Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears...
Trip Start Jun 23, 2012
31Trip End Aug 02, 2012
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Left Venice as we had arrived....by boat. This time a ferry to the mainland. Our turn for the front seats, which Kevin was worried about as he would have to try and stay awake all day! Our day was a traveling one as we were heading to Rome. I think everyone was a bit weary from the sudden heat after the cool often rainy weather we had had to now. Not to say I was not excited to see the wonders of Rome that await us....I think it will be a highlight. The drive through the Appennines was just gorgeous. A bit about the autobahn.....it's busy! Also a massive number of trucks use it....we often see massive slow moving lines several kms long but have not been in one yet so far, hope we don't either.
After lunch stop the views were of beautiful Tuscany hillsides with the vines and the quaint farm houses and hilltop villages. Drying off here in summer and bit more like our summer, not the green I had been getting used to in northern Europe
First impressions of Rome are definitely the drivers are crazy, they park wherever and whenever, hats off to our bus driver Enzo who is doing a fantastic job and always keeps his cool.
Included dinner that night with all drinks. We went to a local restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful feast of pasta, steak and gelato. Entertained by musicians and a very entertaining waiter who pampered all the ladies with a long stemmed rose and lots of kisses! Another fun night....it's going to be boring at home! Then an illuminations tour of Rome by night. We walked up Capitoline Hill to take in the Colosseum, the Roman Forum...how amazing to be here. Great photos.
Up early the next day and arrived at Vatican City by 8am, no lines for us we walk straight past everyone waiting their turn in the already hot sun. I was very excited to be here and looking forward to the days events. First the Vatican museum, with our local guide and wearing headsets we had a lot of I information about the magnificent tapestries and statues we were seeing. Then what I had been waiting for...the magnificent Sistine Chapel with the incredible work of Michelangelo. We were lucky there were not that many people there and could all take a seat for 30 minutes while our guide talked about what we were seeing. Hard to put into words my feelings about the magnificence of this place...it was awesome to see and exceeded any expectations I had
We moved on to St Peters Basilica...massive! It's deceiving when you walk in but when you reach the other end and turn back to see people coming in and they look so small. Again our local guide was fantastic and we knew exactly what we were seeing. After that free time to enjoy St Peters square and some souvenir shopping. Next stop the magnificent Colosseum, again we walked straight in past the huge lineups..nice. I think more impressive from the outside but the Romans were so smart in their building technology. Everywhere in Rome there are ancient ruins among the city buildings. It's quite surreal.
By this time it was getting very hot (35 degrees) today, and back at our hotel by 2pm for siesta time..what a great idea that is. Then at 4 we joined a walking tour with our same guide to take in some back streets of Rome and the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. Busiest spot in Rome but a must see for throwing a coin in and a photo opportunity. The group that was remaining walked to the Spanish steps and then enjoyed dinner of pizza, wine and beer before walking (more walking.....) back to our hotel. A hot, long but totally exciting and rewarding day. Rome is definitely a must see destination and I will always appreciate having been here.