Trip Start Jan 01, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Saturday, January 15, 2011

The day started with an 8:45 metro ride into the city, which took us to the Vatican. I wasn't doing the tour, so I wandered off on my own and spent the day solo exploring this ancient city. I went to St. Peter's Square, where the Basilica, the Vatican Museum, and the Sistine Chapel are located. I took some photos in the early morning light, then made my way over to Vittorio Emmanuele, where you can climb to the fifth story, then take a glass elevator to the very top for panoramic views. It was such a gorgeous warm day, and you could see for miles. From here I wandered to the Colosseum, passing by the Roman Forum on the way. There are many street performers along the street, so it is very entertaining. I waited in a short line to get in, then walked around the ancient structure. It was incredible to experience. After getting my fill, I made my way over to the ancient archaeological site and the Roman Forum and walked through it. It was nearly 2 at this point and I was starving. I walked in the direction of the Spanish Steps, stopping to see the Trevi Fountain in the daylight. Once ascending the Spanish Steps and admiring the view from the top, I found a cute Italian restaurant with outdoor seating. I sat and enjoyed a Caprese Salad, with the most delicious mozzarella I have ever tasted, drizzles with fruity olive oil and tangy balsamic. Next I had a yummy homemade fettucini with porcini mushrooms. I enjoyed a tart Pinot grigio and a coffee to finish. It was exactly the meal I was looking for in Italy, and was happy for the opportunity to enjoy it. Sometimes it's hard to do something like this when traveling with a group, since things don't always fit everyone's tastes or budgets. It was nice to have a day alone. We all met back up at 6:30 for the metro back to the hotel. I spent the rest of the night packing my laundered clothes and had an early night. Since the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel were closed on Sunday, we would be hitting that up in the morning.
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