Wednesday, April 24, 2019

25th Anniversay Cruise, Part 6: Rome

In this series of posts I'm describing the Mediterranean Cruise my wife Becky and I took in 2018 for our 25th anniversay, Here in Part 6 I'm covering our sixth stop, Rome.

Rome (★★★★)

Like Florence, Rome is an ancient city full of wonders. Like Florence, you can't do Rome justice in a day (or even a week). But a day is better than not visiting at all. 

I will admit to some trepidation about visiting Rome; on my very first tour of Europe in 1981, I remember the tour guides talking to themselves: one remarked to the other that he would never do a tour in Rome again because of all the pickpocketing. In preparing for this trip, we were regularly warned against pickpocketing in Europe and especially Rome. We came prepared, with money belts and a watchful attitude. Happily there were no incidents here or anywhere else on our trip.

St. Peter's Basilica

We're not Catholic, so seeing St. Peter's Basilica wasn't of particular interest to usbut if we were going to see the Colosseum, this was part of the tour. It is a very large (holds 60,000) and ornate building, built in 1626. It is filled to the brim with art, gold, and homages to various popes. It been guarded for centuries by the Swiss Guard.

St. Peter's Basilica and Swiss Guard

Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain dates back to ancient Rome and is one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is the terminal point of an aqueduct started in 19 B.C. The fountain underwent an overhaul in 1732 where it became more ornate and baroque. The palace behind the fountation is the Palazzo Poli.

Trevi Fountain

We enjoyed some gelato while taking in the fountain.

Roman Lunch

We had a group lunch at the Albergo Mediterraneo. It included bread, wine, pasta, veal, espresso, and dessert and was very good.

Lunch in Rome


Our next stop wa the Colosseum, one of the "must see" sights in Rome. Just past the Arch of Constantine and ruins of the Forum is the colosseum. The Colosseum is the a great oval amphitheatre whose walls are partly gone. According to Wikipedia it's the largest amphitheatre ever built and could hold 50,000-80,000 spectators.

The Colosseum

Our tour guide was talking fast and was hard-to-understand, unfortunately. After a few talks, we were left to explore on our own. Fortunately, I'd seen enough documentaries on the Colosseum to understand something of its design and history.


We next saw the catacombs, burial places for Christians used from the 2nd to 5th centuries. Unfortunately, photographs were not permitted. The catacombs are labyrinths of subterranean passages with niches for corpses. 

This place kind of gave me the creeps: there are many tight spaces that give rise to claustrophobia; and one could easily get lost here. It was however nice and cool in contrast to what had otherwise been a very hot day.

Back on the Ship

After a fascinating but also a very long day, we returned to the Crown Princess and had dinner in the main dining room. I enjoyed a Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, and Gazpacho. I'd never had Gazpacho beore and I loved it. Becky had roast pork.

Eating Well in the Main Dining Room

Previous: Part 5: Florence
Next: Part 7: Pompeii

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