It's been a while since my latest installment of European posts...
I've had this draft sitting around for a while, and in the midst of the chilly winter, remembering the heat of summer in Europe is more than welcome around these parts.
Let's put this out there, I love Rome.
There is something about it that reminds me of home.
The big city that you can cover on foot.
So much history and so many sights that can be easily traversed.
Like San Francisco.
But in Italy.
One side of town is the Coliseum and ancient ruins.
The other side has the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
It's like Union Square and the Embarcadero.
Last year's Rome day was the equivalent of this year's Florence day.
Long, hard, and exhausting.
We covered almost the entire city and the Vatican in a 14 hour tour.
It was TOO much.
This year, I took charge.
I told my parents we were going to do Rome, and I was going to play tour guide.
I have a really great sense of direction, and after last year's overview, I felt like I could navigate us around fairly easily.
My check list included the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps.
All the rest was negotiable.
(I think it should be noted, I decided to leave my big camera on the ship, so every photo on this day was from my iPhone)
Our bus dropped us off right in front of the Coliseum.
And we were off.
After listening to a few tips from our bus coordinator, I managed to get me and my parents on the Roman subway system, transfer lines, and arrive across town at the Spanish steps.
Together. And in one piece.
Miracles do happen, folks.
The number one question I got after last year's Roman Holiday, was "did you see the Spanish Steps?!?"
It was the one sight our tour did not cover.
With the popularity of that question, I knew it had to be on the top of our list.
It was about 95* at 10am, and the sun was FULL blaze on the Steps, but we spent sometime admiring them, climbing them, and finding the limited shadowy spots to take a few pictures.
We also made a quick stop into the cutest tea shop that was right next to the steps.
It was a nice relief from the heat. But I was so hot I could barely think straight, let alone think about tea or pastries.
But I still was able to grab a few of their special tea blends to bring home.
Next up we navigated our way to the Trevi Fountain.
I still need to blog last year's adventure, but it was the highlight of my day.
We had gotten there early in the day, the stairs around the fountain were plentiful with shade, and I ordered a cappucino to sip on the cool stone ledge.
This time was slightly different.
It was high noon. Full sun.
And a gagillion people.
Mom, Dad and I were all in agreement, let's take a few selfies, and get out of here.
So we did.
We knew our next goal was lunch.
And we were heading in the direction back towards the Coliseum.
We walked a few shady side streets until we found a restaurant that seemed not too crowded, cool, and with a simple menu.
I saw our waiter doing this little party trick for a kid at another table, and asked him to show me how.
He helped us turn our Coca-Light and Fanta Bottles upside down on the palm of our hands without any grip.
These Italians are funny!
After our tummies were full from pizza, bruschetta, and coca-light we headed back out into the heat,
and towards the Pantheon.
(Not to be confused with the Parthenon, which I would visit a few days later.)
And then we grabbed some gelato and walked back towards the Coliseum.
Stopping at the "Wedding Cake" or Venetian Palace.
A white marble monstrosity smack in the middle of town.
The sun blazing off the stone beckoned me to adventure to the top.
The views of the city and towards the Vatican were worth it.
Domes for dayz.
Mom and Dad stayed down at the bottom.
Hello down there!
(Mom is in the yellow)
And in the other direction, the ruins.
And we finally circled back to the Coliseum, where I bought the cutest mug shaped like a Vespa.
And dad and I desperately tried to find a restroom before our bus left.
So, we explored a bit of the other side of the Coliseum.
(I think he was enjoying himself)
We made our bus, and the hour drive back to our ship, and enjoyed another lovely sunset as we cruised on towards our next port.