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Long Review of Reflection October 1-12, 2018 Western Mediterranean Cruise

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Thanks so much for the very helpful information about Cinque Terre, as well as your beautiful photos. We’ve not yet been there, so it’s lovely to follow along with you on your adventure🙂

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Loved your review and the pictures! We will be doing a Baltic cruise on the Reflection this summer. One of our family members is a vegan. Did the cruise line accommodate?

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Thanks so much for taking us along on this wonderful trip. Great review!

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23 hours ago, floridaag said:

Doesn't look like you hit the Lover's Walk between Manarola or Riomaggiore - too bad but you covered an impressive amount of ground

No we did not hit this, but that sounds wonderful!

 

14 hours ago, Silkroad said:

Thanks so much for the very helpful information about Cinque Terre, as well as your beautiful photos. We’ve not yet been there, so it’s lovely to follow along with you on your adventure🙂

It was so much fun, I hope you get to experience it someday!

 

5 hours ago, AnJ said:

Thanks so much for taking us along on this wonderful trip. Great review!

Thank you for reading along!

 

13 hours ago, jha112 said:

Loved your review and the pictures! We will be doing a Baltic cruise on the Reflection this summer. One of our family members is a vegan. Did the cruise line accommodate?

Yes they accommodated us on being Vegan!  They have a separate Vegetarian menu, and it would usually work for us asking for no cheese on things and they also would bring the menu for the next night and said if nothing worked to let them know and they would make something.   I think you just need to ask on the desserts as I imagine those are not Vegan.  Sometimes on cruises we are a little lax on dairy in desserts.  I'm sure your family member will be treated as wonderful as we were. 

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Once back on board after La Spezia, we had to do the dreaded packing.  We had decided to do a self carry off as we were doing a shared shuttle through Shared Shuttle.  Catchy name!   We were going to spend four more days in Rome!  I would have been so sad to get off the ship, but we had that to look forward to.  Our meet time was 7:30, so I didn't want to have a problem getting off and looking for luggage. 

 

We went to the 7:00 show of Elysium and I enjoyed my last Mud Slide of the trip.  Dinner tonight found me taking a few pictures.  Last meal so to speak....

 

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Then it was off to try to spend the last of our non refundable on board credit of $43.55.  The other $150 left was refundable.

We had thought we would buy an Apple product but they were out of what we wanted.  Off to the odds and end store we went.  In the end, with all these purchases of sunglasses, soaps, and M & M's I spent $43.56.  We had a good laugh when we pulled up the account.

 

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How much closer could I get without losing any!!!!

 

The next morning was breakfast in the Ocean View Cafe and a last Carmel Macchiato off our drink package.  In perfect timing we were ready and pulled us and our luggage off the ship.  I tried to grab on to something, but my husband insisted we leave!

Shared Shuttle and all the other passengers showed up in a very timely manner and we were off to Rome in a very comfortable van. 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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I know the title of my review is suppose to be a review of the cruise, and if that is enough for you, then stop reading, BUT

for any that like reading about peoples adventures like I do, then I am continuing to tell you about our visit to Rome as well.

 

Some of our first sites of Rome as we drove through or should I say sat in traffic as it was very busy.  There was a mass of students protesting that held us up for quite some time.

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We had pre-booked an airbnb months out and after more research, I was rather sorry for the area I had chose which was near the Termini Train Station.  In the end, we had the most wonderful time there and it was so convenient to grab the metro!  It was called Termini Guesthouse and our hosts Emanuela and Alexandra were the best!

 

It was on the fourth floor of a building and it had a little tiny elevator but somehow we managed to get us and all our luggage in.  We were able to meet Emanuela, have a little overview of the place and leave our luggage in what was going to be our room even though we were much earlier than check in. 

 

We hit the ground running as our plan today was to see any sites that we happened upon.  We were given a little map to help us see where some things were located.  We were very close to the Santa Maria Maggiore.  We seemed to never hit it at the right time to actually go inside, but I bet it is amazing.

 

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We walked around a corner and there was the Colosseum!  IMG_5703.thumb.jpg.d82c90ac6ad63a730e0972fa4690be41.jpg

 

We knew we actually had a tour of all of this on day 3, so we didn't venture in that direction.

