So, I’ve decided to split our Top Deck tour through Italy into smaller posts instead of one big one. To say I love Italy is an understatement – it is by far my favourite country so far and I’m so thankful we made the decision to explore it for two whole weeks.
Jeremy and I arrived in Rome on our own and had a couple of days to relax before our tour started. We got straight into the Italian lifestyle and stuffed ourselves with pasta, pizza, wine, gelato and tiramisu. When our tour started, we were straight into the sightseeing and set off on a walking tour – wandering past the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and the Colosseum. Afterwards we had our first family dinner all together as a group. Our group was phenomenal and we definitely had some memorable times (coming in future posts).
We chose to do an optional tour of Vatican City, which was one of the couple of destinations I was looking forward to most. We passed through the Vatican Museums, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel and lastly – St Peters Basilica. The Sistine Chapel was stunning and it felt very surreal to be sitting inside. Photos are strictly prohibited so unfortunately I can’t show you the inside – just take my word for it if you haven’t been. We spent about 20 minutes sitting in the corner just staring at the walls and famous al fresco ceiling.
Vatican City was absolutely packed with people. I’m glad we went inside, but it was an expensive excursion (€40 for an hour and a half). They tend to just funnel people through and there were quite a few times that I just wanted to take a step back and breathe, but everyone had to constantly keep moving. It was still worth it for the Chapel and Basilica for me – the architecture and original artwork were beautiful. But, even though it was one of the places I was looking forward to most, at the end of the tour it didn’t even come close to being one of my favourite places that we visited (bait to read my future posts to find out where).
Jeremy was pretty keen to see inside of the Colosseum and we decided to see what a night tour would be like. This was most definitely a good decision. We started at 9.20pm and had a guided tour of the entire grounds for an hour. We walked inside, underground and around the walls while our tour guide went through its entire history. There were only one or two other groups inside, but they were never in the same place as us, so we basically had the entire Colosseum to ourselves, which was pretty magical.
Rome was full on with seeing the sights, getting to know our awesome tour group and eating a hell of a lot of carbs. Next post will be up on Sorrento and Positano – a lot more relaxing, but still a lot of carbs.
Tips/recommendations for Rome & Vatican City:
– I can’t comment on what it’s like during the day (the words hectic and hot come to mind) but if you’re wanting to go inside the Colosseum, I highly recommend taking a night tour. There is something to be said for how quiet it was and how it looked/felt in the dark.
– Use the metro if you need to get around. The traffic is absolutely insane and I don’t know how taxis make it around anywhere to be honest. Even if you have bags with you, it was worth it for us to make the effort and save those euros to spend on more gelato.
– Check how much food is before you choose it. We heard of people paying €45 ($60) for a couple of plates of lunch food. Ouch.