On to Rome with its creative driving and parking and a “campground” with granite countertops and marble floors in the WCs!
Rome was the usual hubbub and chaos with the citizens and the tourists all contributing to the cacophony.
We will spare you the requisite coliseum picture and tell you that the Pallatine Hill was the highlight of our first day there. We did go to the coliseum and the forum, but first we had to watch a parade of bands and military circle the coliseum as they were celebrating Republic Day. It was fun and unexpected which is just another reason to travel.
As you can see in the picture above the Palatine Hill had some amazing old buildings and gave a good glimpse into the roman life 2000 years ago.
The next day we drove to Pompei and were surprised at how much of the town had been exposed by the archeologists! We walked for a long time doing the “Rick Steves Pompei Walk”. The walk is supposed to take 2 hours, but we always double the time so we took 4 hours.
We had to take a picture of the guy catching a fish in the Mediterranean.
As you can see, the ruins were amazingly complete.
Here is Joanne in a “fast food joint”. It seems that the Pompeians didn’t often cook at home! Things don’t change much over the years!
And here is a picture of artwork that appeared on many walls and ceilings!
Back to Rome and a walk through town starting at (where else) the coliseum and ending at the Spanish Steps. Below is a picture of the Trevi Fountain. There were a LOT of people.
The next day was the Vatican Museum and Saint Peters. The Pope was speaking that day so it was really full of people too. Joanne thinks that there were 20,000 people there. We would save St. Peters Cathedral for later.
On to the Vatican Museum where Joanne got mesmerized by the Etruscan Pottery (room after room of Etruscan Pottery, if you catch my drift). The last displays we saw before leaving were 6 amazing rooms painted by Raphael and then the Sistine Chapel.
I had to include the 0 BC mosaic of the hunting dog.
We left Roma (not any too soon, it was wearing me out) and headed to quiet, peaceful, beautiful Assisi.
The view from the field across from our hotel (we had been camping for 7 days in a row…it was time to get civilized again) is shown below. This is the monument to St. Francesco of Assisi who practiced a life of poverty.
As we walked around the town we saw sights like this.
The hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria are fascinating places to visit and we wanted to stay a few extra days, but we had to head off to Venice.