10.24.2012

Day 7 :: When in Rome...

In packed St. Peter's Square
For day 5 of our cruise the port city was Civitavecchia, Italy.  Don't worry if you can't say it.  It took me a while to get it.  According to my research this cruise port terminal is super long.  We also had a 60 minute train ride to Rome so we set our alarms for 6:30am.  This might be a vacation but we really didn't have time to sleep in.  Our cruise newsletter said there was a free shuttle from the ship to the end of the port but there is so much going on that we couldn't find it.  We asked, but still couldn't really find it so we just kept walking. I was moving pretty fast because I was anxious about getting there and Mj isn't ready for all of that so early in the morning so he trailed behind me.  This port is huge and it took a good 35 minutes just to get out and about another 10 minutes to the train station and we were there by 8:15am.  We bought B.I.G. tickets, short for Biglietterie,  for 12 € Euro each which would cover our round trip train and the metro while we were in Rome.  There were so many people on the deck all waiting for the same train.  When it came and the doors opened up there was a crush of bodies surging towards the doors to get in.  I wasn't even sure we'd make it.  We did but there were no seats so we stood the whole 60 minute ride to Rome.  We got off at Roma Termini then headed for the metro which would take us to a station close to St. Peter's Square.  Roma Termini is huge!  We walked forever and ever just to get to the metro area and when we did we found ourselves once again mashed among a sea of people and packed into the train.  We didn't make the first one but the next one came just a few minutes later and was almost as packed.  It was crazy!  It was a fairly short ride from there but in all it took us about 2 1/2 hours to get to our final destination and actually start exploring the city. 
St Peter's Square
Excuse me Mr. Pope; could you scootch over just a bit so we can get into the Basilica?
And that was only the beginning.  I feel like Rome basically chewed us up and spit us out.  We went to St Peters Square around 11am and it turns out the Pope was in the middle of it speaking which was cool.  But what was not so cool is that because he was there and standing right in front of it we couldn't get into St Peter's Basilica.   We headed towards the Vatican Museum.  There were people outside trying to sell front of the line passes with tour for 30 € Euro each but there wasn't much of a line at all so I'm really glad we didn't do it especially since it was only 15 € Euro each for tickets.  Inside it was very crowded.  The Vatican Museum is like Ikea on crack.  Once you get in it's very difficult to find your way out.  It's like a maze.  You are funneled from one area to the next without really knowing where you are headed next or where you came from.  Maybe there was a brochure or a map but we missed it.  We were funneled through several different rooms full of walls lined with painting after painting and then finally we found ourselves in the Sistine Chapel where we were not allowed to take pictures.  There were guards at the door.  Like all the other cathedrals we were required to cover our shoulders and you can't show too much leg.  It was cool and dimly lit inside.  It was pretty crowded but there was still a general hush about the room. It really was beautiful. 
Inside the Vatican Museum

By this time we just wanted out of this place!  We'd seen the Sistine Chapel so we were ready to go.  We were hungry and just didn't really have a whole lot of patience for the rest of the paintings.   We were in there for about 1 1/2 hours I think.  We finally get to the exit and then there is this huge downward spiral staircase to get out that keeps going on forever and ever.  Seriously!  I thought we'd never make it out.  By the time we got out half of our day had passed and traffic in Rome is really bad.  We waited forever for a bus to take us towards the Colosseum and then when it finally came we were barely moving because of all the terrible traffic.  There are motorcycles and mopeds darting in and out of lanes everywhere you go.  You really have to be aware of your surroundings because there is just so much going on.  While we were on the bus Mj spotted the Coliseum so we got off and walked.  The Coliseum is magnificent.  It's huge and it looks just like you imagine it would when you see it in movies.  It was 2pm by now so we didn't have time for the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, Roman Forum or Trastevere so we called it quits and headed for a place to eat.  We needed food and wine!


Just chillin' at the Coliseum
I wanted to try Lasagna but I couldn't miss a day of Pizza eating in Italy so we ordered both along with a bottle of wine and split it.  It was so good.   We also had limonchello's.  It tastes like candy...but with a major kick!  Very deceptive.  We were positively exhausted by this point.  We took the metro from the Colosseo station back to Roma Termini.  The train was crowded and I almost didn't make it in behind Mj slamming my arm a little bit in the door as it shut.   Giddy from wine, I just had to laugh.  We made the long walk through Roma Termini back to the train station area and then it was an hour back to Civitavecchia in a train without AC.  At least we had seats.  Our train must have left late or something because we were back later then anticipated.  If we had caught the next train and it took that long I don't think we would have made it back to the ship in time.  My feet were killing me by the time we got back.  Thank goodness as soon as we got to the end of the port there was a shuttle waiting and we were able to get right in and get back to the ship.  I made sure we got our shows on the first three days of the cruise because I figured we would get more tired as the days went on.   It was nice not to have anything to do that night. 

