• Allison Hills

♥️ amo Roma♥️

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

We used the same excursion company for our private tour in Rome. The tour for 5 for the “best of Rome” excursion was 550 euro, still almost half the cost of the group excursion provided by the cruise line. Before I go any further, I have to recommend our driver, Marco, our guide!! He knew all the best kept secrets in Rome!! He made lunch reservations, brought us to the best gelato, provided a “then and now” picture book so that he could give us the historical context before we toured the monuments, and was overall a great host! Marco does other tours as well (winery, shopping, etc). When booking ask for Marco!

Let’s get to it! The drive was about 1hr 15mins to the first stop, which happened to be a very famous coffee shop near the Pantheon! Dave and I had the most fabulous cappuccinos ever 🙌! The children tried hot chocolate, but actually did not like it (too rich for their tastes.) *Tip alert: In Italy, your purchase your drinks, then bring the receipt to the barista. They make your drinks while you wait. If you don’t bring your receipt to the barista, you don’t get your coffee😅. Also, the price for a “to-go” (called take away) may be different than the price at the counter. Specify when ordering!

Following that heavenly cappuccino, we walked the the Pantheon. What a beautiful cathedral! Free to enter. *Tip alert: conservative dress is required. We saw a mom with jean shorts get turned away.

Next stop, the Trevi fountain! Apparently 3000 coins are thrown into the fountain daily, which means they have to vacuum them out (once a week). When we arrived, guess what they were in the middle of?!? Yep, bad timing, but we didn’t feel like waiting until they completed the cleaning. We turned around, closed our eyes, and threw our coins in with the obligatory wish to return to Rome.

We mentioned to Marco that Mikey needed a Roma jersey (are you seeing the pattern now😂?), and Marco knew just the store! Jersey obtained!

Next stop, the Spanish steps (named so because of the Spanish embassy located near the base of the steps!). Thankfully, Marco took us to the top to walk down the steps (about 130 ish of them, but we lost count😅). At the base of the steps was a beautiful fountain with fresh drinking water (connected to the Trevi fountain). We all stopped for a taste 😊.

After a taste of fresh Roman tap water, we headed for the Colosseum. We knew we didn’t have too much time in this tour so we did not chose to go into the Colosseum. Marco informed us the about 40 percent of the original building is left and that the Vatican actually took some of the building to build Vatican City.

We spent about 45 mins touring the outside of the Colosseum, along with the adjacent temple ruins. On the drive to lunch, we saw Mussolini’s balcony and briefly stopped outside the phenomenal “Wedding Cake” war memorial for picture.

Next stop was lunch. Oh my, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! We had fresh mushrooms, suppli, pizza, beer, Fanta, tiramisu and cannoli. It was honestly one of the best meals!! Check out La Soffitta (meaning the ceiling)😋

After lunch, we went to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Marco told us that Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, and it is still protected by the Swiss guard. We did not have the time to go into the Sistine chapel and the actual plaza was closed due to a ceremony for the new cardinals. What a beautiful stop.

Finally, Marco brought us to Piazza Navona. The Piazza was built on top of the Stadium of Domitian and we were able to see the original ruins from the street above.

Rome is a must see and we only briefly saw the highlights. We can’t wait to go back and spend a few more days exploring.