Buon giorno, Roma! We start our Mediterranean adventure with a couple of days in the Eternal City. But before we landed in Rome we took a little diversion to Paris to accommodate a sick passenger.
Once we were on the ground in Paris, many people stood up and stretched while we waited for the aircraft to be refueled so we could take off again. While on the ground in Paris, we realized that the singer Ed Sheeran was sitting right behind Kenneth. Both kids were a bit star struck to realize who was flying right with them, especially Kenneth who’d been sitting right in front of him the whole time without noticing! We have no photos of Ed, nor did we interact with him at all. We figured we wouldn’t want to be trapped in a metal tube with 300 people coming and asking for selfies with us (especially after flying all night)…so we offered him the same courtesy. Not everyone was as polite. The kids entertained themselves by staring at him every time he stood up (poor guy).
After a couple of hours on the ground, we were airborne again and it was a quick flight to Rome. We cleared passport control (with the friendliest immigration any of us has ever encountered), collected our bags, and then went to find the driver we’d hired to take us to the hotel.
After arriving at the hotel and taking showers, we went to eat lunch at a little place nearby recommended by the hotel concierge called La Francescana. The kids were happy to have spaghetti, and we had some carbonara and pizza (our mostly Paleo diet is out the window in Italy!), and, of course, vino (when in Rome…). Unsurprisingly, after Belinda finished her lunch, she fell asleep on the table — normally she makes it to dinner, but the medical announcements and unscheduled early landing on the plane interrupted her sleep.
Originally, we were going to try to book a private tour to the Vatican when we arrived at the hotel (we didn’t want to do in advance in case we were delayed, which turned out to be a smart call). However, since it’s closed for tours on Sundays, we knew we had to get down there on Saturday if we wanted to see any of it. We walked down there since we’re staying close by…thinking we’d see the outside and possibly wander into the Basilica if the line was short enough.
We got there and ran into those people who sell “skip the line” tours outside and thought…well, we’re here, so why not? Since the museum entrance closes at 4:00 and it was now 3:50…we literally RAN to the museum entrance to meet the tour guide to get in before it closed. They pretty much shut the gates right behind us.
The tour wasn’t our favorite…it was one of those big group tours with the little headset that allows you to hear your guide…but we were able to get inside and see without having to wait in any of the lines and with a bit of narration to tell us what we were seeing. It was very crowded, but it’s Rome in June so we expected it.
Kenneth was thrilled to see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel…he was so excited to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece. It was beautiful. I’m a bit sad that they don’t allow any photos inside the Chapel as I’d have liked to be able to look at it again! The beauty of the Basilica is unmatched by any church I’ve ever been in. Even though we were all tired, and hot and sweaty from our run to get there in time, it was well worth the trip and glad to check it off our list!