Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Mediterranean Cruise finale ~ Rome

How do you spend three days in Rome...the historic city that ranks among the world's most visited places?

 Let's start by getting there.

We disembarked from our cruise ship in Venice and took a cab to the train station.  Never mind that the driver could not speak English and we could not speak Italian. We got to the train station...although it was not the one listed on our tickets.  No worries.  We figured things out and played cards while we waited for the train.  Did you know that it is much easier to 'figure things out' when we put six heads together?  It was a fast train to Venice...too fast to take photos of the Italian countryside as we whizzed by.

Once in Rome, we were only about a 15 minute walk from our hotel...which was off a back alley near the Coliseum.  That 15 minute walk took us much longer than 15 minutes though...since we were led astray a few times while toting our suitcases.

The Coliseum was most impressive.  It is the largest amphitheatre in the world.

We did not have advance tickets but went first thing in the morning...before the long line-ups.  

We were on a 'self-guided tour' of sorts...Lovella had the Rick Steves guide book in hand and kept us informed as we strolled.  It worked well!

Built in Roman times as a space for holding public events, the Coliseum is most famous for being the home of gladiators, who would battle it out in front of large audiences of up to  80,000 people.

It was rather sobering to know that early Christians lost their lives here. This cross was erected to commemorate the Christian martyrs.

Next to the Coliseum is the Arch of Constantine ~ a triumphal arch built in 315 AD.

When in what the tourists do!

Eat pasta and pizza and Caprese salad.  Always dine at a sidewalk cafe.

And if the chairs are sure to stop!

Visit the famous fountains of Rome.

Spend some time at the Piazza Navona...a beautiful piazza square surrounded by restaurants and shops, street artists, painters and musicians. And fountains.  Four of them!

Apparently no trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Trevi Fountain.  We were on a self-guided walking tour (wandering aimlessly) and  just stumbled upon it. Massive, lovely, old and and a steady source of income for charity (the coins tossed into the water are collected nightly).

Be entertained.

Stop and listen for awhile.

Be sure to visit the Pope.

And if  the street entertainers don't make you smile...he will!

Have no there are sentries on duty at every corner.

Walk everywhere...on cobblestone streets through narrow alleyways.

Have gelato at least once a day.

Look up...and see the ivy.

 And if you need to take a prepared to pay.

Check out the largest statue in the city...that of King Vittorio Emanuele II on a horse.  It is 40 feet high and stands in front of a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.  From the terraces of the monument we enjoyed great views of the city!

Be sure not to leave Rome until you have seen the Pantheon.

We just sort of happened upon this amazing place by accident...

...and were quite surprised that we could tour the Pantheon without tickets. This Roman temple was commissioned during the reign of Agrippa (27BC - 14 AD) and and completed in 126 AD. It is one of the best -preserved ancient Roman buildings and has been in constant use over the years. After almost 2000 years it is still the world's largest un-reinforced concrete dome.

And last but nor least...when in Rome one must see the Vatican City.  And the Sistine Chapel.

We had pre-booked a tour to avoid having to wait in line..but found ourselves in a queue at every step of our tour.

The Vatican museum has a vast collection of old and famous art but on the courtyard is a modern sculpture that caught my eye.  It is known as the 'sphere within a sphere'...the inner ball represents the Earth and outer ball represents Christianity. It stands in stark contrast to everything around it.

Visitors to the Vatican come from every country, faith and walk of life.

After some four hours we had 'seen it all' and exited the Vatican through St. Peter's square with its 284 columns that flank the square. It was a quiet day on the square...upwards of 300,000 people gather here for major events.

Farewell to Rome...and on to home.

Thanks for joining me as I re-capped our Mediterranean adventures...our journey 'back in time' in so many ways.  If you missed our other ports of call, click on the links: Venice, Croatia, Greek Islands.



  1. The hands on hips stance of the men after walking hauling luggage cracked me up. I imagine it was very warm in Rome as well. Beautiful photos of amazing and sobering historical sites. So glad that you and Elmer had this opportunity to travel with friends and relatives. 🙂 What travel plans might you all have up your sleeves next?!

  2. A wonderful journey. It's been so interesting to follow your holiday.

  3. You make me want to hop a plane and head to Rome tomorrow! How wonderful this city is, with so much history, especially of our Christian faith.

  4. Judy, you are a great tour group leader and do such a great jot of capturing the details. There were things I learned on this post! Loved it in real time as well as now!

  5. Brings back so many memories!!! It is indeed an amazing city full of so much history. So glad you had the Rick Steve's guidebook and found all the major sites. We toured there with a Rick Steve's tour group (the best tour company in our opinion) and loved it all! Now I'm craving Gelato!

  6. I missed your posts about your cruise, Judy-- I will go back and see them all. We've spent a few weeks in Rome in the past--always an amazing place to visit with much to see and do. Certainly earns its name the "Eternal City"


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson