Rome was our next port on the 2018 Mediterranean Cruise we took on Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas. This was another place where our group split up and did our own excursions for the most part. Danny and I selected a tour that took us to the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the Forum.
It’s about a two hour bus ride from the port to Rome. There are trains that go there if you want to tour on your own. We chose to go with ship’s excursions since we didn’t want to worry about not getting back on time. They will leave without you, but will wait if there’s a delay with their excursions.
Our excursion was just Danny and myself. Our first stop was The Vatican.
We had tickets to enter St. Peter’s Basilica with a tour group. There’s a dress code for there. I had a Lularoe lacy sweater to wear so my shoulders were covered. We both were wearing shorts to the knee. That worked for the heat. We went through security and up the steps. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.
The first thing I looked for was the Pieta. It was just inside where we entered so it was the first thing I spotted. Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Statue of David outside of the Uffuzi Gallery, it was breathtaking to see this in person.
We were given time to explore on our own. Some people walked up to the dome area. I hadn’t planned on it to begin with and my fall in Florence there was no way I could do it. Even being a non-Catholic I was awes being in here. It felt like a Holy place. The architecture is just beautiful. I was awed walking around and exploring for the time we had.
Upon exiting, there is a Virtual Geocache in the gardens to the left of the Basilica. I located it and now managed to have a find in the Vatican. I’d been geocaching all along on the trip, and I now had ones in Spain, France, Italy, and the Vatican.
After that we went in one of the gift shops where we were to meet to go back to the bus. I spotted a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. My mother had loved him and I thought if there were one thing I would have bought to bring back to my mother, that would have been it, so I bought it for myself.
Our next stop was the Trevi Fountain.
This area was crowded. It was wall-to-wall people. Getting close to the fountain was quite difficult. It’s a very beautiful fountain, but I had the feeling of “okay, I’ve seen it, I never have to come here again.” After taking pictures and throwing our coins in, we stepped away from the fountain and found a gelato shop nearby. Yay, gelato! It was a nice way to cool off on a hot day. Walking back to the bus I spotted my friend Lori going to the fountain with her tour group.
Our lunch was in a small restaurant that was a bit off the beaten path.
At first I worried we were going to eat outside, but we dined inside. The menu was fixed and we shared tables. We were with a couple from England and had a nice conversation until it became apparent they were Brexiters. That’s kind of the same as being a Trump supporter in the US. I shot the husband a frosty look and his wife commented that it wasn’t a good idea to discuss politics and we had a good lunch together.
After lunch as we were driving to the Colosseum, we went past Circus Maximus.
The Colosseum was one of those places I really wanted to see. I would not have chosen an excursion in Rome that did not include it. This was really the place where history met the modern age for me. To be here in person after seeing it in so many films and pictures felt like a dream.
Once we had free time to explore, my son darted off up the stairs. I tried to follow him, but I was slow. He’s on the autism spectrum and I was worried about him being off by himself. I climbed all of the stairs, following him, to the top level where I took my selfie. I found him in the crowd, already on the other side of the Colosseum from me. I walked around for a bit and decided I could not catch up to him. I hoped he had understood where we had to meet and took the elevator back down. After a while he did show up there.
Other people were going over to the Forum for a quick look around. We only had about a half hour before we had to be back by the bus. We decided to walk around the grounds a bit and find someone selling some water before heading to the meeting spot.
Rome is a place I do not feel I had enough time to see it. I could spend several days just exploring the ruins in the area. I definitely want to go back there. I tentatively have a trans-atlantic cruise planned for the end of October 2021 that would start from there. Going in a few days before to explore Rome more would be great.