We took an early train to Rome and arrived in time for lunch. After checking into our hotel (which happened to be right behind the Trevvi Fountain), we stopped for a quick bite at Osteria Allegro Pachino, just at the edge of the fountain.
We loaded up on reasonably priced and tasty pizza and pasta with cheese and pepper before starting off on a little self guided sightseeing.
Our first stop was obviously the Trevi Fountain. Although lovely, it was quite crowded (and apparently always is during the day) so we snapped a few photos, tossed in a few coins over our backs for good luck and kept moving.
We meandered by countless pretty courtyards and interesting shops, including this one that sold Pinnochio dolls in every size imaginable, as we made our way to Piazza Venezia.
The Piazza is in the center of Rome and intersects several major roads.It reminded me of visiting the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Our next stop was the Pantheon. Again, very crowded, but spectacular to behold.
The Pantheon was one of the many buildings in Rome that gave me a true appreciation of the amazing architecture. It seems impossible that something that grand and refined could be built so long ago, let alone still be standing after all this time.
The next morning we woke up and enjoyed a quick breakfast at our hotel before our tour of the Vatican. We decided to walk and took a route along the Tiber River where we saw the Castel Sant’Angelo and our first view of St. Peter’s Basilica at the entrance to Vatican City.
We hopped in with our tour group (which was really too large to be of much good) and spent the morning checking out just a fraction of the vast collection of artworks in the Vatican Museum.
Afterwards we toured Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel (no photos allowed).
As we made our way back to our hotel that evening we stopped for a few photo opps of the Palatine Hill Ruins.
Rome is full of ruins. As it got dark we made one final stop in front of the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, which we planned to tour the following day.
Next up, Our walking tour of Rome, Inside the Colosseum and on to Pompeii!