Friday, September 2, 2016

Ahhh Rome.....taking the train from Civitavecchia

When you dock in Civitavecchia , Most people will want to go to Rome....You can take a ships tour..(very expensive, big buses full of people, but safe and easy peasy..) OR, you can be adventuresome, and hop on a train and see Rome on your own!  OF COURSE, that's what we did....My motto is never do anything the easy way...only the FUN way!     

Anna, my niece, loves meeting up with cruisers, and helping them navigate Rome....   She met us at the shuttle stop, walked us one block to a tobacco shop where we bought our train ticket,( about 10 euros)  and then walked another block to the station where we caught our train. 
You could do the same thing....

One hour later, we disembarked at the Vatican!

We have been to Rome before, so we skipped the Vatican tour, but if that is your goal, the best option is to buy your tickets online, and skip the long lines.... I recommend making the Vatican your first stop, as it gets very crowded as the day wears on! 

It is about a 15 min walk from the Vatican to the center of Rome...very picturesque, as you stroll along old buildings....

And across the the center city

all the while, doing a little window shopping! Only in Rome can you buy candy with pictures of the Pope!!

During our stroll into the center, we passed City hall and the colorful security guards.....

After about 15 min we were at the Trevi fountain, where we fought the crowds to get close enough to throw a coin in the fountain .......after all, we didn't want to miss an opportunity to play tourist, and ensure our return to Rome!!!  

Of course, after that walk, we were STARVED...and popped into a local restaurant for bruschetta and wine... 
It was so yummy, and we stuck with the Rick Steves rule, and avoided tourist traps...Hint number one, never eat in a restaurant that has pictures on the menu!!

The atmosphere was so charming, couldn't help but have a glass or two of wine! It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!!

And I couldn't wait to try a Porchetta sandwich! Highly recommended I might add!

We passed a pasta shop on our way to the Pantheon...Can't even imagine operating this machine!!!

Joel stopped for a drink at an ancient Roman fountain! 

Anna, told us all about the history of the Pantheon before we entered...

Oh so beautiful! 

Piazza Navone is the home of the Bernini fountains, and just a wonderful spot to bask is all of Romes glory!

We were able to see wonderful works of art, that most tourists never get to see!

We hopped on a tram, and strolled by the Colosseum.... If this was my first time to Rome, I would have purchased an advanced ticket and gone inside.... It is amazing to visit, but as this was a fun relaxing day, I was content to just gaze at this imposing structure!!  It was a hot day though, and I was dreaming of the Gelato shop Anna was going to take us to...( she knows the BEST places to eat!) After all....Who goes to Rome and doesn't get Gelato!!

Walking along the Roman forum, as we grabbed a tram to get us back to the train station....
all in all, we left the port at 0800, arrived in the Vatican by 0930, walked to the city center, had lunch, threw coins, ogled the Pantheon, saw the coliseum, and the roman forum, had a whirlwind walking tour of Rome, and made it back to the ship by time for cocktails! 
Anna... you are amazing! 
If anyone wants to meet up with Anna....well, just drop me a note....I'll be glad to do what I can to set you up....After all, She LOVES to show off Rome!