When Visited

  • Nov 2014


  • When we returned to Rome, we also returned our rental car and then stayed outside of Rome at a VRBO in Fregene, located just a few miles north of the main Fiumicino (Da Vinci) airport, for the remainder of our time in  ItalyWe liked our VRBO but there is something to be said for staying right in Rome and easy ready access to the city.  But for 50 Euro a night for a full, 2 bedroom condo, that is hard to beat.
  • We spent 7 nights and 8 days in Rome. We never really ventured outside of the city itself other than to go back and forth to Fregene.
  • Highlights of our stay in Rome included …
    • Seeing the Vatican, including St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museum.
      • It is a truly spectacular and monstrous structure. We got tickets before travelling to Rome in order to get a fairly private (12 person) tour of the Vatican underground, including the supposed location of the remains  of St Peter himself.  It was an interesting tour.  But an unexpected highlight was that when the tour ended, we were allowed to bypass the ever present lines for St Peters and go right inside the Basilica.  It is free to get inside St Peters but there are usually long lines queued up outside in the Piazza San Pietro (St Peter’s Square) which is surrounded by Bernini’s Collonade.
      • It was evening when we saw the Vatican this first time. Then we came back and saw it in the daylight as well.   It has a very different feel between night and day.
      • I also came back into Rome on my own and took the Vatican Museum tour. Once again, we had read that it was a good idea to get your tickets online  ahead  of your visit.  There were long lines waiting for tickets outside the museum so that advice was excellent    The museum is a separate tour that has a fee, and that is where the famous Sistine Chapel is located.  There are pictures allowed almost everywhere except in the Sistine Chapel.  After that tour ended, it also emptied out directly into St Peter’s Basilica so once again, I was able to avoid the long lines.  On this occasion, I went up to the top of the Basilica dome.   Walking the entire way up (over 500 steps) is free but it is well worth the 6-7 Euro to take an elevator that gets you more than half the way up, which is what I did.
    • Taking a Hop On/Hop Off bus tour. A great way to initially see the city, and get an idea of which things in particular you would like to go back and spend more time seeing, is to take one of the Hop on/Hop off bus tours which is what I did by myself.  However, I took a number of videos with my camera so that Deborah was able to share the tour with me when I got back to the apartment.
    • Finding the Secret Keyhole. I had seen this described in at least one tour book.  While they did not say exactly what you would see when you found it, it was very intriguing so I made up my mind  to try and find it.   It was well worth the effort finding.  Plus after finding it, very nearby were a couple of piazzas that had wonderful views looking out at and over Rome.   I later took Deborah back to see it as well.Italy - Secret Keyhole
    • Slide24
    • Seeing the Pantheon at night. This was part of an evening walking tour I took of the downtown area.  I got off the Hop On/Hop Off bus near Piazza Navona and walked for well over an hour.  The Pantheon is free and quite amazing, not the least of which is the Oculus – the open hole in the middle of the dome looking out at the sky above.  I also stopped at the Trevi Fountain on this walking tour but unfortunately, it was covered by scaffolding and in the process of being renovated.  The water was off.  Still you could tell how imposing this must be when the water is running.
    • Finding many of the main sites from Angels and Demons. I was able to find and take pictures of all four of the main sites relating to Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  I also have a separate post which singles out the pictures taken of the various locations from the book around Rome.
    • The Piazza Navonna. There are three separate fountains in this piazza, but the one in the middle – the Fontana dei Quatro FuomiThe Fountain of Four Rivers  – is the most grand.  By the way, that is also the site of the Water attempted murder of one of the cardinals in Angels and Demons.
    • While we saw it from the outside, we did not take a tour inside the Colosseum. Frankly, it was a bit disappointing from the outside – very dirty and uninviting – so much so that we didn’t want to bother going inside.
    • There are many other things to do and see in Rome but these were the ones that we ended up spending our time seeing and experiencing.
    • Again if you’re into that sort of thing, I recommend that you read one of Dan Brown’s books prior to visiting Rome – Angels and Demons.

Pictures from Rome

Tips when Using Photobucket

  • The previous links will take you directly to a slideshow of pictures and collages, related to the locations, which reside on the internet on the website.
  • Once the slideshow begins, the display begins showing slides at a Medium speed.
    • Slow displays each slide for 10 seconds
    • Medium displays each slide for 6 seconds
    • Fast displays each slide for 3 seconds
  • To change the display speed, click on the word SlowMedium or Fast at the bottom right of the Photobucket screen.
  • To non-display the bottom toolbar, and thereby maximize the picture on your screen, click on the  Photobucket icon   icon at the bottom right of the Photobucket screen.
  • To display, or to redisplay a specific slide, you may click on the thumbnail at the bottom of the Photobucket screen.
  • To Pause the display at a specific picture, click on the  Photobucket Pause Button   icon at the lower left of the Photobucket screen.

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