Rome was the city we booked tickets for the big/expensive/all-day tour. Which, really, there wasn’t any other way to do it. We wanted to make sure we saw certain things, and hadn’t a CLUE how to get around? The boat docks a solid 90 minute bus ride from the city so we got an early start.
We saw on the news later that night back in our room that it was 40* Celsius in Rome that day, or rather 104* for you Americans. And it felt EVERY DEGREE.
Overall, the tour was kind of a disappointment, we got to see everything we wanted to see, but the tour guide (who was totally bizarre) spoke poor English and I felt like we were a herd of cattle most of the day. I also felt like she spent an awful lot of time with us standing still telling us random facts like where the gladiators stayed rather than about the Colosseum. We decided really the way to do a big city like that (aside from spending more than 8 hours there 😉 ) would be to group up with a small group and hire a private tour guide. See what you want to see, and spend exactly as much time as you want to.
We saw the Colosseum then did a walking tour through the city (for HOURS, in 104 degree HEAT), Roman Forum, Venetian Square, Trevi Fountain (Our coins are IN) and then lunch at a very fancy restaurant.
Then we went to the Vatican. We’re not catholic and we weren’t really terribly excited about the Vatican or St Peter’s Basilica. Buuuut, we were a bit awestruck with the Basilica. The catholic church really knows how to pack a lot of oompff with all the money they’ve accumulated over the years.
Getting ready to go to the Vatican was kind of funny because they wanted the men to wear long pants women to wear long skirts… but it was 104*! Hubbin wore shores and then pulled them down a little and I wore a tank top and brought a shawl and we both made it past inspection. There is an ENORMOUS jumbotron outside for them to broadcast during ceremonies. Hubbin nicknamed it “The Divinitron” and he was very upset that the pope has a bigger TV than him. I got an adorable picture of him pouting with the Divinitron in the background.