 

Sites that were around us...

 

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A corner window!!!

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We tried to head to the Trevi Fountain now and after wandering unsuccessfully, we did follow a tour group thinking surely they were going somewhere interesting and we came upon this amazing building.  The picture is taken outside in some small inner courtyard, but you walk under this glass ceiling.

 

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We wander...wait, what is this massive crowd we are coming up on....

 

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Oh my gosh!!  Here it is just within all the other tons of buildings...The Trevi Fountain!!!

 

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It was crowded and the only real time I felt a bit uneasy over possible pick pockets. 

 

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After all this wandering we were getting hungry, and we are fairly certain we are now headed in the direction of the Pantheon.  We find a little place to eat.  Of course since there must be no one that has to go to the bathroom in this city other than in tourist sites and restaurants, I have waited and I really have to go. 

My husband reads the menu and I go down in the deep recesses of the restaurant into a basement that has one room toilets.  NO ONE is down there.  I go in lock the door, go, and unlock the lock.  NOTHING!  The lock seems to be disengaged and I am stuck!!!!!  Of course I have no phone and who would I text, my husband doesn't have his on.  I pound on the door yelling for help.  I finally shake the door handle hard over and over and try the lock again.  That must have engaged it again and I get out.  I go up and tell my husband what happend.  He thought I was merely having a long private time in there.  UGH!  I wonder how long, if ever, he would have come to check on me.   I can say when he went later, he did not lock the door.

 

Our wonderful lunch...

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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After lunch we realize we were quite close to the Pantheon.  We loved seeing this and using the Rick Steve's app tour of it.

The Pantheon is free and the lines were not that bad.  Inside we actually felt like we had some room to move around.

This place is just spectacular!!!

 

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How could they build this with such precision all those thousands of years ago!

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Raphael's tomb

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The very top of the dome is open and the water comes in to drain in the center. 

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The Obelisk outside the Pantheon.

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Next we head toward the Piazza Navona.  In the next picture you can see a little brown sign to the right.  There are a few of those pointing the way to the sites.

 

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Beautiful fountain in the Piazza Navona! 

 

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We had a little dessert while walking toward the river.  This was really a way to use the bathroom, but it was tasty!

We think we are headed the right way. 

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We find the Tiber River!

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Off in the distance you can make out the top of St. Peter's Basilica.

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At this point we are exhausted and try to read our map to meet up with Metro A.   This park seemed like a great idea to walk across but we found we were trapped by fencing and such so had to walk all the way around to get back out. 

 

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This was a lovely area!

 

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This was our first try at the metro here in Rome.  The trains are listed as the end stop.  So we wanted to head to Anagnina this time.  I think we got on at Lepanto and got of at Termini.

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After a little rest, we ventured out to find an Indian restaurant.  My husband was in his delight.  There was no one in the place when we got there but they had to check to see if they could seat us.  A massive group of people from India came in shortly after and we realized why they had been hesitant.  We were the only tourists again.  Loved it and wonderful food. 

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I learned quickly that no one would serve you tap water.  You had to purchase their bottled water.  I had wine often, but I just have to have some water with a meal as well. 

 

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We had logged almost 11 miles today and we were spent.  Day one in Rome was fantastic! 

Day two we venture outside of Rome, stay tuned.

 

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Thanks again for a really great review. My wife and I really love Italy and can never get enough of it. 

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22 hours ago, AnJ said:

Thanks again for a really great review. My wife and I really love Italy and can never get enough of it. 

I am so glad to let know you are enjoying it! 

 

21 hours ago, cachouonacruise said:

Thank you once more, for your detailed review! Beautiful pictures and helpful information! 

So glad to know you got a little helpful information, as I get my best info from reading Cruise Critic too. 

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Day two in Rome and we were able to have breakfast provided by our airbnb.  They didn't serve till 8:30 and our next days were early days but today we were able to enjoy the company of wonderful Alexandra.  On days where we left before 8:30 they provided vouchers for a restaurant that opened at 7:00.

 

This was a view out our bedroom window.

 

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Alexandra

 

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Our lovely European breakfast. It also included cappuccinos. 

