Rome in Two Days

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Jack is loving it!

If someone should ask me, “Can you see Rome in two days?” I will answer most emphatically, “No, no you cannot.” But we tried…

The Coliseum
The Coliseum

We thought we weren’t being too aggressive with our plans: the Coliseum/Forum/Palantine Hill (which we could walk to easily from our hotel) on Day 1, and walking to Vatican City, sightseeing along the about 4.5 km walk along the way, on Day 2. What we didn’t count on: temperatures of about 33 C, and two boys who suffered horribly from seasonal allergies in Rome. (Well, in Greece too, the truth be told, but Rome was the zenith we think). Jack and Joe really enjoyed the Coliseum, which, while far more crowded than we expected, still seems alive with history once you get inside. (I’ve included a picture of Jack here. While taken in Siena, it demonstrates how excited he was in Rome).

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Looking into the animal and gladiator pits.

Day 1, which included far more walking than we anticipated, ended for the boys partway through the Forum, with so many sneezes the crowds were giving us a wide berth as a potential contagion group. We took them back to chill at the hotel while Dan and I did a dinner out and an evening walk up to the Trevi Fountain. After a lovely meal, we spent about 30 minutes dodging hawkers aggressively selling selfie sticks, then finally found some peaceful streets and enjoyed most of our walk. But it was longer than we anticipated (sensing a theme?) and we arrived to find 1) more hawkers, and 2) the fountain dry and under scaffolding. On the way home, we did pass by one of the city’s beautiful churches though, and it was lit gorgeously at night.

The light streaming into the ceiling in St. Peter's.
The light streaming into the ceiling in St. Peter’s.

Day 2 began well, with allergies somewhat under control, and a gorgeous walk to Vatican City, through simply beautiful small streets near the river. Disappointingly, the crowds were simply too big heading into the Vatican museum, so no Sistine Chapel on this visit. But St. Peter’s was simply incredible, as you can see from some of these pictures. We walked a different route back, right along the river, which was gorgeous, and empty of crowds. It was about a 10 mile day, in the end, in very hot weather, but still, gorgeous. Moral of the story: Rome is crazy, beautiful, crowded, anxiety-provoking, crowded, and worth the frustration. I think…

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Walking home along the Tiber.
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St. Peter’s – check the tiny heads for a sense of scale.

Now we are in Siena, in a beautiful hotel that is a (short) walking distance to everything. Temperatures have dropped to the mid-twenties, perfect for strolling. Time for some wine and pasta…

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