On October 13, 2011, we made the first of many stops on our cruise — Civitavecchia, the closest port in Italy to Rome. We woke up early to a butlered breakfast in our suite before heading out for an all-day excursion, Rome: The Eternal City. It was a long bus ride in rush hour traffic, but we finally made it to Rome.
A little while later, we descended upon the ultimate Roman attraction and something I have wanted to see my whole life — the Colosseum!
We took an amazing tour with a stellar guide who explained every minor detail of this historically bloody building…
…and the outlying attractions.
We drove a little further into Rome for a large group luncheon at the Hotel Leonardo da Vinci. The food was excellent, although the main meat dish prepared was veal, which neither of us eat. The pasta and dessert, however, were to die for! For the full photo album of Rome, check out my Flickr set.
Next on the tour was Vatican City. Raised Catholic, I’ve always been interested in seeing the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and, of course, the Pope’s residence. Now I was seeing it live for myself, right in the middle of Saint Peter’s Square!
What I didn’t realize about Vatican City was the beautiful museum. Gallery after gallery of stunning sculptures, tapestries and paintings. Just make sure not to use a camera flash!
The inside of St. Peter’s Basilica was beyond beautiful…and huge! It was also the first of many times we saw tributes to Pope John Paul II (the hero of my Polish Catholic grandmother) throughout our trip.
After touring the city a little longer, we got back on our bus for the hour long trip back to our boat. For more photos from Vatican City, check out my Flickr set. Next stop…Naples!