 

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Today our plan was to take Metro B, changed trains at Piramide taking the local train to Ostia Antica, then later to Ostia Lido Centro.  We bought the 24 hour transit pass for 7 Euro and it was well used today! 

Today's direction was Laurentina.

 

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We changed trains here

 

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The stops map in the train. 

 

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This train was not crowded at all.

 

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Something we found on this train that did not happen on the Metro A or B was people walking through begging for money or playing an instrument wanting you to pay them for it.  A simple no was all it took for them to move on.

 

We got off at Ostia Antica and used a free restroom there.  I know before we went I was worried if there would be any bathrooms so I like to throw that in for information.  Of course there was one out at Ostia Antica Ruins as well.  Once off the train you go over the busy road on this blue bridge.

 

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This is a look back at the train station from atop the bridge.

 

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It was a small walk with good signage to Ostia Antica.

Edited by ROWSE

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We found our destination without getting lost, go us!  We went to the turn style entrance to buy tickets, but no you buy tickets in a building that is across the way.  The cost was 12 Euro each.  We used Rick Steve's audio guide and did not purchase the one at the site. 

 

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We were just blown away at how huge this place was.  The first settlement started in the 14 century BC and it grew as it was the port city of Rome. 

 

The mosaics that are in tact here are incredible!!! 

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An archway to enter the Theater. 

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This was huge!

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This mosaic showed what was for sale in the shop that was once here.  A fish market!!

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This was a floor on a structure. 

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The grounds were beautiful!

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There is a small museum showing artifacts that have been found on this site. 

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I just loved the floor in here!

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Amazing detail on the sarcophagus. 

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A picture of the Tiber river now.  It use to run right next to the port but changed direction which was the downfall of it all. 

 

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We were thrilled to be walking on stones that people walked thousands of years ago. 

 

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A small well in the road.

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Look hard at the picture, there is a blue cat of some modern art and a few other odd things through the ruins that they have introduced to the site.  WHY!!!!  Really odd!!! 

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We are just amazed that so much is still in tact from all these years ago.

 

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This was just a few pictures, this place is huge.  I would give this a MUST see if ever in Rome.

 

We returned to the train and took it out to Ostia Lido Centro which is on the ocean.  The stop is right at where buses pull in and according to my research you could take a bus down to the water.  We were able to use our transit ticket BUT it was probably 100 degrees on that bus and we got off soon after.  It was really not a far walk in the end anyway.  Live and learn!

It was nearly 1:30pm. so we stopped for some lunch at a place called Re Carlo.  IMG_2026.thumb.jpg.3b6da312d38ab38fc55050a2ad65bb2f.jpg

 

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We ate on an upstairs terrace.

The food was amazing and the wine!

 

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I could see across the street this adorable elderly mother and daughter having their lunch together on their terrace.

 

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After a lovely lunch we walked down to the water and out onto a beautiful pier.  This is the Tyrrhenian Sea.

 

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A gentleman had a speaker system and was playing his guitar and  it was the most relaxing thing looking at the sea and listening to his beautiful music!

 

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We walked back to the train station and even made it without getting lost.  We came across this cute little amusement park for little children along the way.

 

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Once back at Rome and a little rest we ventured out to see the Spanish steps wanted to get good use of our 24 hour Metro pass.

I am in there somewhere!

 

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This is one crowded site!

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At the top the sun had just set.

 

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There was a beautiful church up at the top and I loved this statue.

 

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It was dark but I lightened this picture.  That is St. Peter's Basilica in the distance.

 

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We walked around in the Villa Borghese area then stopped for our most expensive meal of the trip at Ciampini.  It was delicious!

 

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We enjoyed sharing a small wine and watching the antics of the turtles in the center of the room.

 

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After filling our stomachs and our senses, we rode the Metro back to Termini and called it a day. 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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On 11/14/2018 at 4:05 PM, ROWSE said:

After a little rest, we ventured out to find an Indian restaurant.  My husband was in his delight.  There was no one in the place when we got there but they had to check to see if they could seat us.  A massive group of people from India came in shortly after and we realized why they had been hesitant.  We were the only tourists again.  Loved it and wonderful food. 

