We arrived in Rome at 9:30 Italian time--1:30 Utah time. Our tour guide, Valeria, was waiting for us at our hotel when we arrived.
We headed straight out to then underground basilica an church of San Clemente. The ground level church was built in the 12th century! Beautiful mosaic tile ceilings and floors in marble of all colors. But the church had been built on top of a basilica that had been built in the 4th century. Underground, Brick parquet floors and walls peaked through plaster that had been frescoed on top.
But that basilica had been built on top of other buildings--a private home and a money-making building--that dated back to the 1st century!! It was cool to be two stories underground in rooms that dated over 2000 years ago!
Next stop was the Colosseum. Our favorite thing we learned was how so many of our customs and tradition date back to early Rome.
The best surprise of the day was peeking through the keyhole at the Knights of Malta piazza.
Learning to drink from the fountains was the best "when in Rome do as the Romans" moment!
Circus Maximus and Palantine Hill we had seen in a video for kids about Rome so it was exciting to see it in person.
I think the Forum was the biggest Wow factor.
We were all dragging by 1:30 when Valeria dropped us off at a restaurant for lunch. W had baguettes and pasta and Marty and Nick fell asleep at the table. We were grateful when it was time to check into our hotel.
Everyone tucked into bed at 3:30. It was almost unbelievable when the alarm went off at 7:00 pm that so much time had passed!
Trevi Fountain was next. Again a big scene.
Piazza Colonna was quiet and we had our first gelatin stop at Gelattis.
We sat at the Pantheon and ate gelato and enjoyed the dusk light.
Finally we rounded the corner to Piazza Navonna. Nick was thrilled to find the vendors selling light up whirligigs that launched into the air and he had his first experience at bartering. We sat and ate pizza outdoors and watched Chris and Nick play in the piazza.
Finally we walked back through narrow, cobblestone streets with tiny cars and Vespas zipping around and people strolling home through the city.