Thursday, October 17, 2019

{Travel} Italy-Day 3 Vatican City

I'm back with our Italian anniversary adventure after an unintended blog break. We were visiting College Girl with City Girl and I was soaking in the family time. Now that I'm home I can concentrate on the trip again.
To catch up, you can start here.

On Day 3 we were up bright and early to get to our tour of the Vatican.  We planned to take the subway but the station near our hotel was closed.  We found another sign for the metro but we couldn't find the entrance we ended up taking at a taxi.
We were extra early for our tour but also extra tired so we went into Caffé Vaticano which was right by our meeting spot for the tour and where we asked the taxi driver to drop us off.
We sat down and had a cappuccino.  Our bill was 17 euro but I guess we got off pretty easily compared to some other tourists (a quick Google search and you'll see people's super high bills). It's a great location but be warned, prices are super inflated.
Waiting for our tour to begin.

We had booked the Faster Than Skip The Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour through before our trip.
We knew the lines could be crazy long at the Vatican and also heard it's better to get there as early in the morning as possible because the crowds get bigger as the day goes on.  Here's our tour guide Christian getting us ready for the tour.
He gathered us inside first at a meeting place and gave us a bathroom break while he got our tickets. We had to keep our headsets on so we could hear him when it was time to reconvene. It was so crowded inside already, I don't know how he kept track of us. We were a group of about 20 but some tours were much larger.
We started the tour in this courtyard outside.
Christian was a historian and so knowledgeable. He really made the tour with his history and humor. 

He gave us a couple of breaks to walk around and take photos while also giving us so much history and information about the Vatican Museums,  St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

I'm  sharing a few photos from our tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. No photos are allowed in the Sistine Chapel but we had some time there to take it all in. It's incredible.
The tour ended outside where we could see the window of the Pope's apartment (except the current Pope doesn't stay there). This is also where they have huge Papal masses.
The Swiss Guards who protect the Pope and the Vatican hold traditional weapons but are also fully armed bodyguards.
One last shot before we go!
We decided to walk around the surrounding area after the tour.
We had lunch at Borgosteria long this quiet street.
More delicious pizza and a welcome respite after a full morning of walking and touring.  We took the Metro back and it was easy!
My evening outfit.
Walking around our Trevi neighborhood at night...
...finding a restaurant for dinner.
That pasta!
Later we explored our street a little...

...and found this amazing building right around the corner!

Another fantastic day in Italy!

to be continued..

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Friday, October 11, 2019

{Travel} Italy: Days 1 & 2 Travel & Rome

I've been going through our (100's of) photos from Italy and trying to organize them to remember our trip.  If you want to travel along, I'd love to have you!
Day 1 and we're off!  To see how I packed for 10 days in a carry on, click here.
We had an overnight flight from Philly to Rome and it was uneventful=perfect.
Arriving over Rome in the morning!
We had arranged to have a driver pick us up at airport and drive us  to our hotel. It was so nice to not to have to figure out transportation when we arrived tired and bleary eyed.   Our room wasn't quite ready so we set out to explore the neighborhood.

 After a quick cappuccino we headed to the Spanish steps. This is the view from the top looking down.

And from the bottom looking up.

The view from the top is stunning.  I was already smitten with Roma!

We were staying in the Trevi neighborhood and only a few minute walk away from Trevi Fountain.
Tired Trevi selfie.   
We went looking for a place for lunch that I wanted to try called That's Amore.
It is a bit touristy but it was right near our hotel and very good.

 And heart shaped pizza!  We went back to the room for a nap and set the alarm to make sure we didn't sleep too long.

Back out to see the Trevi Fountain at night.
 We got our first gelato.
Someone is happy with the salted caramel gelato.
Slightly rested Trevi selfie.
Our first dinner in Italy.
 Delicious food and...
 Walking around Piazza Colonna at  night.
 We needed to get to bed because the next morning we were going to the Vatican.

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