We napped hard after that and I never really got up.  I was done for the rest of the night.  Mj woke up and went to the Windjammer to grab some food but he was so late that everything was shut down except dessert.  Rome wore us out.  You could probably spend three days there and not see everything it's that big.  The metro is fast but stays on the perimeter and does not go to a lot of tourist sites that are in the center.  Then there is lots of traffic in the city center making it hard to get around.  A Hop on Hop of bus may have helped a lot.  Another hunch that I didn't act on.  I had big plans but Rome wasn't built in a day so I could hardly expect to see it in one either!

Next Stop:  Naples, Italy

24 comments :

ruthy ann said...

omg...your photos are awesome...I can't wait to travel there some day!

middle child said...

Ok. So now you get it? Next trip will be to some secluded island with pristine beaches and service that blows your mind. A little bar down on the beach. Whatever you need or want just a phone call away. And all the privacy a person could want.

Randi said...

These look like postcard pictures! so amazing!! you look so relaxed and happy! :)
I nominated you for the Liebster award, hope you join in!! :)

Renae said...

When in Rome do what the “Romans” do-I love it!! What an amazing trip and the pictures say it all, looks like y’all had a great time.

CeCe said...

Thanks! The husband was so right about getting a nice (read expensive) camera to take with us.

CeCe said...

You don't get to see 10 cities in 15 days laying on the beach! We knew it would be exhausting but that's what we wanted. This was definitely a City vacation. I am thinking beaches for the next big one!

CeCe said...

Thanks! Every day was pretty tiring but such an adventure and so much fun.

CeCe said...

Thanks so much. I'll join in...that is if I can ever get through the vaca recaps!!

Lauren said...

Wow! That colliseum is huge! I would love to see that in person. And it's totally understandable you didn't get to see everything - it seems like there is SO MUCH to do in such a short amount of time. I would be exhuasted at the end of the day too! It seems so worth it, though!

And on a comptely random note, your tank top is really cute. I love the cut/style of it!

Lauren
http://laurensweetnothings.blogspot.com/

CeCe said...

Yes. It's soooo big. And sooo old. It's crazy. Thanks! I got the top at A & F on sale before the trip. It has a cute little keyhole and bow in the back that you can't really even see because of my hair.

ShellyShell said...

The ride from the port to Rome was crazy long! I definitely would have loved to stay in Rome longer. Everything felt so rushed. We did the hop on hop off bus so it was a little better but still rushed. I had lasagna and some fresh seafood in Rome. That cruise packs so much in that you're exhausted. We were troopers though. When we got back to the boat we showered and tried the Steakhouse and the French restaurant and went to the martini bar EVERY night and SHUT IT DOWN! LOL! I needed a vacation after that vacation. Glad you had a great time!

CeCe said...

It's nice to know that we weren't the only ones overwhelmed in Rome AND that even a Hop on Hop off bus wouldn't have changed everything. You really are troopers!! At night it was all we could do to get through our shows let alone the bars.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

First you and MJ are such a good looking couple! And second you are making me want to travel...Rome is beautiful..when we went we only had one day too...you definitely need more time to see everything. Spanish steps you didn't miss much although they have some nice (high end) stores

Jacqueline Hough said...

Your photos are great. The photo of the Coliseum is breathtaking. I have always wanted to see the Sistine Chapel. You captured Rome so well. I am glad you guys had such a good time. Thanks for sharing your trip!

Whitney@Keeping Up with the Cyperts said...

YAY Rome! I'm glad y'all got to go there! It is crowded and very touristy but worth it. Your pictures are so good, especially the one of the coliseum! And I don't blame you for not wanting to spare a day of pizza, I loved the pizza there. And Lemonchello's? When Garrett and I studied abroad in Florence, there was a waiter at this restaurant that would always give those to us for free after dinner. I thought they were gross but Garrett liked them lol. The Sistine Chapel is gorgeous but definitely crowded as heck! The Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are awesome, definitely see those when you go back! Sorry I'm blabbing so much, Italy just gets me overexcited.

CeCe said...

Thank You for the compliment! I'm hoping some day we can go back and check out some of what we missed.

CeCe said...

And thanks for reading!!!

CeCe said...

That means Garret got to drink yours??? Lucky him. The Pantheon was so awkwardly located that even if everything had gone to plan I still wasn't sure if we'd make it. Oh well. Maybe next time.

LWLH said...

I am so jealous of your trip and your pics, it looks amazing....and seeing the Pope....wow, not many people can say they did that.

CeCe said...

I feel very lucky to have gotten to take this trip. So much about it was really a once in a lifetime experience.

ffprncez said...

I am green with envy!! I want to go to Italy soooooo bad!

CeCe said...

You HAVE to go if you really want to. Save up, make it a goal. It's truly a wonderful experience.

Kim Jackson said...

How breathtaking is the Sistine Chapel?! I feel so honored to have been able to see it in person. I agree with you that a European vacation doesn't feel like other vacations. There is so much to see and do. When my girlfriends and I went we were out the door by 9am every day. But it's so worth it.

Pegster said...

I just read through your vacation to Europe posts and what a great trip you guys took. I just loved all the pictures and wanted to comment on every post :). I used to live in Germany and got to travel all over Europe and it's so nice to see how other people do Europe. Great pictures

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