Thursday, 29 April 2010


Another day, another Italian port. This time its Civitavecchia, the port for Roma, the Eternal City. We have been blessed with 4 sunny days in a row with temperatures in the low 20s, perfect weather for sightseeing. We met up with our guide, Frederico, and set off for the 1 hour drive to Rome.

I must admit I was a little anxious about Rome as I knew it involved long drives there and back, as well as having a long list of “to-sees”. I was not sure how the children would cope. I needn’t have worried as today turned out to be so enjoyable. The decision to cut out a few things helped tremendously. As difficult as it was at the time, we chose not to go into the Vatican Museum and St Peter’s Basilica where the longest lines were and chose instead to visit attractions with little or no lines. The day turned out well. Frederico managed to get a parking spot just around the corner from most of the attractions and seemed to know many back streets. We didn’t get stuck in any traffic. Elliot started paying attention at the Pantheon when he discovered that one of the “ninja turtles”, Rafael, was buried there. Thank goodness the Pantheon was one of the first monuments we visited.
The Pantheon

We started with a stop for espressos and cappuccinos at a cafe outside the Senate building frequented by the Italian Prime Minister. It was reputed to make the best coffee in Rome. And the coffee was GOOD...The children were happy because they got to choose an Italian pastry of their choice for morning tea. We saw many well known must-sees including the Spanish steps, the Trevi Fountain, St Peter’s Square, the Catacombs of San Callisto, the Pantheon, the many Obelisks, and decided to only drive past the Forum Romanum and Colosseum.
The Colossuem
We also saw a few not so well-known things. One of which is a little peep hole in the door of a convent on Avantino Hill, through which you see a view of the Cupola of St Peter’s Basilica framed by beautiful gardens. The sight was quite incredible. Other than our minivan, there was no other tourist in sight. Another place where there was no other tourist in sight was the restaurant where we had lunch. Frederico ordered on our behalf a simple lunch of pastas that Rome is famous for. Once again, the food was plentiful and delicious. The best parts of the day though was simply soaking up the atmosphere of Rome at the many Piazzas. The children loved eating bubblegum flavoured gelato in front of the fountain at Piazza Navona and running around chasing the pigeons.

The all important business of eating gelato

The Trevi Fountain

It seemed the drain was a lot more interesting that St Peter's itself

We headed back to ship exhausted and slept on the drive back. Although we didn’t quite click with Frederico as we did with Paolo, we remain truly grateful to him for helping us make our day in Rome so memorable.

No comments:

Post a Comment