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Day 7 September 19

We did not have any definite plans for our last day in Rome. When researching for this trip, we watched several Rick Steves videos and his side trip to Ostia Antica interested us. Before going to Ostia Antica, we stopped by some of the sights we saw our first night when we did the “Heart of Rome” walk. It was really nice to see The Four Fountains and other sights during the day. Then we headed to Ostia Antica, an ancient port town- containing the remains of warehouses, apartments, mansions, shopping arcades, baths and a 2000 year old theater that served a once-thriving port of 60,000 people. Later it became a ghost town that is now being excavated (Rick Steves, Italy 2013).

This was such a highlight of our trip. The cool part of Ostia is it is HUGE! The main road is 2 km long and I’m not sure how wide it is, but it’s pretty wide! We really got to explore the ruins, go inside buildings, climb to the top of the theater, and so much more. It was really amazing and a great way to say good bye to Italy, before heading to the airport.

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Our first day technically in Rome was day 4. We arrived in the evening, and after checking into our hotel we got our ROMA Passes and then did Rick Steves’ Self Guided walking tour called “The Heart of Rome”. It was a great way to get acquainted with the city and also see a lot main sights at night (Campo de’Fiori, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Capranica, Piazza Colonna, and the Spanish Steps).

Day 5, September 17

On our first real day in Rome we went to the National Museum of Rome where we saw the Boxer and Greek Discus Thrower. Then we headed to Ancient Rome for what Rick Steves calls “The Caesar Shuffle,” which included the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill and the Pantheon. This was an awesome day. However, there was not a lot of information provided. Thankfully we had our Rick Steves’ Guide.

Day 6, September 18

On our second day in Rome we had reservations for the Vatican (A must if you want to save time! The lines were ridiculous!) The Vatican Museum was not what we expected. We expected it to be more focused on the Catholic church, however the museum was mainly art they have collected over the centuries- some religious, some not. There was actually very little emphasis put on the Catholic church. Other than that, the art work was amazing. Honestly, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel was overwhelming. Every piece of the chapel was covered with beautiful art. There was so much to see and so much to take in. I would definitely recommend reading up on the Sistine Chapel before visiting to really appreciate it and to be able to take it all in.  Another highlight was Rafael’s School of Athens.  Later in the afternoon we visited the very busy St. Peter’s Basilica. This was also very impressive and also overwhelming.

One more post to go! Day 7 Ostia Antica

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