Thankfully I enjoyed Rome more than I enjoy the brass band piece Arrivederci Roma. Rome was pretty dam hot so it made everything feel like a conquest. We arrived in the afternoon and went straight into a walking tour. We saw the Gates of Rome, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Roman Forum, Colosseum and some other stuff (descriptive, I know).
After melting on the walking tour we discovered the pool and bar at our accommodation. Apparently I’m quite partial to a Virgin Mojito, we also got some topless bathers (I wasn’t quite so partial).
We started our full day in Rome by heading back to the Colosseum and grabbed a guided tour with Stefano. He was another passionate Italian, my enduring memory will be him telling a bunch of Chinese tourists to shut up and stop yelling. Gold. Having a guide was great because I would have missed loads of things otherwise. In the middle of the Colosseum I decided I really did want to see the Pope, so I dragged Mystery DIY Man off to the metro. As usual everyone else had the same good idea. We got into St Peter’s Square and found ourselves a nice spot next to the fountain and commenced the waiting (and sweating). Thankfully the pope likes to be on time and appeared at midday as he promised. I’m not very good at Latin or Italian so I have no idea what he said. We made a run for the basilica line before everyone else and got in for a walk around in record time. Quite a building.
We headed back into Rome to see the inside of the Pantheon and few other things but in the heat we only managed the Pantheon and lunch. We headed back to our cabins for more mojitos.
As our full day was a Sunday and the Vatican museum was shut we got up bright and early on Monday and headed in for a looksee. Our lovely guide Valeria (sound like malaria with a v) treated us as her family and was forever telling us to ‘follow Mama’ etc. I got to see many pope-mobiles, the Sistine chapel and loads of other things. Thankfully Valeria explained all the paintings in the Sistine chapel briefly to us or I would have had only a basic appreciation for them.
My lasting memories of Rome will be all the aqueducts throughout the city and the glorious free cold water they provide. On a related note while we were at the Trevi Fountain legend has it if you throw a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand you get a wish. Two coins and you come back to Rome. Three coins and you get married within a year. Mystery DIY Man handed me three coins.. I asked if it was a proposal. I’ve since heard some variations on the coin story.