoy my travels.
Chewbacca: Let's visit Vatican City first.
It is located in Rome City, however, it is the world's smallest country.
You could enter Saint Peter's Piazza, Saint Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum.
Hiroki: I leave it to you. By the way, is it possible for the wombats to enter them?
Chewbacca: Maybe. Anyway, let's go.
Before stepping into St. Peter's Piazza
Let's groom here. We have to be neat and tidy.
St. Peter's Piazza
Hroki:There's no wombats except us, isn't there?
Chewbacca: We are special. I hear that Obelisk was moved from Egypt.
Hiroki: I wonder which was more difficult,
to have taken us from Australia to Japan or to have carried it from Egypt?
St. Peter's Basilica
Hiroki: Is this St. Peter's Basilica?
Chewbacca: Yes, it is. We are like Peter and Paul.
Hiroki: What do you mean?
Chewbacca: Let's go into it, shall we?
Hiroki: Do you really think that they'll let us wombats enter it?
Chewbacca: Probably. If someone say no, we'll just leave.
I paid my respects to St. Peter.
The guard of Vatican
Hiroki: Do you want to help them?
Chewbacca: Yes. I'll ask them.
We were allowed to be guard!?
We really appreciate their big hearts.
This uniform is said to be designed by Michelangelo.
The Vatican Museum
Yoo-hoo, Hiroki! They say even the wombats have to line up.
An hour later
Chewbacca: Almost there.
Hiroki: I didn't imagine that so many people were getting in line here
early in the morning.
We finally entered the Vatican Museum
With a backdrop of St. Peter's Basilica
The Pinecone Courtyard
Hiroki, take a shot of me well!
I'm lost in thought by the pinecone.
Chewbacca, is it okay to be here?
With the backdrop of a whole building.
The Sculptural Room
Do we look like the statues?
The Map Room
Can you see our home town?
I wonder if these tiles were moved from the Baths of Caracalla?
Toward the exit of the Vatican Museum
Chewbacca: I wonder where Hiroki is?
Hiroki: I wonder if Chewbacca went ahead?
We are helping Nepture!?
The Square of Spain
Hiroki: There're so many people, aren't there?
Chewbacca:We wombats are here, too!
Hiroki: I wonder if they are surprised to see us?
|Hiroki, a lot of people are looking at me grooming!|
|I don't think so.....
Chewbacca, come here since there are fewer people here.
We are going to take a subway.
The entrance is behind us.
Exciting! It's like being in our burrow.
Chewbacca: Hurry up, Hiroki! The train will soon start.
Hiroki: Chewbacca, keep the door open!
The shop on the street
Chewbacca: Excuse me, do you have any sweet potatoes or carrots?
Hiroki: No, Chewbacca. I don't like the carrots.
I like the bamboo leaves best, but I'm afraid that they don't sell them.
The clock on the street
I found that there were many clocks on the street.
There were both Roman and Arabic numeral clocks.
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of Arabic numeral ones.
The Popolo Piazza
The Tevere River
Chewbacca: Why don't you try riding the log, Hiroki?
Hiroki: I'll have to pass.
Chiesa di Santa Maria Deli Angeli
Both Hiroki and I were inspired by the men who wore Romanic costumes,
and so we were also dressed up in our pirate costumes.
We felt somewhat merry.
Chewbacca:：Hiroki, how about wearing the captain's costume
since you have more charisma?
I'll wear the First Mate's costume.
Hiroki: Is the captain's costume just a hat?
I wonder if the people are watching us?
Chewbacca: Let's enter the Coliseum.
Chewbacca: It was a large arena which could hold fifty thousand people.
Hiroki: Do we enter it wearing these costumes?
Chewbacca: Of course!
In the Coliseum
Chewbacca: I'm thrilled!
Hiroki: Me too. People may mistake us for real pirates.
I wonder if they will be frightened of us?
Chewbacca: I guess it's shocking for them to see wombats here.
Chewbacca: Do you want to perform something fun on this stage?
Hiroki: Yes. Our big moment comes!
Hiroki: How about showing our favorite grooming routine!
Chewbacca: O.K. I think it's better for us to take off our costumes now.
Chewbacca: Do you want to do paper-rock-scissors?
:Hiroki: I've never tried it.
Chewbacca: Look at me! This is a rock.
Hiroki: I wonder if you should sleep during paper-rock-scisoors?
Let's keep exploring the inside of the Coliseum.
Chewbacca: I really enjoyed the Coliseum.
Hiroki: How high we climbed up!
We could see such a building at the Coliseum.
Hiroki: Let's take a rest on the green space.
