Melsea's belated short cruise adventures E304 in Rome

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Melsea's belated short cruise adventures E304 in Rome

Post by melsea » 01 Apr 2013, 18:04

22 March, Civitavecchia gateway to Rome..

I got up early with room service breakfast which arrived very promptly as usual.
I had decided to do the ‘Rome on your Own’ tour which is exactly what is says on the ‘tin’. We had done this on our first cruise together back in 2004 which just so happens to have been on Oceana. We have actually looked around the port of Civitavecchia on our second visit which is actually a very nice easy place to relax. However I wanted to see a bit of Rome this time and so booked it using my OBC.
There were just two coaches doing this trip with everyone else doing actual tours with P&O. I got on coach number 14 and we left at 8.40. I must mention that as I got off the ship I saw a notice telling us that P&O had been advised that on this day the Italian public transport workers decided to go on strike. So any notice of using the metro had been cancelled. Although this was not going to effect me as I had already had mapped out what I was going to do by walking to my sights.
The journey was one hour & half and not very much traffic really until we got close to our drop off point. The journey felt quick, probably because our guide talked most of the way! On arriving which was 10.10 we had to walk to St Peters Square or rather just off from there to where our meeting point was to be. It was outside a tourist shop. A good number of us used it. On our previous visits I don’t remember there being an underground coach park there was a bit of a queue of coaches as it seems many coaches were arriving at the same time. This tourist shop seems to be used by everyone else as a meeting point as well, lots and lots of us tourist. One thing she made sure we knew of was that this tourist office had toilets downstairs and so as not to make the same mistake I made in Cannes I headed straight there, seems I was the first to do this as when I was leaving there was quite a queue.
So with the instructions of when to be back & where was done I started my walk towards the Spanish steps. I did this via Piazza Novano, well actually this a bit of a detour really but the guide mentioned this Piazza and I remembered it was a nice place to visit. The sun was shining and feeling fairly warm. When I arrived at the square which was not exactly easy to find as narrow streets are not always featured in maps. The Piazza was quite busy with tourist vying for a place to take photos of the three fountains that embrace the Piazza. There is a church half way in and I decided to go in and light a candle for a friend of mine who I heard from the night before who told me that her father had died the previous evening. The church was lovely.
I continued my walk towards the Spanish steps getting a little lost as I turned down small narrow streets and could not follow using the map as these were even more narrow for them them to show up on a map as the names of them were not on there. I spotted a small hotel and went in and asked at reception where on the map was I. She found it and I asked how do I get to the main street. So with instructions I found it, I would have not found it although I was going in the right direction. Finally I arrived there and spent quite while in the area. I walked up to the top of the steps, something I have not done before and there is quite a view. There is a church at the top of the steps. I went in and found there was a service going on, didn’t understand any of it but it sounded good with Sisters singing as well as the men of the order. When finished I stopped on the steps below and had something to eat which I had bought along the way. The sun was really warm and so I put some sun lotion on. Having people watched for a while I walked back toward where I came and stopped to look in some of the shops. I went into H&M’s store where I bought two belts. While I was people watching I was looking at what the women were wearing young and old and there is no doubt the Italians know how to dress, men and women. I like to see what is in and the look is.
I made my way leisurely back toward St Peters Square, taking pictures along the way and soaking up the atmosphere. Back at the square I looked around and took more photos. With there having being a new pope in residence and it being close to Easter the square was still decked out with a lot seating so I guess this was from the inauguration of the new pope and I learnt there was to be another gathering there in the following days.
So back at the meeting point where there was not much room to move or wait so waited down the street a bit where I got myself a very yummy ice cream. It wasn’t long before we were all together and had ourselves marked off the register, so when all were present we were taken back to the coach park which was quite a walk for those who had difficulties and one person was in a wheel chair. Who incidentally found Rome not to be too much of a challenge as there were many dropped kerbs to all places. Our day came and went very quickly and I enjoyed myself even if it was a bit of an expensive way to see some of Rome. The roads were very busy by the time we left. We arrived back at just after 6pm, we left Rome around 4.30 as we had to wait for the coach to be found and move out of its parking space.
My OH half Bill stayed local in Civitavecchia and had a good day. He likes to shop and managed to find a lovely leather shop to replace an over the body /shoulder bag for himself as the P&O one he had was falling apart after 3 years. He also bought me a very nice small bag. He invariably will buy me something when he goes shopping. All in all we both had a good day here in Italy.
Next day was another day in Italy the port of Naples, the gateway for tours beyond Naples..

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Meg 50
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Re: Melsea's belated short cruise adventures E304 in Rome

Post by Meg 50 » 01 Apr 2013, 18:10

we did Rome on your own and the continuous 'chat' on the way pointed out every branch of MacDonalds twixt Civitavecchia and Rome

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