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Day 040: Rome, Italy

Posted by on 2013/06/28

Day 040: Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy
Position: N 41º 40′ 00″ E 012º 42′ 00″
Weather: 36ºC wind 10kts, waves 1m
Last Port: Naples, Italy
Next Port: Livorno, Italy
Status: In Port

From the Navigator
We will make our final approach to Civitavecchia at 0545 and will board our local pilot shortly after. Once the pilot is onboard we will proceed in through the breakwater and make our way alongside our berth. We anticipate being all fast by 0700. Once all our departure checks are complete and everyone is back on board we will let go our lines and retrace our courses our of the harbor. Once clear of the harbor we will disembark our pilot and set north westerly courses towards Livorno. We will pass the Island of Giglio on our starboard side at approximately 2230 this evening.

For those who live near us in New England, USA, Rome is at about the same latitude. But the day we were there it was HOT, as if we’d traveled down into the mid-30 degree latitudes. The cooler Mediterranean breezes don’t reach very far inland.

The Coast Guard building for the port of Civitavecchia in Italy. Looks like it is under repair – and needs it.

We traveled by train from the port into the city of Rome. The trip north took about 45 minutes.

We arrived on the western side of Rome and within walking distance to St. Peter’s Basilica. It was a Friday and there was not much going on in the square, just tourists.

On this trip we have been watching for survey points. This setup on top of a bridge guard rail looks pretty dangerous. Still, the view is amazing. The water level in the river through Rome was very low and we saw no vessel traffic.

Now this is our kind of book store and the reason you NEED to get away from the tourist corridors. There were some real gems in here including Italian language versions of some ancient Isaac Azimov collections, black and white promotional photos of actors from movies dating back to the 1930’s, a huge collection of 45rpm records and exceptional art and artist books. Sadly our luggage and budget just couldn’t allow more than one book apiece. So, this is a perfect excuse to come back!

Imagine coming out of work at the end of the day, ready for your commute home, to discover this scene. We just happened across these parked motorcycles at some point after a nasty fire completely consumed three bikes and melted two more. Ouch!

Children playing in a public fountain. These public water jets were everywhere, and they were needed by residents and tourists alike.

After a brief stop at a cafe for espresso and cakes we continued our walk into the heart of Rome. Here is a picture of the Parthenon. Our arrival was accompanied by several dozen police and security personnel dressed completely for riot response, a helicopter overhead and paramilitary assault vehicles down several of the side streets.

Soon we understood the reason behind the increased police presence. Apparently the Italian economy is so bad there is a regular labor demonstration on Friday, every Friday. The locals turn out to enjoy the spectacle.

This inlaid wood pattern was part of the ceiling at Domiziano, the restaurant where we had an excellent lunch of spicy penne pasta, red wine and local dark grain bread flavored with sage and topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Walking by this scene we were disappointed to have already eaten. Every little open doorway invited us in for another potential experience – the REAL ROME.

Above these doorways and too the right is the wall separating Rome from Vatican City. We had just passed out through a large archway in the city wall. What are the faces and hands guarding, we wonder?

 

Tour Overview

A short private shuttle ride from port takes you to your private train car. Embark on a classic adventure as you ride in comfort through the Italian countryside and across the Etruscan Region.

You’ll arrive at St. Peter’s Station 60 minutes later, and a tour escort will show you the designated meeting place. The 6.5 hours are all yours in the most magnificent city in the world.

Discover independently the magnificent St. Peter’s Square that features a central obelisk, refreshing twin fountains and semicircular colonnades crowned with statues of the saints designed by Bernini. This striking piazza frames the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, which you will have time to explore- or just browse the square’s shops at your leisure. You’ll feel like a local as you wander through the bustling city streets, sampling local cuisine and perusing the boutiques. Sip a cappuccino at a trattoria or savor a refreshing gelato from a street vendor before shopping for souvenirs and exquisite leather goods. Photo opportunities abound, and around every corner you’ll find such historic monuments as The Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine – many within close proximity to each other. City maps will be provided on the train and local transportation in Rome is readily available.

A wonderful way to maximize your day in Rome is to utilize the hop on & hop off bus system. This upgrade can be purchased on the private train to Rome, depending to local conditions. The bus route stops at the main archaeological sites and historical landmarks. The buses run continuously arriving at each stop about every 20 to 30 minutes.

Remember, you will need local currency for attractions, meals and shopping. Plan to exchange your money onboard the ship or at a currency exchange in Rome.

Return to your escort at a designated place and time to meet your train for a relaxing ride back to port. Views of the imposing St. Peter’s dome offer a fond farewell as you leave the Eternal City but bring its memories home.

Thanks for sharing our story!

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