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I learned quickly that no one would serve you tap water.  You had to purchase their bottled water.  I had wine often, but I just have to have some water with a meal as well. 

 

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We had logged almost 11 miles today and we were spent.  Day one in Rome was fantastic! 

Day two we venture outside of Rome, stay tuned.

 

 Well, bless my poppadoms! I did not expect to find Indian food in your memories of Rome.

My favorite cuisine for the last 40 years or more. Never gets old. I always have an Indian lunch

when sailing Celebrity-Oceanview Cafe excels, even though the heat is dialed back. I order lamb vindaloo in Chicago and ask for "Indian hot". Sweating, nose running, palate doing the Watusi.

Every mouthful a flavor bomb!

 

Your Ostia Antica section reminds me that we have to get out there on a future visit to Rome.

We found out about it on our first trip in 2014 but are never there for long enough to sate our appetite for that one of a kind city. We've visited the wonderful Borghese Gallery but didn't have time for the gardens! Must go back!

Great review,as expected.

Norris

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20 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 Well, bless my poppadoms! I did not expect to find Indian food in your memories of Rome.

My favorite cuisine for the last 40 years or more. Never gets old. I always have an Indian lunch

when sailing Celebrity-Oceanview Cafe excels, even though the heat is dialed back. I order lamb vindaloo in Chicago and ask for "Indian hot". Sweating, nose running, palate doing the Watusi.

Every mouthful a flavor bomb!

 

Your Ostia Antica section reminds me that we have to get out there on a future visit to Rome.

We found out about it on our first trip in 2014 but are never there for long enough to sate our appetite for that one of a kind city. We've visited the wonderful Borghese Gallery but didn't have time for the gardens! Must go back!

Great review,as expected.

Norris

 

20 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

We love Indian food.  You sound like our son-in-law, he can take the hottest they have.  His favorite is chicken vindaloo.  Me, I am more a two star gal and am partial to Mushroom Marsala.  We ALL love the garlic Naan!  You have to roll us out of the restaurant.  We were thrilled to find a place in Rome so authentic!  

 

I hope you and Carol can get to Ostia Antica someday as it was just amazing!  It's huge!!! 

Thank you for continuing along with me! 

 

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Day three in Rome, Sunday, October 14,  was another cool morning followed by a warm to hot afternoon.  We were truly blessed with the most perfect weather! 

Our airbnb had given us vouchers for a little restaurant just around the corner called Santa Maria.  The voucher was for a croissant and cappuccino breakfast.  They were very nice and even let us sit down.  There is usually a larger charge if you sit in a restaurant versus stand at the counter.

 

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Chocolate croissants?  Why yes we will!!!!  They were out of this world! 

 

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We had a tour today with Walks of Italy of the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill.

After breakfast we begin our walk to our meeting place at Oppio Caffe.

 

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These little vespers look like just the thing to have here in Italy.

 

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It is rare to not have another  person on the sidewalk with you.  Rome is crowded!

 

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We walk around a corner and her she is!

 

 

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At the little cafe my husband takes one for the team and gets another cappuccino so that I can use the bathroom right before the tour. 

 

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My husband gets the best photo of the day reward, and it is almost (Bimmer) worthy!

 

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We meet up with our group and the wonderful Davide who has a microphone that when we put our earpieces into

our units he gives us, makes ever word he says heard by all.  So nice as it is so hard to hear in crowds like this.

 

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We skipped the line and entered at the group area.  Passed through security and our tour began.

Since the end of 2012 there has been a restoration project going on funded by a billionaire, Diego Della Valle,

putting in $30 million dollars. 

This is one of the entrances of old.

 

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Some really terrible things happened in this place in the name of entertainment, but I just tried to enjoy the beauty of the architecture. 

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Very crowded but not unbearable so.

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Out a window of the Colosseum we could see this area.

 

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This is a picture of what it originally looked like.  They certainly knew how to make amazing structures!

 

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This was a piece of original flooring.

 

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It was time to move on and Davide warned us that once we left the Colosseum we could not come back in.  Next up, we walked to the entrance to the Forum.  

This is the archway that was amazingly left in tact.  It is the Arch of Constantine. 

