Ciao, Roma!

Ok, I have had an amazing last few days here in Rome, but I admit that I am ready for a change of pace!  I have been walking all over this city…I know it pretty well by now!  On Monday, I went to all over the city, but my favorite thing was St. Peter’s Basilica.  The church literally takes your breath away.  I gasped when I walked in, truly.  I also paid to do the climb to the top of the dome, which was worth every penny and every step.  I met a lovely couple from Salt Lake City, and together we met Michael Bolton…how funny is that!  He was very gracious to take pics with us, and he even asked me how the drought was going in Atlanta!  The view from the dome will stay in my memory.  I can’t get over it.

Yesterday was an awesome day in Pompeii and at Mt. Vesuvius.  I took one of the superfast trains to Naples–what would take three hours by car took 1 hr and 15 min!  The tour group was lots of fun and the guide, Andrei, was awesome.  He was very smart, but also made the tour entertaining.  Pompeii is incredible–covered in lava from an eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD, and excavated in the 1930s.  It is like a snapshot into life centuries ago!  We had pizza in Naples (which is where pizza was invented!) and then hiked up Vesuvius.  I am SO GLAD I added that to the tour…it was amazing!  I met the nicest people in my group and on the hike…it’s amazing how quickly people will talk to you when they can tell you’re alone!  In my group was a couple from the UK, a lady from Greece, a couple of South Africa, and two women from the States.  We had a lovely time.

Today I went to the Vatican…unbelievable!   There truly are no words for such gradeur.  I also went into the Pantheon, which I had not done yet, and it was stunning.  Everything here is so HUGE!  After that, I decided to treat myself to a massage…my muscles ached all over from the carrying of my bags, all the walking, and sleeping on not-so-comfy beds for two weeks.  The massage was awesome!  Funny thing, though…they’re not so private like masseurs are in the states.  You are all out there!  HA!  I am not too bashful with these things, especially when dealing with a professional, so it was ok…but I am sure that a lot of others would have freaked out!

I am going to spend my last night in Rome enjoying a pizza from a neighborhood restaurant, a glass of wine at Piazza Navona, and then packing my things.  I am going to take the train to Siena tomorrow morning and stay there (at Hotel Italia) for one night before going to Florence to meet the girls.  I only have one more week of my trip…it’s gone by so fast!  I hate to say it, but I am not ready to come home!  I love you all–truly truly truly–but Europe is blowing my mind!