Day 4 - Rome, Italy
Tuesday, June 29, 2004: Our ship docked in the port of Civitavecchia, about 45 minutes away from Rome. We set off on our full-day tour of Rome and bam! Debbie scored another victory in "Maersk," bringing the score to Tom - 1, Debbie - 2.
|In Rome, our first stop was the Trevi Fountain. This thing is huge! It was beautiful, especially the way the design appears to incorporate realistic boulders, yet also appears to be coming right out of the building behind it.
|Always wanting to put things into context, we got a photo of the crowd in the square at the fountain. It was pretty crowded, even though Rome, in general, was not on the day we visited.
|We were in Rome for the holiday of St. Peter and St. Paul, which meant that most people in the city were on holiday, so we did not run into the famous Rome traffic. It also meant that things were busy in Vatican City, preparing for a mass which the Pope would be celebrating later that day. When we arrived there (Check! It's another country!), thousands of chairs were set up outside of St. Peter's Basilica.
|While the building is impressive on the outside, it's even more so on the inside.
|We waited our turn in the crowd to get a photograph of Michaelangelo's Pieta. For protection, this famous statue is behind plexiglass, and visitors couldn't get any closer than approximately 50 feet from it, so this isn't much of a photograph.
|We could get close to all of the rest of the sculptures and riches, which seemed to be everywhere inside the huge building.
|This photo helps to put the previous photo in scale.
|Arena-style lights lit up the area where some sort of service was being held ...
|... despite thousands of visitors walking around.
|The ceiling was ornate throughout, and this was an especially beautiful section. The Sistine Chapel was closed that day due to the holiday, but with so much else to see, we didn't mind.
|After our visit, and a stop for souvenirs, we returned to the official Vatican City parking garage via a series of moving ramps. These underground tunnels also featured soda and candy vending machines and provocative ads for underwear and cosmetics.
|It's Harry Potter again! This time, the title of the movie is "Harry Potter e il Prigioniero di Azkaban."
|After lunch at a local restaurant, we headed to the Colisseum for the second half of our tour.
|Before we could see the Colisseum, we headed toward the ruins at the Forum, across the street.
|We learned to spot our local tour guide by her colorful scarf on a stick, while our tour escort, Marco, rounded up the stragglers as we moved from one area to the next.
|The Forum contains several blocks of ruins in various states of excavation and restoration. It was fascinating to see all of the different buildings, columns, façades, etc.
|We're always ready to stop and photograph a local lizard, hiding here among the flowers.
|Finally, we arrived at the Colisseum.
|After watching countless Discovery Channel and Travel Channel shows, it was great to see the interior in person.
|From the inside, this was the view of the street outside, where vendors have set up souvenir and snack stands, and gladiators stand by to charge tourists to be photographed with them (see small stage of gladiators in lower left corner). Someone selling pan flute music played over a loudspeaker.
|As we headed back, we got one last shot of the imposing structure, but sadly, forgot to get a shot of our mascot in front of the Colisseum.
The sun began setting on the port of Civitavecchia as we sailed away.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy