|Future founders of Rome Romulus and Remus|
being nursed by the she-wolf
|St. Peter's Cathedral|
|Foro Romano (Roman Forum)|
Crowds and lines are not at all bad in December, but we're still glad we paid a little extra and reserved "skip-the-line" tickets online. On the days in which we headed to main attractions, we got up early and arrived before opening time - also a good idea because we were able to get some pictures with few or no other tourists on them. We took the Metro to the Colosseum and to the Vatican and found it very easy to navigate - or rather my daughter did, and I just had to follow her - as well as inexpensive (€1,50 per person for a ride on any bus, tram, or the Metro within 90 minutes). I am glad we didn't buy the RomaPass since we did so much on foot and just didn't need public transportation often. Yes, we were achy by late afternoon, but since neither one of us is interested in the night life, we were in bed early anyway and had time to recuperate for the next day.
|Spanish Steps by night (8:20 pm, actually)|
|Inside Mamartine Prison, where Sts. Peter and Paul|
are said to have been imprisoned
We would have been fine having one less day in Rome. We were exhausted from walking anyway, so we probably should have just planned on doing the Vatican one morning followed by wandering on our own, and the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine the next morning followed by more exploring. The way we did it, we spent all of our first full day walking with no appointments at any attractions. We did enjoy that and saw a lot. As it turns out, leaving on Thursday would have meant not being delayed five hours due to a transportation strike. Buses, trains, the Metro, air traffic control... I got an email on Thursday evening saying our 14:40 flight for Friday was bumped to 19:15 (actually 20:25 after more delays), so although we had seen and done everything we wanted to already, we had a bunch of extra hours to visit a few more churches. No one got excited about the strike - apparently they're as common as pigeon shit in Italy. When we had absolutely nothing else to do, we picked up our suitcases at the hotel and dragged them to Termini station, got on the Terravision bus (€6 each - €4 if you buy the ticket online) which takes an hour to get from Termini to Fiumicino, and arrived at the airport four hours early.
|Arch of Constantine|
|Inside the Protestant Cemetery - grave of John Keats (on left)|