 

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The entrance to the Forum is a little distance away.

 

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We pass through security again and see these amazing ruins.

 

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We loved this beautiful door!

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The designs are so intricate!

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These are the original stone walkways that are thousands of years old.  Just imagine how many people have walked on these!

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We walked upward and were now on the Palatine Hill.  This was where the rich and famous of today would have lived.

One could see down into the forum as well as to the Circus Maximus. 

 

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This was some original wall tile.  WOW!!! 

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After parting ways with the wonderful Davide, we walked over to the Circus Maximus on our way to visit the Trastevere area. 

 

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People dressed in rather vintage clothing came buy on what looked like a lovely bike tour.  Their seats were normal not like the seats from Hell we had in Ibiza! 

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We cross the Tiber and this is a look back at Tiber Island.  We started our Rick Steve's audio tour here.  I have a love hate relationship with Rick Steves as if you get off one little bit from, sometimes confusing directions, you are lost!  After our lunch with quite a lot of wine, I had more of a hate relationship than love.

 

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Hungry now we stopped at this wonderful quiet little restaurant and ate on the patio area. 

 

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Wine for 13 Euro a bottle, well of course we want that.  We have never drank much more than a glass each ever at one time, so you can imagine how that went.

 

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Food was fantastic!! 

 

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At least we had quite some time to let the wine wear off as we were pinned in majorly by two other groups.  One from Wales and one from Australia, and we had such fun with all of them that time just flew to at least two hours after we had initially sat down. 

After lunch we staggered, oh I mean walked, around Trastevere me cussing out Rick Steve's when we got lost from his tour.

 

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This lovely little church was closed for the time we passed by, but I would have loved to see inside!

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Trastevere was a wonderful area and someday if we return I would not hesitate to seek lodging here.

 

 

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After stopping for a little gelato, we made our way over the bridge and through Tiber Island.  We had our trusty map, but

we are not so trusty reading it, and were wandering on streets that would dead end for quite some time.  Then we found the area of the Wedding Cake which is really the Victory Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II.  It is the center of Rome and we then knew where we were and how to eventually get back to our airbnb.

 

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A last farewell to the Colosseum which is way in the distance at the center of the picture. 

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We dragged our tired feet back to home base, and had a little rest.  Neither one of us wanted to venture far for dinner so we just went to a nearby eatery and ate out in front of the place on the street.  This was our one and only not so great experience.  The seating was long tables and you sat right beside strangers and the hawkers would come by over and over trying to sell you things.  One knew I had just said no 2 minutes ago, but he was sure I changed my mind about a portable phone charger!!! UGH!!!

 

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A menu.  I was not so thrilled to hear the wait staff accost people as they walked by to eat here either.  Oh well, can't have perfect all the time! 

 

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I had grilled vegetables and hubby a seafood pasta, which looks good but tasted only okay.

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I think it was another 11 mile day so we called it done, and knew we had another big one to come! 

 

 

 

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I am still reading along.  I do love Italy. We went to Rome but only for a few days before going on a cruise. Next year I am going to Venice again as my late husband and I loved it there. Now, even though I can fly, I am going on the train as usual but during the day. I haven't decided yet if to do the journey in a day or break it and stop in Turin.

 

Then there is the thought of driving there and visiting the Cinque Terre region but what would I do with the car in Venice? I am going to have to get organised! 

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15 hours ago, morbihan said:

I am still reading along.  I do love Italy. We went to Rome but only for a few days before going on a cruise. Next year I am going to Venice again as my late husband and I loved it there. Now, even though I can fly, I am going on the train as usual but during the day. I haven't decided yet if to do the journey in a day or break it and stop in Turin.

 

Then there is the thought of driving there and visiting the Cinque Terre region but what would I do with the car in Venice? I am going to have to get organised! 

I am sorry to hear you lost your husband!  Good for you to keep on traveling and reliving some of your memories together.   Venice looks wonderful, and I hope to go someday soon! 

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Thank you. It has been a hard couple of years.

 

Feeling more myself now though.

 

I can recommend Venice. Trouble is it is so beautiful in my eyes that I don't really want to go anywhere else! Because I am such an early riser I have the place practically to myself. The best time!

