We had a very early wake up call- so early Cabanas wouldn’t be open for breakfast, so we had it via room service…
We ordered via the door hanger you set out the night before, so it is pretty basic (under the blue napkins are pastries, bagels, and English muffins). It wasn’t as filling as the previous mornings, but it would have to do. The view was still stunning this morning, so that helped motivate us early as well!
We met our tour group inside D Lounge at 7:15am and were hurried off to the buses in groups very quickly. We were assigned bus #3.
Something to consider when taking a Mediterranean Cruse and choosing excursions is the distance to certain cities or attractions from the port. Rome is actually 50 miles from our port this morning, so we were expecting to be on the bus at least ast an hour and we made a stop to use the restrooms as well.
We were given a map as well as earphones so we could hear our guide once we were off the bus and exploring the city- our first stop was the Colosseum…
The first thing we noticed as we approached was the Arch of Constantine.
The arch was built in 315 in commemoration of the victory of Constantine I the Great in the Battle of Milvian Bridge. The arch is made up of incredibly detailed reliefs, some taken from other buildings, measuring nearly 70 feet tall and 82 feet wide.
Now the actual Colosseum itself dates back to the year 80 (with construction beginning 8 years prior) and stands 187 feet high and 512 feet wide. This amphitheater was built to hold nearly 80,000 Romans to witness executions of prisoners, gladiator fights, and even recreation of battles and exposition of exotic animals.
The actual structure now is being restored after years of damage from earthquakes, bombings, and even theft of the reliefs found on the walls. It has been under renovation for quite some time and the work is fairly recognizable when looking at the different colors of the stone.
We didn’t go inside, the lines are massive and we were just starting our day.
Our next stop was the Trevi Fountain. Mike are an were particularly excited to see it as the last time we visited, it was under renovation. It was completely renovated now and just stunning!
Nicola Salvi stared this massive work in 1732 and took 30 years to complete it as it is 85 feet high and 65 feet wide. It is said if you toss a coin over your should at this most beautiful fountain in Rome- you are sure to return!
Next, it was a quick walk over to the Pantheon, walking through the Galleria Alberto Sordi (absolutely gorgeous shopping mall)-
Walking through Piazza Colonna, seeing Trajan’s Column with Saint Peter on the top:
Then walking through the Piazza di Monte Citorio, with the Obelisk of Montecitorio:
Then we turned, a corner we came upon The Panethon:
The Panethon was originally a temple, which is now a Roman Catholic Church. It’s dome is the largest unreinforced solid concrete dome in the world-
Inside, the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi are all buried.
Next we walked to the Piazza Navona which is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian in the 1st century AD. The Piazza has three intricate fountains, with one massive one in the center. There square is surrounded by Churches, shops, and places to eat- from formal to quaint coffee shops.
Next, we had some free time for lunch (not included). We wandered around for a bit- hoping to find a place with air conditioning that didn’t look to formal as we were hot and absolutely looked like it. We found Pizza Ciro, not air conditioned- but plenty of fans and we were seated outside in the shade- close enough.
We decided to order a few Italian staples- pasta, lasagna, and some pizza. It was all absolutely delicious!
After lunch, we met back at the meeting place and took another stroll through Rome, crossing over the Tiber River …
Passing by the Palazzo di Giustizia,
It is just near next to impossible not to be in awe of this amazingly sacred place. It is stunningly beautiful. We stumbled upon a Disney Difference as we were waiting to enter Saint Peter’s Basilica Disney Cruse Line photographer!
It is important to note, you need to have your knees and shoulders covered before entering any Church in Rome. This rule is strictly enforced inside Saint Peter’s. You will not be granted entry if not appropriately dressed.
The view looking out at Vatican City from the steps of the Basilica:
The Holy Door, sealed shut until 2025:
Pope John Paul II’s tomb and alter:
We were even sure to rub Saint Peter’s foot for good luck!
This holy and sacred place is just massive. You could spend days in here, taking it all in- and still not seeing and appreciating everything.
After an hours long walking tour, it was time to leave this amazing place. No, we did not go upstairs to the Sistine Chapel, as that is not included in this tour.
Before leaving Vatican City, we did find one of the two Centro del Colonnato circles. If you stand on either one and face Bernini’s columns (with St. Peter’s to your right or left depending which circle you’ve picked to stand on), Bernini’s two rows of pillars perfectly line up, creating the illusion of just one row of pillars. It’s called Bernini’s Illusion.
After the tour, we were taken to an upscale shop where the girls found bracelets and Mikey a lapel pin to remember their day. To be honest, outside we were inundated by beggars on the streets while we were either walking or waiting, so we weren’t in any kind of mood to shop too much.
Back on the bus, we settled in for another hours ride back to port, happy with our day. We chose this tour as it was a way we could see most of the major attractions within our time in Rome. There was a tour that focused on Vatican City and inside the Sistine Chapel and also took visitors inside the Colosseum, but it was at a much higher price point and did not include all of the attractions we had just experienced although the tour was the same as far as time was concerned. Rome is one of those cities where you cannot see everything in the course of an afternoon. Mike and I have now been here on 3 different vacations and still haven’t seen or done it all.
Back at the port in Civitavecchia, you can see the contrast in locations-
Once back on board we all needed to shower before dinner- and our main dinner seating was already nearly over by the time we returned to the ship- so we had to figure out when and where we would be eating dinner. Two nights prior we had asked our service team if there was a way we might be able to be seated at the second seating tonight as the menu looked super appealing (you can see all of the week’s menus on your Disney Cruise Line App once you board for your cruise) and after a long day of sightseeing, we were really hoping for a great meal to return to. Cedomir, our Head Server, instructed us to come around 8:45pm and he would hope to seat us then…