We arrived in the port of Civitavecchia for sunrise. It's located about 80 km from the centre of Rome. It's an interesting mix of ruins and industry while still feeling like somewhat of a fishing village.
We travelled by coach to Rome, taking in the lush rolling landscapes along the way. Our first stop was the Trevi Fountain. Unfortunately, it is currently under restoration which means it doesn't have any water in it. Also means that most of it is surrounded by fencing and scaffolding. The square it's located in is quite smaller than we imagined it would be. Below is one of the only photos I bothered to take, it just wasn't that special surrounded by all the modern restoration gear.
After our quick stop there we walked towards the Forum and the Colosseum. There were lots of interesting ruins, older building, and statues along the way.
I really enjoyed the Forum and would've loved to stay there all day. So much to see and so little time!
Next up, the Colosseum! It's definitely impressive to think of how it was built. One thing I noticed is that it doesn't seem so big from the exterior. Once you're inside it really does seem bigger.
After the outdoor tours, we were definitely a bit warm and ready for lunch. It was about 1:00 when we headed for the restaurant. One of the more amusing moments of the day was when the tour guide spotted gypsies. Gypsies or pickpockets in Rome tend to be younger girls, probably between 10-16. People don't suspect them and they tend to just look like a normal group of girls hanging out. The tour guide yelled out "watch your belongings, GYPSIES!" and seeing the girls react was hilarious. They gave him such glares and almost hissed. We both were already in the habit of keeping no belongings in our pockets. We also had bags that used zipper closures and kept our bags across the front of our bodies.
We had bread and wine to start, salad, then a delicious 7-layer lasagna (fresh pasta of course!), and a lazy version of a tiramisu. It was all excellent and what we needed after all that walking and hot sun!
Our final stop for the day was the Vatican. It was Wednesday, which meant a mass had been held that morning. Ultimately, that means that a lot more people than usual were there. We got in line because the guides thought it would only be a 30-40 minute wait. We were supposed to leave there at 4:30 in order to be back in time. However the line took a lot longer than anticipated and we only cleared security at 4:30. Because we had waited all that time, the guide decided we could proceed. So we had one of the fastest tours of the St. Peter's Basilica.
It really is quite a remarkable building. The mosaics and the arches and all the gold are almost overwhelming!
After the tour, since we were already pretty late, we headed straight for the bus and enjoyed a quiet ride back, taking in the lovely sights of the countryside. Considering we left so late, we still made it back just 5 minutes late. Some people were panicking because we weren't going to be back for 6. However, that's one of the perks about booking one of the cruiseline's excursions- they have to wait for you! So I guess some of the other guests didn't know about that.
Before we left, I saw this mural from our balcony. I thought it was cute and was a nice final view of the port before we heading onwards to Messina.