October 1 ~ 3, 2017

October 1
Our cruise ended at the Roman port of Civitavecchia. From there we took a VERY expensive taxi ride to our hotel in Rome, where we arrived at noon.  Since the hotel was only a mile from the Vatican, we decided to walk there right away.  

October 2
Rather than spending a fortune on taxi cabs around Rome, we decided to try our luck with the Roman subway system.  This subway was reasonably priced and would take us anywhere in Rome that we wanted to visit.  Our only problem was that all the directions around the various stations were in Italian, so we had a difficult time finding our way around.  In spite of this, we managed to see everything we wanted to see without getting lost.

We visited the Trevi Fountain and the Roman Colosseum.  We arrived at Trevi at 9:00 AM, only to find that the fountain was being cleaned.  We found a policeman who told us that the cleaning would be finished at 11:00 AM, so we decided to wait while taking pictures of the fountain and of all the coins that were being vacuumed up.  At 11:00 AM another policeman told us that the cleaning had been delayed until 1:00 PM.  Since this day would be our only chance to see the Roman Colosseum, we decided to leave.  This was a disappointment to us for sure, but OTOH the fountain did photograph very nicely, even though the water was not pumping.

October 3
We left Rome, unable to see anything else because of our early flight departure.  On that note, TSA in the U.S. advises passengers to be at the airport 2 hours early.  In Rome we were told that we should be there 3 hours early.  We actually arrived 4 hours early, and were glad we did so.  The airport was so congested and so disorganized that if we had arrived an hour later we would have missed our flight!

An interesting side note ~ every winter Bill manages to catch bronchitis.  Although the outdoor weather was very comfortable, the temperature in the ship was Arctic!  Because of this Bill managed to come down with a case of bronchitis about the same time as we docked in Rome.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that we stopped at a Roman pharmacy where without a prescription we were able to purchase an ample dose of antibiotics for the Euro equivalent of about $5 US dollars.  This is about 15% of what the same Rx would cost in the US, which sort of illustrated to Bonnie and I that the US pharmaceutical companies are robbing us blind!  :(

(Click on picture to enlarge)

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This is the main airport in Rome.
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One of the entrances to the subway system.
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SPQR is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase which loosely translates to "The Senate and People of Rome" and now refers to the "Municipality of Rome".  Although we saw these initials at a LOT of places, the one above was on a manhole cover!  :)

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This colorful fellow was there to greet hotel guests and to chase off those who were not staying at his hotel.
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This was the road we walked to get to the Vatican from our hotel.
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Still on the way to the Vatican.
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The Vatican grounds were mobbed!  I guess this fellow was here for crowd control, although we didn't see any problems other than the congestion.

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The Vatican Museum, which was closed since it was Sunday.
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St. Peter's Basilica.
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The Vatican Obelisk, which is sometimes called Caligula’s Obelisk.  It is the only ancient Egyptian obelisk in Rome to have remained standing since Roman times.

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Near the Vatican is the Castel Sant'Angelo.
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We are now on our way to the Trevi Fountain.
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We used this smaller fountain as a landmark, it was right in front of our subway entrance.

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We're at Trevi ~ no waterfalls as we mentioned above.  :(
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Even without moving water, this is a spectacular sight!

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That's a lot of coins! 
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Police keeping the crowds back.

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Cute #1.
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Cute #2.
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We again navigated our way through the Roman subway system and managed to find the Colosseum.

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Outside the Colosseum.
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Inside the Colosseum.

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The upper brickwork is original, from the 1st century AD.

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These are the seats for the higher ranking Romans.
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Other structures which can be seen from the Colosseum.
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