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Kristin's Blog: Day 2 in Rome
We woke up very early as we were still not adjusted to the time change. We headed to a wonderful breakfast buffet. Then we all met in the room off the main lobby; we were energized and ready for our second full day in Rome. We first headed to St. Peter's Basilica. Just like at the Coliseum, we were able to bypass the general public lines (the wait times were reported to be 4-5 hours) and enter the Basilica. Everyone had to make sure that their knees and shoulders were covered. It was breath-taking to be in the Basilica with only a few other people. Upon exiting the building, we stopped at a small gift ship where we could make purchases to have blessed and sent directly to our hotel room.
Next on our itinerary was a trip to the Spanish Steps. Christina was awesome in letting us know the history of all the buildings. She showed us where to look and where to walk. The Spanish Steps are located in the heart of the high end shopping district in Rome. Many American models, such as Christie Brinkley, have walked down the Spanish Steps in fashion shows. Christina informed us that the Steps are very slippery -- so much so that many models have fallen down the steps. Unfortunately, two members of our Adventure Group fell down the Steps as well.
After visiting the Spanish Steps we then headed to Trevi Fountain. Christina recommended that we all toss a coin into the fountain. With puzzled looks, we realized that we did not have coins in our possession. Lo and behold, Alexa showed up with Italian coins -- this is just another small detail that Adventures by Disney® Guides thinks of ahead of time! I also forgot to add that before we boarded the bus to depart anywhere, our guides had snacks, candy, and water for us. They also gave us ponchos to carry around just in case of rain.
Then we walked to the Pantheon. We stood in the center and Christina said that when it rains, it rains inside too. She went on to say that Italy is in a drought. Guess what? It sprinkled while we were there, and it was amazing to see the rain and a rainbow from inside the Pantheon. After the Pantheon we headed to a local dining location for lunch. Lunch consisted of pizza, pizza, and more pizza. We actually sampled four different ones. They were all tasty and delicious. The four pizzas were a marguerite pizza, a "devil" (spicy) pizza, a cheese and blue cheese pizza, and a prosciutto pizza. Lunch was delicious and very filling!
After lunch, we returned to our hotel for about an hour and a half of free time. We then showered and got ready for our night at the Vatican and the Vatican Museum after hours tour. Did you know that only 1% of people in the world ever get to visit the Vatican without any other tour guests inside? Our tour guide, Christina, was amazing and knew lots of the Vatican guards. She was able to get the guards to allow us "special" permission at the end of the tour to take photographs for two minutes inside the Vatican. This was the "wow" moment of our day.
After our Vatican experience, we headed back to our hotel for a quick libation by the pool and then it was bed-time. We were still very full from lunch, so we had decided to skip out on dinner tonight (it was on your own anyway).
Tink's Tip: Our Adventure Guides recommend that when locking your valuables in your hotel room safe, always place a shoe in it too. This way you'll never forget to remove important belongings from your safe when you are packing up your belongings and getting ready to leave.