The day started off much as we had come to expect since beginning our tour of Italy. Mr. Ort was sick and had to stay in the hotel, and we had no bus! After several calls, and with the help of our guide, we learned that we didn't have a bus for the day. SO...we found a place that sold bus tickets in our neighborhood, ran to catch the bus and two trains later were at the Vatican. The place was VERY busy. We waited in line for several minutes for security, then tickets, then earphones. Finally we were able to view the Vatican museum. The museum was so crowed, that it was almost impossible to stop and admire the walls, statues, paintings, and other awesome sights. However, we obediently followed the “multi-colored umbrella” and took in as much of the beautiful sights as possible. The Sistine Chapel was one of our favorite stops. It was cool to learn the process of electing a Pope and see where the smoke exits the chapel.
After the Sistine Chapel, we visited the crypt. Even the most recent Popes are buried in the Vatican. I hate to brag, but our group of young ladies were some of the most reverent and respectful observers amongst the crowd.
We ended the tour in the church. Unfortunately, our tour ended outside the perimeter of security before we were able to take all the photos we would have liked. None of us wanted to brave the lines again, so we agreed to make due with photos outside.
You can actually see some of what we did with an online tour. http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm
By the time the tour was over, we were all STARVING. We found a place to eat, and then spent some time shopping for souvenirs of the Vatican. We then walked to one of the main shopping areas of Rome and spent our remaining time shopping til we dropped.
Mr. Ort met us near the train stop. Oddly, Mr. Ort and Ms. Reinhardt ran into an ex-U.S. Army member who now lives in Rome and give tours in the city. He recommended a nearby restaurant, so we headed over for our LAST meal together in Rome. It was a lovely little place with great food and great service. The girls presented Mr. Ort and Ms. Reinhardt with t-shirts as a thanks for all the fun we had. (THEY ARE AWESOME GIRLS!)
Since we had to get up and be out the door by 6 am, we headed back fairly early to start packing.
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