Rome, bella roma. We decided not to take any shore excursions for this cruise. If you are familiar with cruising, shore excursions are the tours lead by the cruise ship. When we looked thru the options, they seemed overpriced based on our research of how much it would take to get into each city. Granted, the excursions guarantee that the ship will not leave without you.
Our first foray into this non-shore excursion idea was Rome. Although we did not take an excursion in Valencia, we could see the ship from the city. In Rome, this was not the case. It was an hour and a half train ride into Rome. We literally ran from the shuttle stop to the train station to try to catch the earliest train, of course a italiano, the train was late. Running was clearly not required. We took the train to the furthest stop – Stazione Termini.
From there we hopped on the metro to Coloseo as we had one intention in Rome – to see the Coliseum. We had heard about the Roma Pass and saw signs for Roma Pass holders when we got to the Coliseum. You could buy the pass by waiting in line at the Coliseum, but this was early morning and that line was already long. We crossed back towards the metro and found a little kiosk that sold them. Boy, was that ever a score, cut right ahead of everyone waiting to buy tickets. The Coliseum is awe inspiring and we enjoyed the many vistas inside.
After touring it, we were ready for a coffee. Thankfully, we spotted a cute cafe just across the way from the Coliseum that looked like it had a good view of the Coliseum. As you can see from the photo above, it was picturesque in every way.
The waitress suggested we hop on the bus just outside the cafe to get to the Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps. It was the smallest bus ever!
On our walk to the Trevi fountain, we stopped for gelato of course. We discovered Baccano, which is an artisinal gelateria – delish!
We continued to the Trevi fountain, where we each tossed a coin into the fountain so that we may return to Rome. (When we got home and shared this with my grandparents, they said it needed to be 3 coins – here’s to hoping it is just one!)
Then we headed to the Spanish steps. We walked to the top and enjoyed the views of the city.
And then it was time for lunch. We walked by a pasta shop where it looked like only Italians were eating, so of course we had to go in. At Pastificio, we enjoyed pasta carbonara for only 4 euros! They even had complementary bottled water . It was rustic for sure, but delicious.
Since it was only 1 at this point, we decided to try our luck at getting into the Vatican. During the summer, it can be really hard to get in with lines miles long. We were lucky and hardly waited 15 minutes, most of which was waiting for security to let us in.
The crowds inside were another story, talk about moving en masse. It was great to see the Sistine Chapel.
Then it was time to head back to the ship. We got turned around a little bit walking to St. Peter’s train station and ended up taking a cab to be sure to catch the train. The train back was none other than hot and then the crowds cueing up for the shuttles to the cruise ship were cranky. We were happy to have enjoyed Rome and thankfully not at all cranky.