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Old 2 Nov 21, 01:13 PM  
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Goldia
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Pizza, Pasta and Prosecco - Rome October 2021 Day 1 Monday 25th October

Day 1 Monday 25th October - The Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, pizza for lunch, pasta and prosecco for dinner!

I did not sleep well, largely due to the bed having the firmest mattress in the world. Seriously, as a student I think I slept on floorboards that were softer!

My fitbit informed me Iíd had a glorious 3hr 28 min of sleep with a score of 55 which is rated poor. Heaven knows how bad you have to sleep to get a score lower than 50.

The kids were super keen to get up, go to breakfast early and then crack on with the dayÖ not my kids you understand, that was the kids in the room next door. My kids were doing a really good job of pretending they werenít awake.

I took a few snaps from our windows.





It was really lovely to have windows on two aspects. One side was a busy shopping street, the other lots of tall buildings, presumably apartments and offices.



Eventually the kids couldnít fake sleep anymore and we managed to convince them to get up, shower and get dressed so that we could go down to breakfast.

This was the same set up each day. It was a self-service buffet with coffee machines, lots of juices, cereals, bread and rolls, pastries, cakes, meats, cheeses, hard boiled eggs, salads and fresh fruit. Masks were expected to be worn while walking around but as soon as you are seated they can be removed.

We all found things we enjoyed. My favourite was the croissant stuffed with custard, this was really quite tasty. I didnít bother taking any photos of the breakfast room or the food and so you will have to imagine the croissants and coffee.

We left the hotel at around 10am and headed towards the river, this is the opposite direction to the Vatican, but our booking for the museum was 11.30am so we had time to spare and we fancied the scenic route.



The weather was glorious, blue skies and mild.



In advance of our trip some of my friends said they wore shorts and t shirts when visiting Rome in October, well it wasnít quite warm enough for that, but we soon discarded our jackets.

At the river we decided to take some steps down to walk along the river bank. This actually turned out to not be a brilliant idea as it was basically a running/cycling track and we had to dodge out the way a couple of times. Also we were missing out on seeing all the beautiful buildings. So, at the next opportunity we went back up to the road.









We walked along the river passing Castel SantíAngelo.





Then turned right and headed towards St. Peterís Square.



St Peterís Square is within Vatican City in front of St. Peterís Basilica. The plaza was designed in the 1600s by Bernini. There are 284 colonades in 4 rows and the columns are 13 metres high. It is pretty impressive to stand in.



There is an obelisk at the centre of the plaza and two fountains, one designed by Bernini and on by Carlo Maderno.







St. Peterís Basilica is the heart of the Catholic Church and the apostle Saint Peter is believed to have been buried here in 64AD. It was first established as a place of worship circa 320AD. In the 15th century it was enlarged by Bramante and continued later by Rafael, and then Baldassarre Peruzzi and later Michaelangelo. Maderno was responsible for the faÁade and finally the Basilica was consecrated in 1626.

The kids were not interested in being in any photos! I'm sure they were enjoying themselves, if not a lot, then maybe a little. Perhaps, I'm kidding myself on that though.



We walked around the walls of Vatican City to the entrance to the museum. There is no entry without a ticket and these must be purchased in advance with no on the day sales. A time slot is booked and ours was 11.30am. Additionally, the number of visitors is limited, although it felt incredibly busy to us. We were about 15 minutes early but this was ok. There looked to be a long line, but actually it moved fairly quickly.

The first check was to ensure we had booked tickets. I had done this through Tiqets and we needed to exchange our tickets from the kiosk inside. Then as we snaked through the line our green passes were checked (vaccine certificates and negative tests).

Once inside nearly forgot to get our tickets from the booth, I'd printed out the receipt and voucher, but this wasn't really needed as they were happy enough to just scan the QR code on my phone and then hand over the tickets.



There are several exhibitions within the Vatican Museums, with options to book guided tours, audio tours or to self-tour. I hadnít opted for a guided or audio tour. The museums cover nearly 15km and my main reason for booking was so that we could visit the Sistine Chapel.



I took a handful of photos of the beautiful statues and frescoes as we made our way following the signs to the Sistine Chapel.







My main intention was to simply absorb it all and try and take in the splendor of it all, rather than document and photograph it all.







The kids appeared to be in a race to see complete the museum in the fastest time possibleÖeach time we entered a new corridor or new exhibit and they saw the sign for the chapel they were convinced it was just around the corner.



However, the trail to the chapel is long and winding, which I enjoyed, and they pretended to enjoy.





No photos or recording are allowed inside the Sistine Chapel. Julius II della Rovere (pope from 1503-1513) ordered the refinement and redecoration the chapel by Michaelangelo. In 1533 Michaelangelo was asked to paint the Last Judgement on the altar wall replacing the 15th century frescoes. The story of Christ is featured on the North Wall and Moses on the South Wall. The ceiling fresco is stunning, depicting 9 events from the Book of Genesis, apparently Michaelangelo was commissioned to paint 12 apostles but he didnít want to do this and was eventually allowed to paint whatever he chose.

We left the chapel and made our way outside to the gardens.



We found a bench and had a brief rest.





I say brief, because the kids now realised it was gone 1pm and they were hungry, so were both very keen to find a restaurant for lunch.

We decided we had seen enough of the museum exhibits, Iím sure you could spend all day here and still barely scratch the surface but, even though we'd only been there a short time, for us it was enough.

There are lots of little restaurants nearby and we only walked for 5 minutes before deciding on a pizzeria. We sat at one of the tables in the pavement/patio seating area. It doesnít sound so nice, sitting on the pavement, but every restaurant has a few tables and chairs set up on the pavement outside, sometimes in a sort of tent. If you are seated outside you donít need to show your covid green pass.

We each had a pizza and a drink and this came to just under 60 Euros including tip. I think itís a really inexpensive city for eating out. Margherita pizzas are around 8 Euros and for pizzas with toppings you can add on maybe another 4 Euros.



We took our time over lunch and rested our aching feet. I wasnít in a hurry as I was feeling pretty tired by now. I couldnít eat all my pizza, but Max was happy to help out. I suggested we get a gelato dessert later in the afternoon. So, finally we made a move.

We headed back towards the river and the Castel SantíAngelo, which we had passed this morning.



This was constructed by the Emperor Hadrian for himself as a mausoleum around 130AD. In the 14th century a secret, fortified passageway was constructed for the protection of the papal community, which connects the Vatican to the Castel. The mausoleum was used as a prison, where prisoners were tortured, starved and executed.







Kate agreed to me taking a photo of her shadow, yes I think she is taller than me now!



There are lots of fountains around Rome, with perfectly good drinking water. Although I have to say this one where the water collected in a bath didn't look so appealing.







After wandering around the grounds we decided we were ready for gelato. I went for cherry, which was delicious.



We all needed a bit of a rest and downtime so headed back to the hotel. The kids got their tablets out, Wi-Fi was freely available in the hotel, both Dave and I had a nap. This was much needed and we both slept for over an hour. Apparently one of us was snoring quite loudly.

Feeling more refreshed I offered to share with Dave my little bottle of wine served with dinner on the flight.



But he declined and him and Kate went foraging over the road to a little indoor market. He was quite proud of himself when he came back with his 3 Euro bottle of wine, plus a couple of bags of crisps and coke for the kids.



This was drunk over the course of the next few days out of plastic disposable cups.

Kate and I played cards and we happily passed another hour or so.



Eventually real hunger took over and the crisps were not enough. We walked up to Piazza del Risorgimento. This was barely 5 minutes from our hotel and was right next to the walls of the Vatican and is a piazza with lots of restaurants and bars around the edge.

We didnít take too long to make a decision where to eat. Once again we ate outside, there were patio heaters that were actually quite hot, well Dave said he thought his neck was going to burn it was so hot on the back of his head.

We shared a bottle of Prosecco, just 20 Euros, and the kids had soft drinks.



We didnít fancy any starters and went straight for our main courses.



Max went for a burger, which looked delicious, it was served in a ciabatta roll and had Ďfriesí on the side, with a garlic aioli. He let me try some of it and it was delicious.



Kate had pasta with a tomato sauce.



Dave had gnocchi with a tomato sauce.



I went for ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach in a garlic butter sauce. This doesnít look like a large plate, but it was easily enough and I couldnít have eaten anymore.



None of us ordered desserts and after settling the bill we walked around the walls to St. Peterís to see the square and basilica at night.



There were a lot less people here now than earlier and it was very pretty.







In fact I think it is more stunning at night all lit up.







We headed towards the river.






Kate offered to take a photo of Dave and I.



I was feeling pretty weary by now though, the less than 4 hours of sleep was catching up with me, even with an afternoon nap.

We wandered back past Castel SantíAngelo.



As usual I'm trailing behind.





We went to Piazza Cavour and the supreme court, again this was beautifully lit.









It was coming up for 10pm and I for one was tired and my feet were aching so we slowly walked back to the hotel.



This is our hotel, entrance on the left, our room is the first floor with windows on both the left and right of the building.



Once inside there was no messing around for me, just time to check out the step count for the day, 24,869 not bad, but weíve done more on a city break. I was first in bed and first asleep.

The kids were left to their own devices and I just said that we would be aiming for breakfast at around 8am again the following morning so it was up to them when they went to sleep.

Next up Ė day 2 Tuesday 26th October we head over the river to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill
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Old 2 Nov 21, 10:02 PM  
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P&S
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A great day and fabulous photos the buildings are just beautiful
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Old 2 Nov 21, 10:36 PM  
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DisneyMadAng
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Fab day. You managed to pack loads in.

We stayed near the Vatican a couple of years ago (so glad we went for a week... Last holiday abroad BC 🤣 ) and I had to go and see it every night on our way to the hotel. It's just stunning. Even more so at night. Your night time photos are amazing!