Chewbacca: Do you think we can't dig here?
We switched our costumes.
Chewbacca: I wonder which looks best?
Hiroki: It's difficult to answer, but.....
I feel the old one fits me well.
Hiroki: Chewbacca, wait!
Chewbacca: I'm waiting for you.
Hiroki: There are many "curious trees" here.
Chewbacca: I wonder if this tree is a symbol of Rome?
I'm curious about that.
Chewbacca: Can you see anything?
We could see this scenery at Colle Palatino.
We could see the Coliseum, too.
The background is Foro Romano.
The Stadium on Colle Palatino
|Chewbacca: We should do something.
Hiroki: So, do you groom again?
|Chewbacca: I want to race you.
Hiroki: Do the people know that wombats can run fast for a short distance.
Chewbacca: We'll show them.
Hiroki: It looks like no one is looking at us.
|Hiroki: Do you want to dig?
Chewbacca: Sure. Right, right, right, left, left ,left.........
|Chewbacca: I'll take a rest.
Hiroki: Have you given up yet?
Chewbacca: We are like ancient Romans.
Hiroki: Do we wear the pirate costumes?
The Baths of Caracalla
Hiroki: It says "Baths of Caracalla". We finally arrived.
Chewbacca: I hear it was built in the reign of Caracalla. The name derives from it.
Hiroki, come on!
Hiroki: No one is looking at us even here.
Chewbacca: I feel somewhat sad.....
Which is which?
Hiroki: I wonder if the man who is photographing will realize that we are here?
Chewbacca: I guess he won't recognize us. I wish he would photograph us.
With the curious trees
We didn't know that there were a lot of curious trees here.
Hiroki: How large the Baths of Caracalla!
Chewbacca: They say that there were not only baths but also
a kind of gym and a library.
I found such a sign.
I wonder if it used to be a bath?
Maybe a pool? Hiroki, come in!
We wish there were some water! If so, we could swim!
Hiroki: The pattern of the floor is beautiful, isn't it?
Chewbacca: I wonder if the tiles of the patternless part were moved
to the Vatican Museum?
Hiroki: What do you mean?
Did the Vatican Museum remove some of the pattern tiles?
Chewbacca: I guess so. The notice posted at the entrance said that.
This wall is good enough to scratch my back.
It looks like the wall in my pen.
On the way from the Baths of Caracalla
Hiroki: Here's another line of those curious trees which you like.
Chewbacca: I'm deeply impressed. I'd like to bite it a bit.
Hiroki: No, Chewbacca. Be patient.
(St. Angel Castle)
Hiroki: We arrived at St. Angel Castle.
Chewbacca: They say that St. Angel Castle was connected with
St. Peter's Basilica in the basement long ago.
Hiroki: Really? I wonder if it was longer than the tunnel that the wombats dug?
Chewbacca: I wish I could help them dig.
We explored in the castle.
You can see some curious trees from here, too.
With the backdrop of the Tevere and the St. Angel Bridge
You can see St. Angel Castle behind us.
Chewbacca: We now arrived at the cradle of the Renaissance!
Hiroki: Let's become new wombats, too, shall we?
(Santa Maria del Fiore)
Hiroki: So big and beautiful!
Battistero di San Giovanni
Campanile di Giotto
We are trespassers.
Sorry to enter the house without asking.
(City hall now)
I felt like playing a lion as soon as I saw them.
(This statue of David is a replica. The real one is in the Academic Museum.)
I took one lion's place.
Hey! Everybody! Can you see me? It's a tight fit, isn't it?
Why don't you come up to here, Hiroki?
Chewbacca, don't act funny. Come down quickly.
The Statue Square
Chewbacca: Two wombats' statues appeared!?
Hiroki: I now realized that you wanted to play a lion's statue.
The scenery which we saw out a window on the bus from Rome to Florence
Chewbacca: This idyllic scenery looks nice on us, doesn't it?
Hiroki: I feel as if we lived here. We can dig as much as we want!
On the way to the Fiumicino airport, a rainbow appeared after a heavy rain.
The passengers said with delight,"a rainbow appeared!",
and so we looked out the bus windows.
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
Hiroki: It is so now when we are old, isn't it?
Chewbacca: Therefore we are poets, I think.
Hiroki: Chewbacca, you are too simple.......
Two wombats: Anyway, we feel somewhat happy when we saw a rainbow.
To tell the truth,
we prefer the native grass and the sweet potatoes to the rainbow.
Thus our pleasant journey was over.
Thanks for coming along on my journey through Italy!
* The answer to "Which is which?":
The observer's left is Hiroki and right is Chewbacca.