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Holland America Westerdam Cruise
October 20-November 12, 2010

Rome to Ft. Lauderdale
Click here to see the cruise itinerary.
Now that the wedding is over, we have so much extra money that we decided to go on a spending spree here in Rome. Of course, we went straight to the Spanish Steps where our favorite stores are - Prada and Gucci.
Somehow, the fluffy feather stole and matching shoes didn't seem to fit my style. . .   nor did the black pumps with lipstick high heels.
So we walked to the Trevi fountain and threw our coins in, just like we did 32 years ago to guarantee our return.
At Giolitti, we finally found a place to spend our Euros. . . on wonderful gelato cones.
We took the metro then a bus to go to the Appian Way, the old Roman Road that stretched for 430 miles.   We only walked 1 1/2 mile of the road, but we were able to see 3 different early Christian catacombs. Pictured are the 7 mile long St. Sebastian catacombs, where Peter & Paul's bodies were kept in hiding during the 3rd Century.
On our way back to Rome's town center, we walked along the Tiber River. . .   and visited the Trastevere neighborhood, where laundry hangs out of the windows like a national flag.
We were tempted by the variety of pizzas - eggplant, proscuitto, arugula, and Buffalo mozzarella among others.   But we decided to have lunch at the same romantic restaurant in the Piazza de Sta. Maria de Trastevere, where we ate years ago on our 5th Anniversary - Sabatini's.

Where to eat in Rome:

Sabatini's, Piazza Santa Maria de Trastevere, 13 - tel. 06-581-2026 - romantic setting in a small neighborhood piazza that has a lovely fountain, famous church and impromptu musicians - high quality ingredients, somewhat pricey

Ristorante Tudini, Via Gioberti, 28 - tel. 06-446-7297 - only one street from the Termini train station - outside or inside dining, wonderful food, friendly staff, inexpensive

Gelatería Caffé Pasticceria Giolitti, Via Uffici del Vicario, 40 (between the Palazzo Montecitorio & Piazza Navona) - tons of flavors of wonderful gelato at good prices, very popular with the locals)

Although we had been to the Vatican before,
we had only visited St. Peter's Basilica.
  This time we took the tour of the Vatican Museum,
the Papal gardens and. . .
the Sistine Chapel. We have to say that we were a little disappointed. The ceiling paintings were smaller than we had imagined and we only allowed to spend a few minutes in the room that was filled with masterpieces.   Later in the afternoon; we strolled through the Piazza Navona, looked at the artist's exhibits, watched and listened to the street performers and ate another gelato.
We took the train out to Ostia Antica,
the first conquered Roman colony on the Tiber River.
  Because it was a pagan colony, the altar near the market place was used to offer animal sacrifices.
Paul found a B.C. tavern and waited for the bartender.   Around the corner he found
the neighborhood latrine - no privacy here!
Monte Carlo was as beautiful as ever.   This time we had the chance to visit
the Jacques Cousteau Aquarium.
The jellyfish were amazing to watch up close.   But we were the most impressed by the huge variety of living coral in each of the massive tanks.
Málaga, Spain is known as
the birthplace of Pablo Picasso,
and the fortress home (Alcazaba)
of the Romans, Moors and Christians.
  The bullring was open,
but there was no fight today.
No, this isn't a Castle in Lisbon. It's the train staion!
We took the 45 minute train ride to Sintra
for $8 per person, round trip.
  Sintra is a pretty hilltop village. . .
with a fortress, palace,. . .   small shops and a large open plaza.
Although we had been to the island of Madeira, Portugal; we had never seen it like this out of our cabin window.   A big highlight for Vicki was learning to play Duplicate Bridge during the 7 sea days back to the USA. On day 5, she and her partner, Ken Moon, were in first place!