Hope you have a good night's sleep 😴
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Old 2 Nov 21, 10:49 PM  
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Florida1972
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Beautiful Rome ❤️
What a fabulous day, thank you for posting 🙂
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Old 2 Nov 21, 11:44 PM  
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Oh Abby, what a shame about your bed! Thankfully the weather was just so lovely, those beautiful blue skies look amazing against the backdrop of the stunning buildings.

I love that Max had a burger all your meals look fantastic but that Gelato looks delicious!

Itís wonderful to see the comparison between the night and day pics. A great first day. Xx
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Old 3 Nov 21, 07:34 AM  
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Awesome photos and what looks like a great day. I would return to Italy just for the gelato.
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Old 3 Nov 21, 08:39 AM  
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Goldia
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Originally Posted by P&S View Post
A great day and fabulous photos the buildings are just beautiful
Yes, everywhere you look there are beautiful buildings. Such a lovely city to walk around.

Originally Posted by DisneyMadAng View Post
Fab day. You managed to pack loads in.

We stayed near the Vatican a couple of years ago (so glad we went for a week... Last holiday abroad BC 🤣 ) and I had to go and see it every night on our way to the hotel. It's just stunning. Even more so at night. Your night time photos are amazing!

Hope you have a good night's sleep 😴
I think it was more spectacular at night, I loved it. I slept much better this night, thank goodness.

Originally Posted by Florida1972 View Post
Beautiful Rome ❤️
What a fabulous day, thank you for posting 🙂
It is a very pretty city, nice and compact too, we enjoyed walking around.
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Abby

Disneyland 1993.
DLP 2000, 2019, 2020.
Orlando 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (cancelled), 2021 (cancelled).


A great big beautiful - Summer 2022 New pre trip report

All my old trip reports click here NYC and Orlando 2017, Salzburg 2017, Boston 2017, Orlando 2018, Berlin 2018, DLP 2019, Orlando 2019, Washington DC 2019, DLP 2020, Jamaica 2021, Rome 2021.
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Old 3 Nov 21, 08:42 AM  
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Goldia
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Originally Posted by Sparksy72 View Post
Oh Abby, what a shame about your bed! Thankfully the weather was just so lovely, those beautiful blue skies look amazing against the backdrop of the stunning buildings.

I love that Max had a burger all your meals look fantastic but that Gelato looks delicious!

Itís wonderful to see the comparison between the night and day pics. A great first day. Xx
I didn't really get used to the bed, but I did sleep better the next couple of nights. The blue sky contrasting with the buildings was lovely, wasn't it?

I was really impressed with Max's Italian burger and it was so tasty, the garlic aioli for dipping the fries was really good.

Originally Posted by cornishfrogboy View Post
Awesome photos and what looks like a great day. I would return to Italy just for the gelato.
No gelato on day 2, but we had to have some more on day 3. Delicious.
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Abby

Disneyland 1993.
DLP 2000, 2019, 2020.
Orlando 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (cancelled), 2021 (cancelled).


A great big beautiful - Summer 2022 New pre trip report

All my old trip reports click here NYC and Orlando 2017, Salzburg 2017, Boston 2017, Orlando 2018, Berlin 2018, DLP 2019, Orlando 2019, Washington DC 2019, DLP 2020, Jamaica 2021, Rome 2021.
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Old 4 Nov 21, 10:03 PM  
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Oh bless you Abby, you must have been shattered. Got to say I did laugh out loud at the kid's up a raring to go ... but not Max and Kate

Caitlin loves to remind me she's taller than me now too

3 Euro for a bottle of wine! Now that's a bargain, well done Dave.

A fab day as always and as usual you fit so much into the day! It looks beautiful by day, but even more so by night. I really hope you manage to get a better sleep tonight x
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Old 5 Nov 21, 10:46 AM  
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Goldia
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Originally Posted by caitlinsmummy View Post
Oh bless you Abby, you must have been shattered. Got to say I did laugh out loud at the kid's up a raring to go ... but not Max and Kate

Caitlin loves to remind me she's taller than me now too

3 Euro for a bottle of wine! Now that's a bargain, well done Dave.

A fab day as always and as usual you fit so much into the day! It looks beautiful by day, but even more so by night. I really hope you manage to get a better sleep tonight x
Ha ha, yep Max and Kate are now every teenage stereotype you can think of...sleep all day, grumpy, embarrassed to be with their parents...and both taller than me.

Despite the trials of two teenagers in tow it was still a good day, I've learned to just ignore them and not try and force the fun. They don't have to be in the photos if they don't want to, to be honest if they are they are usually scowling and it's not a nice photo then anyway!
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Abby

Disneyland 1993.
DLP 2000, 2019, 2020.
Orlando 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (cancelled), 2021 (cancelled).


A great big beautiful - Summer 2022 New pre trip report

All my old trip reports click here NYC and Orlando 2017, Salzburg 2017, Boston 2017, Orlando 2018, Berlin 2018, DLP 2019, Orlando 2019, Washington DC 2019, DLP 2020, Jamaica 2021, Rome 2021.
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