We had a whirlwind of a start to our European adventure a couple of weeks ago. We all said goodbye to our babies, grabbed our backpacks and headed for the airport. As soon as we walked in, a man in plain clothes asked us if we were flying to Rome tonight with Condor…because if we were the flight had been CANCELLED. At first I thought he was messing with us because how can they just cancel our flight?! I guess it happens way more than you’d think. It was a mess and we spent hours getting re routed and a hotel to stay in for the night. We ended up having to meet back at the airport early the next morning to be bussed to Houston where we would take our new flight to Rome. We were so bummed because we already had such a tight trip and we were going to miss a whole day. To make it worse, we had purchased non-refundable tickets for the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel months before and we were going to miss it.
We made the best of it though and did what we had to because nothing was ruining this once in a lifetime trip for me! We made it to Rome, took a taxi to our Air BNB and set off to explore. Our Air BNB was in the best location and so cheap! I think it was 90 euros per night for six people! We were pretty much within walking distance of everything and the best gelato EVER was just downstairs. Speaking of gelato, I’m pretty sure I ate the most out of anyone in our crew that trip. There was a gelato shop on every corner and we were only in Italy for a few days so how could I not get it after (or before) every meal?!
We hit the ground running on Saturday since we missed our tickets to the Vatican that morning and we had tickets to the Colosseum that afternoon. If you are going to Rome and can purchase tickets early, definitely do that to avoid lines! You get a scheduled time that you can get in and the lines are insane. We saw the Colosseum and the Forum Saturday afternoon/evening, ate dinner (and gelato!) and went to bed.
Sunday we woke up and went to church. It was a fun experience going in a different country! After church we did our own little walking tour. We saw the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps during the day. It was so fun to just kind of get lost in the city because everywhere you turned was something beautiful and unique. I think you can google The Heart of Rome walking tour and we did something similar to that during the day and actually went back to most of them in the evening to see them all lit up. The Trevi Fountain was SO busy but it’s worth the crowds. We ate our best dinner in Rome just downstairs from our Air BNB (seriously, best location!) and just wandered. It’s so different to see the city at night!
We woke up early Monday morning to see St. Peter’s Basilica which opens at 7. It was the perfect time to go because it was pretty much empty! Seeing La Pieta in person was something I can’t put into words and the view from the top was definitely worth the extra charge. On Saturday I had emailed everyone I could find on the Vatican Museum’s website telling them what happened and to my surprise they sent over new tickets for Monday morning! And thank goodness because guys, the line was 4-5 hours long when we got there at 9AM! Unreal. We had to leave Monday to head to Siena so we basically rushed through the museum as fast as we could and spent the majority of our time in the Sistine Chapel. I had seen it once before and loved it so I wondered if it would hold up to the beauty I remembered seeing 16 years ago and it definitely did. I could’ve spent all morning in there looking at every detail.
As we were walking back to our place, Allan realized he had left the (200 year old) key at the Vatican’s security point! He had the biggest pit in his stomach as we ran back. They took us inside and they HAD IT! Thank goodness because you can’t really replace a 200 year old key! We grabbed our bags and jumped on a train to Siena but I’ll leave that for another post. I can’t wait to share more of our crazy trip with you guys! We ended up seeing 10 cities in 10 days!