Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Rain was predicted again for the day so we took our umbrellas when we left the hotel about 10:30 am. We’d purchased our Hop On/Off Bus tour tickets at the hotel and took a taxi to Santa Maria Maggiore Church. There we toured the church so that Barbara could see the inside. Then we found the Bus Stop for the tour bus and hopped on to start our tour. There are seventeen stops on the route that takes you through all of the major sites in old Rome. We passed the Colosseo (Coliseum), pass the Circo Massimo , along the Tiber River, Victor Emmanuel II Momument…like a large wedding cake…St. Peter’s Basilica and finally Piazza Navona.
We hopped off the bus and enjoyed lunch at our favorite pizzeria, 4 Fuimi, in Piazza Navona. We walked about enjoying the Bernini Fountains and all of the artists who were selling their wares in the center of the Piazza. Barbara almost purchased an oil painting of large red poppies!
Back on the bus for more touring….I forgot to mention…we had ten minutes of light rain while on the bus and that was the end of the rain for the day! We stayed on the top during the rain it was so light. A journal entry happened early in the trip…kids threw a raw egg at the bus from a window and hit the gentleman across the aisle from us….terrible mess….he got off the bus and the crew cleaned up the mess as we continued on our trip.
On the second trip around we did get off for a quick tour of the inside of the Colosseo….the first in many years! It was late afternoon by then and we walked in with no lines! From there we walked towards the American College of Bishops to pick up our tickets for the Papal Audience tomorrow morning. Yes, thanks to daughter Mary, we have some wonderful seats and the weather prediction is clear.
Back on the bus and off at the hotel. Tucked Barbara into the hotel and then Jim and I headed back to the bus to catch the last run … it was nearly 6 pm … to go over to the stop at the Circo Massimo. This put us right at Via di S. Sabina Street….a slight walk uphill for several blocks. At the end of the street, one will find the garden door for the Knights of Malta. Easy to spot because there are always soldiers stationed with a military vehicle here; probably due to the embassy on the same corner.
This was my third trip to the keyhole view of the dome of St. Peter’s….and my FIRST GOOD PHOTO….see the slide show! I was so thrilled…must have been the sunset lighting. We then walked back to the park at St. Sabina Church for the wonderful views of Rome. Leaving the area we walked back down and over to the Tiber River and continued along this path past the Jewish Temple before finding a city bus headed towards the Termini Station. Hoped aboard and settled in for the ride back to the station that is a short walk from our hotel.
It was a good last full day in Rome…tomorrow we have the Papal Audience and then go to a hotel near the airport for our last night. Thanks for hanging in there with us on our adventure.