27 June 2017
It is impossible to see Rome in a day but a day is what we had whilst wind bound in Civitavecchia on passage through the Tyrrhenian Sea so we were determined to make the most of it. Having negotiated the bus and train into the city we persuaded Suzie and Mike that an open top bus tour was as good a way as any to cram in the major sights.
As we got on the bus the sky was already looking ominous and lightening forked across it. We had barely left the bus station when the rain started to fall but we sailors are made of hardy stuff and our plastic ponchos and umbrellas kept the worst of the enormous rain drops away.
Even in the gloom, Rome’s buildings impressed.
We started to piece together Rome’s history from its many columns celebrating its emperors, like this beautifully carved column of Marcus Aurelius, to the tower from which it is said that Nero watched Rome burn
and on to more recent Renaissance history at the Palazzo Venezia.
We even found cinema’s favourite Roman holidaymaker.
We hopped on and off the bus to bag a few of the major sights.
With Stefan and his umbrella acting as tour guide we picked our way through the streets and the crowds to the Trevi Fountain. It turns out that the fountain’s brilliant white sculptures had particular resonance to us sailors. The central figure, Neptune, is led on his chariot by two seahorses, one wild and untamed, the other calm and docile, depicting the two different moods of the sea. We recognised both of them!
At the Spanish Steps Stefan tried to pick up new customers for his tour with varying degrees of success!
For our last stop we got off at the Colosseum for a walk around what had been a very busy roundabout on Stefan’s last visit. Now a large pedestrianised area it is hard to imagine it with traffic whizzing round it and its sheer size is quite breathtaking.
Exhausted from our whistlestop tour and a(nother) big pizza lunch, we walked back to the station and returned to the boats.
Selfie, at the Trevi Fountain – hoping our coins thrown in will ensure our return for a proper look around next time!