Our day in Rome was an early and busy one. Most of us were booked on a tour of Vatican City, which meant we could go in before it opens to the public, and skip the queue (some people didn’t do the tour, but queued up anyway. They started queueing at 9 and didn’t get in until 12!)
The tour went for about 3 hours, and the guide took us through lots of galleries, explaining the history behind some of the pieces as we went. He had studied it in uni, so knew a lot on the topic. We went through the Sistine Chapel, where the artwork was amazing. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos (there were security people everywhere, continually saying “sshhhhhhhh…” and “no photos!”) The guide told us the reason we couldn’t take photos was because Nikon own the copyright to any photos from the Chapel! (someone else thought that was because Nikon had funded the restoration) Not a very good reason for banning photos!
We also visited St. Peter’s Basilica. The interior was truly amazing. We were allowed to take photos here which was good, because the decorations really are amazing. There was a lot of gold – I can’t remember how much, but the guide said there was enough gold plating to rid ?Africa? of poverty. So indulgent!
We also wandered around St. Peter’s square, and I went down to the tombs of the popes. It was a bit creepy to think that they were coffins/graves so close, and the stone carvings on top were incredibly life like. Only a small section was open to the public, but it was definitely worth visiting.
We stopped for lunch after Vatican City, and I naively ordered a coffee with a shot of Baileys (I’d recently discovered the irish cream flavouring at home, and thought the original would be even better). I was quite surprised when they gave me a small plastic cup with a shot of coffee and a shot of liqueur! There was no milk or anything else! Obviously it was very strong, so I sipped at it slowly. It turned out to be very nice (although, I’ve been careful ever since to order coffee with milk!)
After lunch we ventured into the rest of Rome. We went back to the Colossuem to see inside and weren’t disappointed by the view. It really is amazing that such a huge landmark could have been built without modern technology, and that it’s still standing! I wonder what our modern buildings will be looking like in 2000 years…
Then we visited the Forum and saw a lot of Roman ruins, as well as Augustus’ house. The house was only open to 5 people at a time to help preserve it.
Vicky and Andrew joined us after the Colosseum. From the ruines we returned to the Trevi Fountain for one more look, and some gelati. There were so many different gelati flavours to try! All up, the flavours I sampled were lemon, chocolate, strawberry, watermelon, peach, nutella, raspberry, pineapple and banana. That was over 6 days, so wasn’t too unhealthy…lol
Back to the campsite after that, although we stopped at a supermarket to get some snacks for the bus. Here in Europe they don’t pack the bags, and in this supermarket I bought a couple of apples and had to weigh them in the fruit department, where the machine gave me a barcode to stick on the bag! I didn’t realise I had to do it, until I saw someone else stickering their fruit.
That night we headed to the campsite disco again, which was a nice way to end an exhausting day!