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Cruise Part 3: Rome and Amalfi Coast

Saturday, November 09, 2013

(I forgot to mention in my fitness recap – I did not gain weight on the cruise! I actually lost almost a pound.)

The next port was Civitavecchia, which is an old port for Rome. We traveled to Rome, and began our tour at Trevi Fountain. It was beautiful but very crowded; our guide gave us suggestions for avoiding pickpockets.

We then toured the forum (Roman ruins). Our guide explained that in the Roman senate, the door was closed and the senators could not leave until a decision had been reached. There was no secret vote – the yes votes would move to one side, and the no votes would move to the other side. (We all thought that OUR congress should be locked in a room until they could reach a decision for the good of the country!)

Forum -- temple columns

(forum from the Coliseum)
The marble and columns from many of the ruins was moved to Vatican.

The coliseum was enormous and impressive. Also very crowded. The bottom exposed the maze where the wild animals were kept; they were hoisted up into the arena for battles with gladiators. The whole maze below would have been covered by the floor and sand where the battles were fought.

Our final stop was the Vatican. Because the Vatican is independent from Italy, we had to show our passports. Another tour spent the entire day at the Vatican (including the Sistine Chapel); we chose the tour that included the Roman ruins instead. The central courtyard of the Vatican had been set up for a youth service by the Pope on the next day.

We were able to tour St Pietro's Basilica – AMAZING!

The Basilica housed Michelangelo's Pieta. Because a crazed visitor attacked the original, this is a replica.

Inside of the Basilica, all of the artwork and frescos have been replaced by wonderful mosaics in order to avoid earthquake damage.

We saw the changing of the guard for the Swiss guards. I loved their colorful uniforms! Our guide thought the uniforms look like pajamas.

Our next port was Naples, and we took a bus tour of the Amalfi Coast. The villages are charming, and scenery was spectacular. The drive has a LOT of hairpin curves where only one vehicle can go, and lots of up and down. At times our bus was stuck because another driver didn’t check for oncoming traffic, and the whole line of cars had to back up. Parking was almost impossible. would NEVER drive myself on this road no matter how charming the scenery!

Amalfi Coast

Beach at Amalfi

We had time to walk through Amalfi village, and I had my first true gelato. It was wonderful!

Cathedral at Amalfi has marvelous mable inlays

View from restaurant (toward Salerno)

Well I had better get back to my fall chores (raking leaves and putting away the outdoor furniture). Writing about Italy reminds me of summer and warmth! More later!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks Ali!
    1616 days ago
    You look radiant in your photos! I love Rome and the coastal highway although it scares me to death. I remember saying alternately "Oh, the view is so pretty!" followed by my shutting my eyes in abject terror that our little van was going to tumble off the road and down the embankment. I love your blog!

    1621 days ago
    Great pic of you Alison! And love all the photos! Sounds like so much fun! The ruins especially fascinate me! Thanks so much for showing us! emoticon

    emoticon Not gaining any weight! And actually losing weight!! emoticon
    1625 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/13/2013 2:23:49 AM
  • HOLLYM48
    I am here in Rome right now, leaving for the States tomorrow morning as our vacation is now over and enjoyed reading your blog about it!
    Thanks for sharing your trip and the funny part is I feel like I am following just a little bit in your footsteps as we were in Naples yesterday, went there by fast train to visit some relatives that we have there so we were in the downtown part of Naples instead of the coast!
    1627 days ago
    Oh how gorgeous! I am going back to Rome next September for a week (for a conference) and I can't wait!!! I have never been to Naples, and I loved the beach at Amalfi... very summary! I must tell you: you look wonderful on your pictures!
    Thank you for sharing your vacation with us, I feel like I am back in summer and it feels great!
    1627 days ago
    What wonderful photos! The cobblestone streets remind me of the streets in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. I also remember the old roads in the mountains of PR and thinking that if I leaned to close to the car door as my father drove, that that would tilt the car down the mountain! emoticon Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    1628 days ago
    Amazing photos! The Amalfi Coast looks so beautiful. I'm so happy for you that you lost weight on a cruise vacation~it's all that walking you did :)
    1628 days ago
    Wonderful pictures and commentary. I love that about the Senate!
    1628 days ago
  • DR1939
    My husband had his pocket picked in Rome. Lost $200. The first time we were there we stayed two blocks from the Forum and the Coliseum. We had our grandsons with us and I will always remember how their jaws dropped when we rounded the corner and saw the Coliseum for the first time. I loved the Forum. We walked past it every time we went anywhere. They had trouble getting me to move on.

    The second time we were in Rome we had a marvelous view of the Dome of St. Peter's from the roof terrace of our hotel. We were up there every morning and every night. You were smart to do the Ruins tour and to miss the Sistine Chapel. Although lovely, it takes half a day to get to it through all the rooms of the museum. And the crowds are horrendous as the walking corridor is relatively narrow. And we were there in March or April and the crowds were light.

    I'm enjoying your trip and remembering all the great times we had in Italy. We have never been on that bus trip down the Amalfi coast. When we were in Naples and had planned the drive our grandsons voted to go to Herculeum rather than there. They loved the ruins at Pompei and were told the ones at Herculeum were wonderful. They were. We have driven the Dalmatian coast in Croatia and have been told it is similar to the Amalfi, definitely lots of hairpin curves.

    1628 days ago
    Hi Alison,

    Thank you for the wonderful reminders of my trip to Rome, Naples and the Amalfi Coast with Siobhan when she graduated from university. Siobhan and I did a 7-day tour with 3 days in Rome then 4 days to Naples, Pompei, the Amalfi Coast and Capri, then we had 3 days in Rome on our own. I'd love to go back some day.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful to visit the area when it wasn't so busy?

    Congratulations for losing weight on your holiday. I can usually do the same, because of all the walking.

    Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip,
    Gail emoticon

    1628 days ago
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