Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Senior Destination: Arrivederci Roma In Just Two Days
Senior Destination: Arrivederci Roma In Just Two Days PDF Print E-mail

If you’re on your very first visit to Rome, and happen to have just a couple of days to spend there, here are some suggestions. Unless you hire a guide or taxi for part of your ventures, make sure you’re in good physical shape and wear sensible walking shoes. Try what we did in two days, although we wished we could have had 20 more.

Get yourself a map and work out your itinerary. Or if you can take along one of those magical little GPS doodads that speaks English and knows Rome intimately, you’ll be in great shape. We were there on a cruise excursion, so we started at the Trevi Fountain.

Do you remember that tearjerker 1954 movie, “Three Coins in the Fountain”? So take a cue, toss in a coin and a wish into the sparkling water. If you’re as old as we are, you may not be able to wish for romance, so at least wish the stock market recovers.

Then, if you also remember a 1953 movie, “Roman Holiday”, you’ll do the Audrey Hepburn-Gregory Peck tour of the city, including running up and down the Spanish Steps. Take along your little video  or digital camera and get some great shots of these two landmarks, as well as the many, many others in this beautiful city.

A short walk away is an ancient landmark called the Pantheon, once a temple to Roman gods and later a Catholic Church. It’s a beautifully designed building, containing many works of Renaissance art and sculpture. People come from around the world to pray there, including some who show their religious passion by crawling across the plaza to the Pantheon on their knees.

If you’re as old as we are, by the time you’ve walked around Rome for eight or ten hours, you may be on your knees from sheer exhaustion. As the first day ended, we went back to the ship, soaked our feet and got some sleep. 

On the second day, we picked up a tour bus excursion and hit the Vatican. We were in awe as we stood in St. Peter's Square, saw the Basilica and Castel Sant'Angelo. Inside, the museum exhibits were breathtaking, with the sculpture masterpieces of Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and others. It was an experience of a lifetime.

We were escorted into the Sistine Chapel and marveled at the fantastic ceiling. Remember another old movie about how Michelangelo (Charleton Heston) argued with the Pope (Rex Harrison) in 1965’s “The Power and the Glory”? Can it be 44 years since that movie portrayed in beautiful detail and color how Michelangelo struggled for months to complete the enormous work. And all from flat on his back! 

If you have enough money and energy, and want to get away from Ancient Rome, you may take time to stroll the hip and famous Via Veneto. There you’ll find many of the city’s most luxurious hotels, upscale expensive restaurants and overpriced clothing and jewelry stores.

Of course, there are many, many more sites in Rome to sight, including the Forum and the Coliseum, where stray cats roam the arena that used to feature battles between gladiators and bigger cats. Then we went back to the cruise ship, tired and footsore, but happy to take home wonderful memories of our Roman holiday.


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