Gateway to the Eternal City !

Trip Start Sep 22, 2009
Trip End Oct 14, 2009

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Ruby Princess, Princess Cruise Line

Flag of Italy  , Latium,
Monday, September 28, 2009

Buon Giorno!  This morning we arrived in Civitavecchia, the port city of those interested in touring Rome!  Since Rome was a sixty minute train ride or 90 minute drive from Civitavecchia, many of the tours departed from the port shortly after arriving at 7:00am.  For us, we were planning on visiting Rome during our travels of Italy after our cruise, so visiting Rome today wasn't a big deal. Instead, we decided to make a casual visit into the city.  

Although it's known as the ancient city, most of Civitavecchia's archaeological treasures and old buildings were destroyed during the two world wars, thanks to its strategic importance as Rome's port. Travelling through the port gate, though, no one can avoid noticing the city's main attraction, the looming 16th-century Fort Michelangelo, commissioned by Pope Julius II and completed by Michelangelo. There are also remains of the old city walls, and a worthy fountain designed by Vanvitelli, close to the Fort and the old Roman harbour

Princess Cruise's had a regular shuttle going from the ship to a shuttle stop between the port gate and Forte Michelangelo.  The downtown core of Civitavecchia was easy to walk.  Beginning at the Port gate, we walked up the Largo Plebiscito, a popular walking mall consisting of retail stores, commercial businesses and restaurants.  We walked along Largo Plebiscito till it met Corso Centocelle to Via Roma, a major thoroughfare.  

Not wanting to walk any further, we made a round-about and shortly afterwards, found ourselves at the Market near Piazza Regina Margherita.  We slowly meandered around the market and the streets around it. 

We enjoyed walking the streets and watching the local Italian's carry on with daily life. Periodically doing some window shopping and entering stores of intrigue!  When shopping, Rick usually has a talent for seeking out sporting goods stores and he didn't disappoint.  With no map or GPS, navigating the streets of a foreign country and language, he was able to seek out a cycling shop.  Fortunately, we couldn't bring a bike back onto the ship so I was confident he wasn't going to make a purchase that would significantly add to our airmile account.  He did purchase a pair of cycling shorts that he said were a good deal.    

We made it back to the ship early and decided to get a workout in the fitness center.  The meals have been fantastic.  We've enjoyed our share of main courses!  So, trying to maintain the calorie game is a simple strategy, "calories intake" vs "calorie expenditure"!  Five course meals vs five course workouts!  Cheese cake vs treadmill!  So, while Rick hit the bike and peddled like he was racing in the Tour de France, I put on my ipod and walked the treadmill with nothing more than the wide open waters of the Mediterranean in my view.  

The workout made dining feel a lot less guilty!  Not that we ever feel guilty eating on a cruise ship!  The early dinner allowed us to catch the 10:30pm hypnotist show in the Princess Theatre.  Unfortunately, when the show began, we learned the hypnotist missed the boat.  Actually, he missed his flight which resulted in him missing the boat.  So, we watched a juggler instead.  He was a good substitute.  We ended the evening by dancing in Club Fusion to the music of the British Invasion.  Here, we again worked off some calories!  Gotta stay ahead of that calorie game!

See ya tomorrow in Napoli!  Buona Notte!  Rick & Elsie! 

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