We cruise over night from Naples to Civitavecchia, the nearest port to Rome. Another calm night on the seas. We have booked two tickets on a private train to Rome. The railway station is only about 200 metres from the Liberty of the Seas’ berth. It looks like another hot day as well. We breakfast and head for the train. The train is direct from Civitaveccha to Saint Peter’s Station. The train has leather seats and all important airconditioning, but it rattles and shakes it’s way to Rome at speed. We arrive at Saint Peter’s Station and form into groups to be escorted to the Vatican City. It’s still a bit of a walk and the pace is slow, there are several older people in the group and I cannot help but think of poor Paul in Pisa. As we walk we note the way is well sign posted so we break away and walk into Saint Peter’s Square well ahead of the group. We take a couple of pictures and move to the queue waiting to enter The Basilca.
We have brought some long pants and a shawl for Pam. There are dress rules for entry and we don’t want any dramas. The Basilica is huge, every wall and corner covered with murals, artworks and sculptures it really is something special. After our visit we depart via the Vatican post office and have a great coffee in a little cafe just outside the walls. We have a map and no real plan, other than to see as much as we can in one day.
We walk away from the Vatican City toward the Castel Sant’ Angelo past the tat sellers and get our first look at the Tiber. We cross the Tiber at the Pont Sant’Angelo a most beautiful bridge. We walk on to the Spanish Steps for some pictures and just to take in the atmosphere.
We pass the Victory Column of Marcus Aurelius by accident on the way to the Trevi Fountain. The column is a story board of the General’s exploits. The Trevi is patched with people and we wait our turn to get a bit closer and a photo. It’s now getting very hot and walking in the shade where ever possible is the go.
Our guide recommended the Piazza Navona for lunch and that’s where we head. On our way we pass the Pantheon and take time to look around inside. We then continued on to the Piazza finding a nice cafe for coffee, pizza and beer for lunch.
While we lunched, we study the map and decide it’s too far to walk to the Colosseum in this heat so we grab a cab. We had read on trip advisor that long queues at the Colosseum can be avoided by taking the escorted tours that are only a few euros more expensive. Good advice the queue for general admission was around the block, but we got on an English speaking tour in 15 minutes. Anyway we spent an hour learning all sorts of things about the building and it’s history.
We start the long walk back via the Roman Forum then on to the Tiber again. We plan on getting a cab back to the station but just doesn’t happen and we walk all the way. We make the station a bit tired and have an ice cream while we wait for the train. It’s been a great day and we have plenty to talk about over dinner tonight.