The tour officially ended after breakfast this morning. Dolora and I said our goodbyes to Amanda, the tour leader, and the other members of the group. After two weeks, we finally took a little later start than usual. It was off the the Victor Emmanuel Monument. Victor Emmanuel is the guy who united Italy in 1861. There was no Italy before that, just city states. The monument is a bit oversized and gaudy. It has been nicknamed the bridal cake for the way it looks in the distance. It also is home to Italy’s Tomb of the Unknown. We were just there for the elevator ride to the top with 360 degree views. No line for the glass elevator to the top. From there, we could see all the sights, the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, and St. Peter’s.
From there, it was off to the Capitoline Museum. The museum was founded by the pope. There were many Greek and Roman sculptures, a few tapestries and a bunch of paintings. Leaving the Capitoline, we walked through the shopping district towards Trevi Fountain with a stop for our first lacklustre lunch. The area around the fountain was even more crowded than yesterday. For a respite from the crowds, we decided to head to the Villa Borghese Gardens. This is Rome’s version of Central Park. We found a bench in the shade and watched the Segways, bicycles and joggers go by. With an early flight in the morning, we headed back to the hotel to relax before an early dinner.
A short stroll to another of the listed restaurants in our guidebook delivered another excellent meal. The restaurant was almost empty since we were seated at six. Seven thirty is still early for an Italian dinner. Most Italians eat dinner at eight or later. Dinner takes at least two hours. I am not sure when they sleep. The restaurant was a little busier as we left.
Back to the hotel to pack. We have a five a.m. taxi so it’s early to bed. Not sure when I will get my next update done.