Rome Round One

Days 4-5: Vatican museums and Rome walking tour

While in Florence, we stayed at a B&B because we knew it would be too cold for camping, but for some reason we thought we could handle the cool temperatures in Rome.

"Hello, we'd like a camping spot for two people with a tent, please."

"You'll be setting up a tent? Are you sure you don't want a bungalow... with a heater inside?"

Somehow we made it through three nights of sleeping in our tent with the temperatures dipping to below freezing -- not our happiest moments of the trip. Our days consisted of waking up early to take advantage of as many daylight hours as possible, walking and walking all over Rome, riding the Metro and bus back to our campsite, cooking a quick and cheap meal on the camp stove, jumping into our tent to get warm under our down blanket, and passing out shortly thereafter.

The sights in Rome, however, more than made up for our sleeping accommodations. Despite the cold and sometimes wet weather, we got to see a lot of the city.

Our first stop was the Vatican museums. Above left is a photo of the marble sculpture known simply as Laocoon, named after the mythological figure in the center who is depicted with his sons.

St. Peter's square with the basilica in the background

Piazza del Popolo -- I really wanted to go inside the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in this square (not pictured) to see the two Caravaggio canvases, but those darn siesta hours got in the way. Do you really have to close for four hours in the middle of the day? You'd think I would learn my lesson and plan our stops into these smaller churches around the siesta schedule, but you'd be wrong. I did it again the next day and missed four more Caravaggios.

The Spanish Steps

Trevi Fountain -- no I do not want to pay you to take our picture, we can take one of ourselves, see?

Temple of Hadrian in Piazza di Pietra

At camp before our second day of touring

The column of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza Colonna


Castel Sant'Angelo

Cioccolata Calda -- hot drinking chocolate

Rome may have tried to beat us down with cold and rain and an overwhelming amount of stuff to do, but the Eternal City did not defeat us, and in two weeks time we'd be back for more...


  1. I LOVED Rome! The weather was lovely when we went there in May, but the city was completely crowded. We could hardly get to the Fontana di Trevi. So I guess you can benefit from traveling during European winter ;-)

  2. You made me laugh! Man, I SO have to go to Rome. Would do a camping trip anytime. Any time.

  3. Carla - just wait until Rome Round Two when we went after New Year's Day. GEEZ! If it weren't for everyone wearing coats, I would have thought we were there in summer! I plan to do a little write up about the pros and cons of traveling in Italy in the winter, so stay tuned...

    Juanita - Are you sure about that? Anytime of year?

  4. Italy is one of the most magical places, I've never been to an Italian city that i didn't love. Rome was always a little too crowded and rushed for me, I like Florence better but these pix make me wish I was in Rome or anywhere else in Italy.

  5. Nice photos! I haven't been to Rome in a very long time, and your photos made me feel nostalgic and want to go. Right now. :-)

    Piazza di Spagna is without a doubt one of my favorite spots in the city.

  6. What a wonderful experience you are having. I must add you are brave for camping out with such cold temperatures! I like your photos and captions. Feels like I too am traveling in Rome.

    question (did you feel (safe?) I know I have heard those stories of kids stealing from you, but if you don't ask you won't know right?)So I ask. hehe

  7. Hi Elisa, thanks! I don't know if brave is the right word. Crazy? Probably. As for safety, you saw in the comments of an earlier post that we got robbed and it all worked out, but to answer your question, I never felt unsafe. That said, it is always a smart idea to leave valuable stuff locked up at the hotel and not on your person or on display in your car!

    I think I used to be a lot more paranoid about that stuff after living in cities, but there is hardly any crime in Switzerland so we kind of had our guard down. It was stupid to park our car on a public street...


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