Friday, June 17, 2016

Rome!

We went to Rome!

I realize I never finished blogging about our trip to the Italian Riviera and now I want to write down all that we saw in Rome.

Maybe by writing about our trip from the end to the beginning, I could eventually make it all the way back to our other trip to Italy, along with our weekend in Garmisch that was in between. Probably not, but a girl has to remain optimistic, right?

My sister and her family planned a European trip and we joined up with them in Rome. Tony could not come along because he had to be in Poland for work. When I write things like that, it still seems so weird. Thanks to super cheap airfare (around $40 per person round trip), and splitting the cost of an apartment with my sister's family, the trip was fairly reasonable, cost wise. Also, our apartment was restocked by the housekeeping service each morning with juice, yogurt, bread, cereal and milk.

The night before we left, I was a bundle of nerves and was unable to sleep. I had never been to the airport we were using. I was worried about navigating to our apartment because I had to catch a shuttle bus from the airport to the metro, take the metro to the apartment, and then find the apartment, all with four little kids in tow and Olivia to help. I was worried about pickpockets. We seemed like prime targets. I was also nervous about being in such a big city. I am truly a small town kind of gal.

Despite all my worries, we had a wonderful trip, with only a few meltdowns (one by a kid and one by me) along the way. I only have 800 pictures on the camera to sort through and lots of laundry to do.

If you go by the Rick Steve's travel book, we hit all the biggest and best things to see in Rome, except for the Borghese Gallery. We had decided beforehand to pay for a guided tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica all together. In hindsight, while I did appreciate only having to stand in line once, and being able to walk straight into the Basilica, the tour was very rushed and I felt like we missed so much of the museum. The kids, however, would not have been able to hang in there for any longer. The rest of the sights, we did on our own.

Here is a nutshell itinerary:

Sunday: arrive in Rome in the afternoon. Get settled. Take evening walk to find dinner. End at Spanish steps.

Monday: tour of Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. Anna starts feeling bad. Think it is just the heat.

Tuesday: Anna has a fever. Everyone else goes to Colosseum. I stay home with Anna and Peter. Thinks she is feeling better, so try to join them in afternoon. We see Colosseum while they lunch. She is not better and we head back to apartment while they see the Forum. Everyone else goes out for evening stroll.

Wednesday: Anna is still feeling badly. Olivia stays home in the morning with her and we head out to the Villa Borghese Gardens and rent bicycle built for eight. Go to St. John Lateran's and the Holy Stairs. Go home and rest before heading out with everyone for dinner and to see Pantheon, Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, and Trevi Fountain.

Thursday: check out to head home. Have time to stop in the National Museum of Rome (free bag check means we don't have to carry our luggage all day!) before heading to airport. Most crowded day on Metro and shuttle bus. Arrive home just before midnight.

first night near the Spanish Steps

first night at sinking boat fountain

view from Vatican Museum

Laocoon and his sons

another statue that caught my eye

Pieta

outside St. Peter's Basilica

Colosseum

Colosseum

Villa Borghese Gardens

St. John Lateran

Holy Stairs

view from restaurant

another view from restaurant

throwing coins in Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain




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