The Hotel Nerva provides a very nice continental breakfast each morning which includes thin slices of two different hams; sliced cheese; fresh fruit (melon, orange, and pineapple slices, and strawberries); a substantial bread basket; juice; individually brewed espresso, cappuccino, latte, or American coffee, as well as tea.
After breakfast we took a cab to the Spanish Steps (gorgeous), and then walked….to Trevi Fountain, then to the Pantheon. In the Pantheon’s piazza we stopped for a bit of refreshment. Continuing after our half hour respite, we walked to Piazza Navona (where artists bring their work to sell – much of it very well done), then on to Campo di Fiori. From there to Piazza Venezia, around the very large Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, past the Foro Traino, Foro Augusto and Foro Cesare before arriving 2 blocks from our hotel at the Massenzio ai Fori restaurant where we ate lunch.
Exhausted after our 4+ hour Vatican excursion, we caught a cab back to our hotel and ate lunch nearby. After a refreshing nap, we dined al fresco at the Imperial Restaurant.
We scheduled a guided Vatican tour this morning. Sev, our guide, was from Front Royal, Virginia, where we often spent weekends while living ‘inside the Beltway’ in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
Sev is an Adjutant Professor to the University of Rome, has his doctorate in Roman archeology (I think!), and has been in Rome for 10 years.
He is also one of the most knowledgeable people on Roman history that I’ve ever met. If you want to tour the Vatican, book your tour through Dark Rome and ask for Sev. He also does private tours for an additional fee. It’s worth it!
We were fortunate enough when we exited St. Peters Basilica to perfectly time it with the changing of the Swiss Guard. I have a video which I’ll upload when I return to the States.
To my surprise, the only place in which we were not allowed to take photographs was the Sistine Chapel, so I also have quite a few photos of the Vatican to upload as well.
I can’t wait to upload the photos we took today. The number of ruins is staggering, and far exceeded my expectations. Bistro 318 was perfect for lunch and gelato. Dinner tonight is at Angelina’s.
Hotel Nerva is very centrally located a mere 4 blocks from the Coliseum. After checking in, we went for a walk. Ruins are everywhere. This place is fabulous.
Arrived in Civitavecchia Sunday morning on Celebrity Silhouette . Frank keeps saying we’re boat people now. Hardly!
We’d hired a driver to take us to our hotel in Rome. Unfortunately he spoke very little English and all I can say in Italian is please, thank you, yes, no, pasta and pizza. So while he proudly pointed out the very beautiful buildings by name, and we admired every one of them, I really had no idea what we saw…but they all were gorgeous!
My friend, Yvonne, has been in Vanderbilt University Hospital since last Friday because her docs can’t figure out why she’s in pain. While they now say, “It’s her GI tract!”….duh….we knew that when she went in. She’s now been released; I’m waiting now for patient transport to bring her downstairs so I can take her back to her home. At least her pain is under control…well, somewhat.