We began our day with a return to the Forum. We took the whole place in and loved it. Lorne and I acted as tour guides since we have been to the Forum several times before. We explained what each building was used for and of course, showed our group where Julius Caesar was murdered and also where he was cremated and laid to rest.
It is a very interesting site since you can see the agora (shopping area) and the senate from the ancient days of Rome.
We concluded that part of our day with a quick trip through the Capitoline Hill and Piazza. It is a beautiful piazza with many statues and some of the best museums in Rome. Do go if you have an extra day in Rome. It is worth it!
We then went on to see the Vatican and took in Saint Peter’s square in all of its glory. We took pictures of the Swiss guards who still dress in the style of uniforms from the times of Michelangelo. If you are going and it is high on the list, book with Go Ahead and do the tour with the company. It is well worth the money and the convenience of getting in without the two hour line. It is the largest and possibly the most beautiful church in the world and without a doubt, not to be missed. The museums are huge and will not be covered in a day, but you can see the highlights. The Sistine Chapel should be seen early in the morning if possible, as it is least crowded at this time. (Book as early as possible!)
After visiting St. Peter’s Square, we walked to the Castle St. Angelo and stood in awe of the monstrous mausoleum. We also took time to walk along the oldest bridge in Rome that is lined with statues carved by Bernini. What a treasure this is!
We also went to the Il Convento dei Cappucini where there is an incredible and very strange display of the bones of 3700 monks. The earth on which the bones are laid is from Jerusalem and therefore very sacred. The bones are displayed in a patterns of flowers and really are quite beautiful… no pictures were allowed, so no pictures for the blog, unfortunately. If you have been to Rome many times and are looking for something different, this is just that!
We rode the buses and the subway all over Rome and really enjoyed our day. The air in October is crisp and clear and one of the nicest months to visit.
We came back to our nice hotel and joined our stay-behind group for an informal final farewell. We have loved getting to know such good, caring people and are sad to know that this is the end of one of the best trips ever. I, for one, would be so happy to go anywhere with this group again. It is with a sad heart that I bid a fond farewell to our time on the Food & Wine: Flavors of Tuscany and Umbria tour. I hope to meet all of you again along the travelers’ road with Go Ahead Tours…
Missed one of Verna’s posts? Catch up on her whole live blog here.