Day 1 – We hit the ground running after arriving late due to a delayed flight leaving the U.S. – note to self – get there at least a day early prior to the trip, but great communication between Rick Steve Tours and our Guide Cristina, eased our stress and worry.  

Met up with Guide Cristina and the tour group at a beautiful restaurant on a palazzo for dinner – our first meal and wine in Rome on that palazzo set the bar high with both the food and wine served, I would describe our meal as simple yet delicious.  A lazy, casual walk back to the hotel through a couple more palazzos where we experienced art in all forms – sculptures, music, dance. The relaxing atmosphere and scenery of families, couples, and singles milling around enjoying a drink and aperitivo (Italian bar snack) – we had to pinch ourselves to make sure we were not dreaming. Although there for only a short bit we had the feeling that Italy would be one of those places that we would be back to visit as frequently as we could.

Day 2 – After a chic breakfast of cappuccino’s (note the picture with the heart design) and a once again simple yet delicious breakfast offerings we were off to meander the streets of Rome, on our way to The Vatican City to enter St. Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. I don’t think pictures can ever convey the enormity and beauty of those places. Our tour guide and her clever stories and tales kept us fully entrenched in the deep history these places contain.  The 20+K steps that we took that day to see all that glory, were surprisingly without pain or soreness – our walking shoes proved to be invaluable to us, (a lot of the 20+K steps were of our own doing – trips back to the hotel etc)

Day 3 – After yet another chic breakfast (I could get use to this life 😊), our day started with a brisk walk to use Rick Steve’s itinerary words “the larger-than-life” Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Our tour guide Cristina teamed up with a local guide that wove all the day-to-day life stories of the Romans and the city they created so many years ago, yet remnants of this places still stand today. Just unreal to think of driving past the Colosseum on your way to work on the daily – but that is what current-day Rome dwellers have the privilege to view and experience. Leaving Rome and on our way to Volterra the bus ride gave us time to reflect on the last couple days, how many “must-see’s” we saw and experienced on a short amount of time was unbelievable. Normally Dee plans all of our vacations, but this time we decided to do a tour. From day one arriving  late to Rome, to now this restful bus ride to our next location, we for sure knew we made the best decision to do a Rick Steve’s tour and have 99% of all the details taken care of.  See you in Volterra, Tuscany’s Top Hill Town…

Standing as a captivating tapestry of history, art, and culture, Rome once the heart of the formidable Roman Empire, its iconic landmarks, like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon, evoke a sense of ancient grandeur. The Vatican City, an independent enclave within Rome, houses St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, masterpieces that showcase Renaissance brilliance. The city’s cobbled streets lead to hidden gems, charming piazzas, and delectable trattorias, offering a gastronomic journey through authentic Italian cuisine. Rome seamlessly blends the past with the present, creating an enchanting atmosphere that continues to attract visitors from around the globe.