August 18- Rome!

Early this morning when we woke up, a huge cruise ship was in the harbor with bright orange tenders ferrying people to shore. Below our balcony people were already splashing in the inviting pool and at the beach below, brightly colored umbrellas were popping up everywhere. Zipping our bags closed, I impulsively suggested we spend one more day here, but after considering all the costs, we decided to move on to Rome with a promise to ourselves to return to this same hotel, Settimo Cielo, in the future.

On the train trip to Naples, the first leg of our journey, there was a lot of "entertainment." The accordion player and his son from yesterday reappeared followed by a more talented player and even a small group with a saxophone, bongos, and a tambourine. I'm not sure if any of them got money from our car.

Fortunately the train to Rome, a eurostar, was more comfortable. We grabbed some last minute sandwiches out of a vending machine. They looked like they were bursting with cheese and mushrooms, but it was a trick. They were only sticking out of the side of the sandwich and the inside was mostly bread.

Our hotel, Hotel Paba, is just down the road from the Colosseum. We visited San Pietro in Vincoli to see Michelangelo's statue of Moses. It was very striking with a detailed cloth and beard all carved in marble. This church is a significant pilgrimage site. The church also featured the prison chains of St. Peter.

Using our Rick Steves' Rome 2010 guide, we decided to check out all three of his suggestions for good restaurants in the ancient section of Rome and all three were out of business. It just goes to show that good restaurants come and go all the time. We ended up at a fun pizza place near our hotel called Wanted.

After dinner we headed over to the Roman Forum. People were everywhere taking photos, and looking down into the site, it showed that Rome will forever be an ongoing archaeological dig.

Tonight the Colosseum looked stunning all lit up with a half moon behind it. Some families posed with outstretched hands as if they were holding it up while others just sat and stared at it in awe. We climbed the steps behind the Victor Emanuel Monument and discovered an Italian tv show being filmed with part of the Forum as a backdrop. Tomorrow will be another hot humid day in Rome, but I can't wait to explore some of the ancient parts of this amazing city.


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