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Oct 12, 2014 - Rome - Day 3 - Borghese Gallery and the Roman National Gallery

In the morning we went by bus to just outside the City of Rome to see the Borghese Gallery. This pleasure palace was built to house the art collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. There were no bedrooms in the villa - it was just a showpiece to entertain guests and show up the other Cardinals. In addition to the art collection there was a garden of exotic plants, an aviary of exotic birds and an underground cellar to store snow brought from the north to keep guests' drinks cold. Within months of being named Pope in 1605, Pope Paul V made...

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Oct 11, 2014 - Shopping day/ packing

After yesterday's visit of San Giovanni, we had seen some market stands in the distance which would be there again today. As it was the last chance to do shopping for our family, we headed off there first and the boys had some very successful shopping while Alicen went to the church with the steps and crawled up on her knees. The boys bought another iPhone charger and a number of soccer jerseys (Luke) and other clothes. After this we all went to the area near the Spanish steps to look for a painting in our home in Sydney and some souvenir...

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Oct 11, 2014 - Rome - Day 2 - The Vatican

Today we went to Vatican City. In addition to it being the seat of the Catholic Church it is also one of the most powerful countries in the world and has played a pivotal role in the development of western civilization. For a reminder of Roman history see yesterday's posting. We started out at 7:45 am from the hotel and were at the entrance to the Vatican Museum about 8:00. We had to get Vatican issued "whispers" so the guide could talk without impacting other groups. Then go through security - a check of bags through a metal detector. Then...

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Oct 10, 2014 - Rome - Day 1 - Colosseum and Forum

We started off the day with a lecture entitled: "Welcome to Rome". Then in the evening we had a lecture discussing "Vatican Treasures", which we will see tomorrow. The lecturer began with the myths of the founding of Rome. Pick the one you like best: 1.) by Romulus and Remus. Twins, the sons of a mortal woman and the god Mars. Their mortal uncle, who felt threatened by them, had them thrown in the river to kill them. A she-wolf found them and suckled them. When they grew up they founded Rome with Romulus living on the Palatine hill and...

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Oct 10, 2014 - Vatican Mass, San Giovanni and shopping

After missing out on the Audience with the Pope on Wednesday morning, where we were advised to get to the Vatican by 6.15am to get a spot where we at least could see him and believed that this would be too much for our boys, Alicen and Frank decided to attend the 8.30am Mass today without the boys. So leaving the boys at home in bed, we got to the Vatican around 8am and were pleased that there were hardly any tourists at that time yet. No queues to get in and with the sun up some great photo opportunities of the various buildings and inside...

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Oct 9, 2014 - Rome - Day 0 - Arrival

I caught the 7:32 am train out of Pisa to Rome. However, Mussolini is dead and Italy's trains no longer run on time. I got to Rome at 10:23. Twenty minutes late - not very late unless you have to meet another train. The train ran along the coast. Beautiful views. I was in first class. Bigger seats, quieter and first class has electric plugs! My hotel was pretty much right around the corner. The room was ready so I had my luggage in the room by 11:00. There was an international bookstore in the rail station. I had read everything I had...

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Oct 8, 2014 - Spanish steps and Vatican City

Another very busy day. We started off by visiting the Capuchin Catacombs museum (incl. 6 rooms filled and decorated with bones of dead priests) and then the Spanish steps. Tom and Luke were happy for Alicen and Frank to do the walking and 'sight' seeing there, while they are "chill in". At 2pm we had booked a trip to and through the Vatican incl. visit of the museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilican and of course St. Peter's square which we all know from the Pope's addresses to the crowds. Another few "punch us in the arm" moments as...

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Oct 7, 2014 - Gladiator school and Collosseum tour

Our day in Rome and already action packed. Alicen and Frank got a little bit of an idea of the metro lines last night when reviewing the Rome itinerary and booklet provided by our neighbours. As we had to travel a bit to get to the "How to become a gladiator?" we left early and this ended up a good decision as it took us a while walking and finding out where the school was situated. Again, thanks to Tom for getting us there via the Maps App. We just made it by 11am, however then had to wait for a few other tourists (from Germany) and our...

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Oct 6, 2014 - St. Peters Square

St. Peters Square and the Basilica were pretty impressive, magnificent actually. I almost got the feeling "Be Still and Know That I Am God" feeling. I was looking around in the Basilica and I couldn't see where they set up the guitars and bass and drums though. Hmmmmm maybe they don't have church like we do hehe.

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My Wild Adventures

Oct 6, 2014 - Roman Forum

Ohhhhh the history we walked through. It's a strange feeling to walk the same path of those 1,900 years ago. Trying to imagine what it looked like and how the people lived. I get my history all mixed up but I do love a good story!! Update: Jason's gelato intake is up to 22. 22 cups of strawberry and lemon. And yes, I do believe it adds to his ADD, ADHD, OCD and general silliness LOL!

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My Wild Adventures

Oct 6, 2014 - Colosseum

We jumped on the double decker bus that ran on the sight seeing loop. We came around the corner and down a small hill and there it was. Just so amazing and awesome. We hadn't had lunch (or breakfast) so we decided to have a nice lunch first. The boys treated me, as they have been doing through this trip. They are considerate and generous and I'm a lucky Aunt to have them with me. As we walked towards the entrance of the Colosseum we were asked if we wanted to join a tour. It was only 15€ each so we did. It was nice to have a guide giving us...

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My Wild Adventures

Oct 5, 2014 - Train from Florence to Rome and Jason being silly

The boys are digging the first class treatment, I only wish we could fly first class! We made it to Rome and checked in, then went to have a bite to eat. I was wanting to just go back to the room to relax, take a shower and watch a movie. I know that's really boring and honestly who does that on their first afternoon in Rome? I DO! I was feeling like I needed a lil quiet time, time to decompress, and the boys were anxious to see the city. So I say to them, "hey, I'm going to relax and stay in but you guys should go out an explore, have...

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Trip Journal


My Wild Adventures

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