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Our last full day in Rome was just as sunny and lovely as all the others.  We were SO lucky!   I was so excited for today I woke up at 5 a.m.  At 7:00 we grabbed our lovely breakfast from Santa Maria restaurant again and then did our short walk to Termini Station.  We were so close it took less than 5 minutes. 

We took Metro A Red Line out toward Vatican City. 

It wasn't a very far walk from the Metro, and we were there!!!  St. Peter's Basilica!!!

This was a Monday, so either they were taking chairs down from Sunday or getting ready for something else and putting them up.  We were never sure.

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There looked like extensive work was being done on the fountain.

 

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This is a picture of the left side of the pillars when looking at St. Peter's Basilica.  I was standing under the right side pillars.  This is where I used the bathroom and to any who worry like me, there is a lovely free bathroom here.  People were lining up to go in the church!

 

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We walk across over to those pillars now. 

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I was lucky enough to reserve and purchase tickets for the Scavi tour which is an underground tour of St. Peter's tomb two levels under the current Basilica.  I ask to reserve nearly a year out and they assign you a time and day after you list the possible days you visit.  There are only 250 people a day able to do this, and each group is only 12 people.  In my picture there are some red striped partitions and this is the first security we went through.  The security guy looked at my paperwork and said we were too early.  I told you I was excited!  He said come back much later.  We chose to just wait.  Pretty soon, I think he got sick of looking at us and let us through.  "Way to wear them down!" 

 

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Passing by him then led us to this area where there was metal detector security.  We passed through that with no problem.

 

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This was the Swiss Guard we were told to see on our instructions.  They looked at our papers and shook their heads.  Too early.  They were adorable young men and put us in a pen next to them to wait about 20 more minutes.  It was a great people watching venue!  Many many people passed buy showing their "Golden Ticket".  This was a ticket for a private audience with the Pope, I think.  I am not Catholic, and wonder if any one knows what it takes to get those tickets?  If a clergy member came buy the Swiss Guards clicked their heels and saluted.  Very fun to watch them in action. 

 

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My holding pen.

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The Swiss Guard checked his watch and each time shook his head at me.  They were quite nice about it.  Finally it was time to pass by them.  We had quite a walk back to get our actual ticket from our voucher.  The buildings in here were beautiful!

 

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Under the arch to the right is the actual ticket office.  It had been quite awhile since I used the bathroom and excitement and the fact that there is no bathroom on the Scavi tour had me needing to go.  They were so kind as to direct me across the way to their employee bathroom.  Thanks Scavi tour officials! 

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Here is where the pictures had to end for this tour.  There was no taking photos down where we went.  If anyone is claustrophobic, this would not be the tour for you.  Very small area and very warm to walk through!  We don't have this issue so we loved how amazing it was.  The first church was built where the 9 fragments of Peter's bones rest, then another was built on top of that and then the one we visit today was built on top of that.  We saw the box containing St. Peter's bones embedded in the wall.  Some of his bones are also in the Pope's apartments.  On the next level up was the most beautiful chapel.  I so wish I could have taken photos!!! 

When we left this tour we were able to skip the line for the Basilica and go right inside.  A reason to take this tour again for sure!!! 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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We entered the Basilica and were amazed!  What an incredible church.  Since we just had our iphones, our pictures are only of small sections, and I think we were too overwhelmed to take a panoramic. 

 

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They manage the crowd well as not make your visit shoulder to shoulder.

 

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Up into the domes!

 

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We loved all the amazing artwork in the domes. 

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The alter where a few moments before we were under two levels down!   It was so amazing to think of that as we stood at this alter. 

 

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So many beautiful statues!

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My favorite was The Pietà  a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti

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The Holy door only opened ever 25 years and on a Jubilee year. 

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We walk out to look at the closed doors from outside.

 

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A statue off to the side before entering the church.

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The picture looking from St. Peter's Basilica into St. Peter's Square.  The obelisk in the center's history: (It was Gaius Caligula who had the obelisk bought to Rome in 37 AD. ... Because of the solid pedestal on which the obelisk was placed, it remained standing for 1,500 until it was moved to where it stands today in Saint Peter's Square. It took thirteen months, between 1585 and 1586 to move and re-erect the obelisk.)

