Coliseum, Trevi, Pantheon and More in Rome Italy

Friday, April 11, 2014. We were scheduled for an 8:30am tour of Rome, so we went down to the hotel buffet for breakfast. They had a nice spread of breads, cereals, juices, and a few hot items. I had scrambled eggs along with turkey and cheese. I loved how they had little drawings of turkey and pig rather than try to write the names of the various items in all languages. We stopped back up at the room and then got downstairs at 8:31. They were already loading up the bus! Lesson learned - always get there ten minutes early. Just in case.

I had two cameras with me. The smaller Canon S100 is great for wide shots, for example of landscapes. It's also handier for using in the bus. The larger Canon EOS40D is higher quality but is set up to take a smaller field of vision. So rather than a wide landscape it focuses in on a specific smaller area. I used that for taking details of doors, carvings, and so on. I ended up taking 107 photos with the S100 and 433 photos with the EOS40D today. Lots and lots :).

Roman Coliseum We drove to the Coliseum first. I adore movies set in Roman times and also have seen a number of documentaries about Rome. So while I hadn't done my traditional "watch every single movie on the planet set in Rome" activity, I was still quite prepared for this portion of the trip :). I love Gladiator and have seen it many, many times, for example. So I was absolutely thrilled when we got there. One of the women had a sickness issue at this point so the rest of us waited for a while outside the Coliseum, which I didn't mind at all. The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny, not too hot, and there were gorgeous things everywhere to take photos of.

Finally we headed in. This is a KEY place to go with a group, because the group got right in while the people just showing up randomly had to wait in a huge line. We went in, used their port-o-potty style restrooms, and then headed into the Coliseum itself. It was amazing. Fantastic. To think of all the history that had taken place there, and how long it had survived. The Allies hadn't bombed it during WWII because they knew how important it was as a world heritage site. I'd seen so many movies about this location that I knew about its layout, but still, to see it in person was just amazing.

I'll also note that our tour guide had us all wearing in essence radios around our neck with earphones. This was WONDERFUL. It meant we didn't have to try to be right next to her or to hear her shouting over other tour guides. Instead, we could sort of meader at our own pace and listen to her dialogue from wherever we were.

The down side was that she tended to walk quickly and not look around. And she wouldn't necessarily say what turns she took. So unless you DID keep track of her, you could easily get lost. Some of the older people in the group got frustrated with trying to keep up with her.

We then walked through a section of Rome which has quite a number of ancient, fantastic buildings and temples. Just one gorgeous location after another. We eventually stopped for lunch at a restaurant where we had a set menu presented to us. It was fairly tasty, and included red and white house wine. I know some tour guides tell you to always drink the house wine, that it's fantastic everywhere. I beg to differ :). I found when I ordered a named wine I got a far better wine than the cheap stuff they serve as guzzling wine :). Not that this house wine was awful, but it was like "box wine" quality. It didn't do much to make the meal tasty.

Roman Coliseum Anyway, back in motion. We saw Trevi Fountain. We saw the Pantheon. Everything was MOBBED. Apparently not only was it Easter Week which meant everyone was out having fun, but also there were two canonizations coming up shortly. So Italy was under a deluge of tourists and local travelers.

I was extremely glad that I'd bought new walking shoes and then aimed to try to take 10,000 steps a day in them for the week up to the trip. It meant I was used to walking a lot and in these shoes in particular. There was definitely a lot of walking involved here.

Finally we were back at the hotel, and we met up with the four fellow travelers again. We tried to go to one restaurant but they were mobbed. We found another one around the corner which had some of the slowest service we experienced anywhere. I think it took them 20 minutes before they even came over to ask about us having water and wine, never mind anything else. On the up side, a local church had a candlelit walk which went right past where we were sitting in the outside streets. They sang and carried lit candles. It was quite lovely. My own video of this didn't come out properly, but my sister did get a video of it.

Then it was back to bed, to prepare for our morning departure for the cruise!

Canon EOS40D - 433 photos:
Rome Italy Tour Photos

Canon S100 - 107 photos:
Rome Italy Tour Photos Too

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