The last stop before disembarkation was Rome. Actually, the boat went to the port city of Civitavecchia, which was really hard for Andy to say. It was also about 1 hour’s train ride from Rome. We ventured out on our own, again. It was really easy to navigate and figure out what to do. The tourist office in Civitavecchia was very helpful, easy to find and a lot less crowded than any in Rome.

Again we opted for an open-air bus ride of the city. The boys told us that was the best way to go.  Sometimes we have to cater to them. Sometimes we don’t. In one city Bryce had a meltdown because we said we weren’t going to do something he wanted to do.  He was very pouty, silent and upset, tears welling up in his eyes.  (He uses this method over communicating disappointment with WORDS.  Very annoying to his mother!)  After some discussion, Andy and I decided that we would actually do the very thing Bryce had hoped for, but we didn’t tell Bryce until we were nearly there.  We overheard Gus telling Bryce that, “maybe mom and dad like to tell you things to see if they can make you cry for fun, then they change their minds.”  He often encouraged Bryce to ‘suck it up’ and then see if we would let them do something.  Wily children.

Our time in Rome was too short. It is a beautiful city.  What more can I say?  There is something beautiful and grand around every corner.

Even the back of the bus is beautiful

Some people say Prague is beautiful.  I don’t think it holds a candle to Rome. I’m sure that there are parts that are dirty, ugly and scary.  Every city has those parts.  It’s just that the good things in Rome are so imposing that everything else falls to the background. We saw some great things on the bus tour, and walked around a little. It was raining, so we didn’t do too much. We also visited a museum with recreations of many of Leonardo DaVinci’s inventions, including the War Machine (so cool).  Many of the exhibits were hands-on, and the boys really enjoyed playing with all kinds of things. Leonardo is my new hero. He was really THE Renaissance man. I never realized that he was so well-rounded and had so many interests.  He was a perfected engineer.  Sigh.

The boys’ main destination was the Colosseum but after the DaVinci museum we didn’t have a lot of time left. We didn’t get to go in.  It turns out we were there on an Italian holiday. Entry to the Colosseum was free for all Italians and they were there in droves. The lines were too long for us to wait. We only walked around the outside, which was still awesome.  We’ll have to try to make another trip there. I didn’t get to see half of the things on my list.  I didn’t even get to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to guarantee my return.  😦

We caught the last train (after others were delayed and cancelled due to the holiday) back to Civitavecchia just in time to catch the ship.  I’ll have to say that my opinion of Italy, after actually being in Italy, has changed and sort of burst my bubble.  Italy without Italians is a very different and placid place, as depicted in so many movies.  Add the Italians and you have a very dynamic, lively, and even overwhelming culture that I wasn’t expecting. It’s good to have bubbles burst sometimes.

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