Rome wasn’t built in a day…

But we tried to see it in one.

My mom felt that she might not return to Italy so Rome became a must on her list.  I planned an itinerary that brought us to some of the most visited landmarks.  My mom participated in the local coin toss at Trevi Fountain, and bought rosary beads at the Pantheon.

Our stroll transformed into a shuffle as we encountered the masses outside of the Vatican City.  The pushy tour operators and ‘local’ guides are blunt and generally didn’t accept our first, second, or third refusal of their ‘skip the queue’ offers.  You should 100% book ahead with at guide on the Vatican Museum website as it provides the opportunity to see a few of the treasures in the museum amongst the thousands of people visiting each day.

I enjoyed the maps room again, and new elements in the Raphael rooms.  Raphael and Michelangelo worked under the same pope at the same time in the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel.  In one of Raphael’s frescoes, he paints Greek greats like Socrates, Plato, and adds Michelangelo and himself into the scene.  I appreciated that my mom stopped to admire the art in the rooms leading up to the Sistine Chapel.  We saw Dali, Jacob Lawrence, and a host of other artists and their interpretations of elements of the Catholic religion, Jesus, and the Vatican.

“Do your neck exercises to prepare” is what my mom said on our way out of the Sistine Chapel viewing.  You can only look up for so long and then have to take breaks from admiring the iconic sculptor’s painted ceiling.

We admittedly didn’t stop to see any of the artwork after the Sistine Chapel as we had one more landmark to see before our train: The Colosseum.

A metro train and transfer drops you at the front steps of the ancient theater.  We devoured our pasta leftovers, and then walked the circumference of the Colosseum, content not to be in line again with the ‘skip the queue’ guides.

We strolled back towards the train station, popping into the chocolate, design, and snack shops along the way.  Though the train from Rome to Pisa is a longer ride, we were content knowing we had plans to revisit Il Toscano steakhouse for soup and testaroli pasta.  We even had a street musician strum his guitar near our table as we warmed our bellies and rested our legs after tackling Roma in one day.