After a good night's sleep, we were ready for our first adventure, an Angels & Demons tour. We had seen the sights described in the novel on previous visits, but it was our daughter's first time in Rome, and we thought it would be fun to see the sights all at once, by minibus yet! Our guide was an ex-pat journalist from Germany who'd lived in Rome 17 years, so instead of art history narration, we got "dish". It was great fun.
We walked back to the city by way of the Spanish Steps. There was a wedding in progress at the church of Trinita dei Monti, with the bride arriving in a horse-drawn coach bedecked with red roses. How romantic!
Every visitor to Rome must see the Colisseum, and this was our Untours outing, guided by Marilena. We could hear the roar of the lions and the cheers of the crowd in this amazing structure. The entrance/exits to the stadium seemed modern, not 2000+ years old.
After our visit, we walked through the Forum, a walk through time itself.
It's been our great privilege to visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel twice before, with guided tours (one basic and one in depth). However, thanks to Untours, we took our guidebooks and spent the day visiting this incredible treasure house. We actually saw the famous Egyptian collection (fabulous) and the Etruscan collection (likewise) instead of just having the rooms pointed out by our guide!
Another day, we toured St. Peter's itself, from bottom (a reserved-ahead tour of the excavations underneath) to top (the dome and then the rooftop, via elevator and stairs) plus the magnificent basilica itself. A highlight of the trip, and we are not even Catholic!
[Cindy descends from the dome].
We enjoyed so many great days in Rome, and several day trip adventures (subject of a future blog). One of our best discoveries was the most awesome gelato in Rome, at Sora Leila on Tiber Island. My favorite flavor was the bittersweet chocolate with chile pepper, but I had to test many others (all delectable) to arrive at my decision. You couldn't miss this gelateria... the lines of gelato-lovers extended to the pedestrian bridge!
I wish we had a picture of the Metro at rush hour. Now we know what it must be like to be a sardine at the cannery. It was one of our fondest memories of Roman life! A terrific local discovery was the bakery near our apartment. We never learned the name, because there was no sign, and it was always so busy I didn't have a chance to ask. It was in a basement, and the line of people (you guessed it) went from the sidewalk down. Not only did they have superb sweet goods, they sold delicious foccacia and savory buns. Yum.All to soon, it was time to say "ciao, Roma". We made the pilgrimage to the Trevi Fountain to throw in coins, and wish to return. Well, it's worked for us