Part 6 - Civitavecchia / Rome
Cevitavecchia / Rome
This morning, we shared the port of Civitavecchia with the Celebrity Equinox, the Oceania Nautica and the HAL Noordam. The vessels were staged by the glistening morning sun, and the passengers enjoyed the warm weather.
Birgit and I were already looking forward to taking Birgit’s parents on a tour through wonderful Rome. Again striving for the best possible comfort for my mother-in-law, we had decided against the train and booked a bus transfer with www.civitatours.com at only EUR 17.00 per person. The previous email contact with civitatours.com was extremely friendly and service oriented. Our decision also proved to be right when we were there –on the day of our visit, the trains were on strike.
The shuttle bus took us from the ship to the new port exit. At the parking lot of the port shuttles, a few tour operators and transfers were waiting for clients, and Rome tours were also still available there.
A lady from civitatours.com, which we recognized from a sign and a bright yellow T-shirt, took us to the bus just a few meters away. It was very modern and also seemed to be quite new.
The people on the bus were a mix of some who had only booked the transfer to Rome as well as guests, who had booked a city tour with Civitatours. A few explanations in different languages were given, and off we went to Rome.
The original plan was to have the the first stop at St. Peter’s, from where the transfer guests would venture out on their own and from where the tour of the other guests would begin. En route, the driver got news that there was a traffic jam in Rome and that St. Peter’s had been closed at short notice that morning. So they quickly reorganized the city tour and started at the Colosseum.
For us this was great, since we would have skipped the Colosseum as it was a bit out of our way. We were offered to join the 20-minute guided tour of the Colosseum grounds and then stay on the bus to the Trevi Fountain to start our own tour there. This suited us nicely.
Since the route there went past Piazza Venezia, Helmut and Hildegrad were able to see it and the large monument, too.
A little later we reached the Colosseum and followed the group. Unfortunately, the amphitheater and the Arch of Trajan in front of it were partly scaffolded due to cleaning works on the facade.
About 20 minutes later, we boarded the bus again which took us near the Trevi Fountain. That was our first destination and we left the bus together with the rest of the group to start our own tour of Rome. A little walk through the beautiful alleys, and there we were, right in front of what is probably the most famous fountain in the world.
From the Trevi Fountain, it only takes a few minutes through little alleys to get to the Pantheon.
I cannot quite explain why, but for me the enormous domed structure on the Piazza Rotonda is one of the most impressive buildings in Rome. For over 1700 years, this construction had the largest dome in the world.
Not far from the Pantheon lies Piazza Navona, which we reached via more pretty little streets.
In the center of the piazza we admired Bernini’s Four Rivers fountain, which is decorated by a huge obelisk.
Four statues respectively symbolize the rivers Danube, Ganges, Nile and Rio de la Plata, which stood for the four known continents at the time. The exact allocation can be identified from the animals and plants.
The statue representing the river Nile is covering its head. It is said that this is to symbolize the then unknown source of the Nile.
We sat down in one of the restaurants in this beautiful square and had lunch with Italian wine and Roman specialties: Pasta Cacio e Pepe and Saltimbocca alla Romana – delicious. After lunch we hailed a cab which took us to St. Peter’s Square, which was relatively empty.
The meeting point to catch our return bus was at the Palace of Justice. To get there, we just took another taxi. The Palace of Justice is located right next to the Castel Sant’Angelo, which we admired from the outside.
Right on time, our bus arrived at 4.00 pm, as agreed, and we started our return journey to Civitavecchia. On the bus, some of the passengers talked about the city tour which they had taken with Civitatours (in German) and were full of praise. So this seems to be a good tip if you’d rather not venture out on your own.
Back on board we stopped at the Irish Pub on the Royal Promenade and drank to another successful day.
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