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Edited by ROWSE

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We timed our visit to have enough time before our per-purchased Vatican Museum timed ticket to have some lunch.  We walked down a side street and found a lovely little place to eat.

 

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We each had a salad and split a veggie pizza.  The bread usually comes without asking, and there is a small charge like 2E , but well worth all the wonderful breads we had during our trip.

 

 

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The Vatican Museums were a walk from St. Peter's Square and it isn't far till you see a massive line of people.  I had done the research and knew this was the "to buy" tickets line and we just kept walking.  There were many official people to help you but some were actually trying to talk you in to a tour.  It was hard to tell who was who.  One man actually was trying to get us in the right line at the end and I said "I don't want to buy anything."  He was actually a Vatican official and he put us right in even though it was 1:00 and our tickets were 1:30.  No problem, the ticket machine read our vouchers and spit out the tickets anyway.


We walked up this lovely ramp area and that was the most alone we would find ourselves in this hugely crowded venue.

 

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We went into the open inner court yard first. 

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Fontana della Pigna (1st century AD)

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Sphere within a sphere

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Beautiful statues throughout the museum

 

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Ceilings were always amazing

 

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Many LONG hallways.

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Mind boggling the detail on the sarcophagus

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The animal statue rooms.

 

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Vatican Museum continued... 

 

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Marble archways! 

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This stone was Red Porphyry

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Such detail on the flooring with mosaics

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There was a wonderful exhibit on mummies. 

 

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How could they possibly preserve something for so long?  Amazing!

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Apparently the inside of the mummy's tomb held this kind of detail maybe of their life or maybe they felt they needed something to read in the after life.

 

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Then on to a huge hall of tapestries.  Jesus eyes seemed to follow you as you walked by.

 

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Amazing ceiling of the map room.

 

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The crowd got to me after awhile!

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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Vatican continued....We followed the masses and wound our way around heading toward the Sistine Chapel.

 

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We went into the Sistine Chapel, body to body and shoulder to shoulder with our fellow tourists.  It seemed it would be impossible to narrow down to the actual door we went in but somehow we all funneled through.  It had a no picture taking sign inside the Sistine Chapel, but I know there are many photos online.  I obeyed the sign.

It was a very closed in feeling with all those people and really hard to look up to see that ceiling.  The windows were way at the top of the walls and that felt even more closed in.  I would have loved to see this place with only a few people but with so many it really made me want to get out of there fast, and I have no issue with claustrophobia. We were somewhat propelled through with the masses.  It was amazingly beautiful! 

We took a door and I did not realize there was another way which took you to St. Peter's Basilica so missed our plan to go back there.  We instead ended up in the museum of artifacts through the years of the Catholic faith.

 

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We stepped outside to get some fresh air. 

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This was a lovely court yard below.

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The cafeteria is off this area and I used the bathroom here before leaving the museums.

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The exit area was down this amazing stair case. 

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Looking up...

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Once outside we felt so sorry for all those standing in that line!  It winds to the corner of the wall and for a long ways

after turning that corner.

 

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We made our way back the same way we came so as not to get lost and we rode the Metro back to Termini station.

We spent some time packing up and nothing ever seems to fit like when you start a trip. 

Later that evening we went to a Vegan restaurant I had found in my research for our last Italian meal!

This is the menu.

 

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I enjoyed bruschetta and mushroom pasta.  YUM!

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My husband had the vegan lasagna.  They gave us a limoncello after drink.  I don't like

that drink usually, but theirs was excellent!

 

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We walked back hand in hand enjoying our last minutes of this beautiful city. 

 

All too soon we were up the next day and waiting for our transport to the airport.  I thought about

taking the train, but I am so glad I went with Habi Cabs private transport for 45E total to the airport.  They were

on time and it went perfectly.  We still had our sad faces as we left.

 

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We fell in love with Europe and already have a trip planned next September hooking on with

our dear friends who booked Jewel of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, for September 15, 2019.

This time we will spend four days in Florence maybe going up to Venice and then the cruise of 9 days

seeing the Greek Isles!  Can anything really be as wonderful as this trip?  We will find out!!! 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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