A few years ago I had written down about 25 different places I wanted to visit, put them all in a bucket, and then drew one. Italy it was, and while I had intended to visit way before this year, it just never happened. But fast forward to September 2015 when an e-mail from TravelZoo advertised flights to Rome for cheaper than it was to get to San Diego for Christmas. Out came the credit card, a quick e-mail to the boss to get the days off, and before I could talk myself out of it, I had bought a plane ticket to Rome. One of the best purchases I’ve ever made!
I took over 1,200 pictures while in Rome, Florence, Venice, and Istanbul, and thought this would be a good place for friends and family to relive my trip with me via pictures. Enjoy!
The following pictures are from my first day in Rome. My hotel, the Hotel Opera, was within a mile of the major sights so I was able to walk to get the sightseeing started. I joined an English-speaking tour group for the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum.
After the tour, I was starving and went to lunch near the Imperial Forums at a place recommended in the Rick Steve’s Rome Travel Guide. It was called Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali and was excellent for my first true meal in Rome. The food in Italy deserves it’s own post, so that will be coming in time!
After lunch I headed back to the hotel for a little nap. For the afternoon and evening I had planned to follow Rick Steve’s Heart of Rome walking tour, which would take me to a couple of famous campos and piazzas, then the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. The monuments are so stunning at night. (The Spanish Steps are undergoing renovations so I did not get any pictures here.)
After the walk, I headed for dinner, and I cannot recall the name right now! It was excellent, of course. And then I called it a night. An early tour of the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica were on tap for the next day.