The train down to Rome was crowded and noisy,even though we were on First Class tickets. The journey was slow. People on trains are friendly and are a real difference from the reserved clientele on English trains. For the first time there were no spare seats, the train stopped frequently and it was very hot. The toilets were less than hygienic. Not very nice for our last trip alone. We were pleased to arrive at our destination. We chose this hotel, the Universo, because it is close to the Termini-the train station from Milan. The staff was very helpful. We were able to reconnoitre and find our bearings at our own pace. That evening, the concierge directed us to a delightful restaurant on the roof of a nearby building, where the food was good and we were serenaded by a musician in the balmy evening air. We arrived early to Rome, so Tashie and I went for a walk down to the Colosseum and the Forum. Our hotel was only a short walk from all the tourist treasures. It was a hot afternoon, but the time went quickly, and I was grateful to see these places on our own, without a guide and people intruding on our appreciative ruminations. We bought icy cold water from a street vendor; we don't see much ice, of which we have plenty at home, so it was special. The visit inside the big C was amazing. We spent a long time there. The next evening, we joined the group from Insight Tours and the pace of our lives picked up. Rome came and went in a blur of impressions. We went to the Sistine chapel, and the Vatican Museum before visiting St Peters. Lunch was an hysterical wolfing down of pasta for Tash, plastic eggs for me that were masquerading as an omelet, at a packed eatery near St Peters: "Sit there, move down, over there, these people are joining you on that seat;" you know-refined dining. Pino, our driver, drove us on the tour of the city. We spent the day sightseeing, and had an evening meal at a restaurant, serenaded by opera singers.