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     Our trip was actually 15 nights. We flew into Rome a day early so we would be rested for the first day of the tour. We also added on two nights at the end, one in Naples and then the last night back in Rome where we flew home from the next day. After arriving, we took a train from the airport to the Rome Termini Station and walked to our hotel, Hotel Roma Italia. After checking into our hotel, even though we got very little sleep on the plane, we decided to walk Rick Steves’ Heart of Rome tour. A pdf map of this walk can be found on line. The audio tour podcast was really helpful. We walked all day and loved every minute of it! We had seen many of the sites on our last tour but you always see something new. We happened to be in Rome on the first Sunday of the month which meant the museums were all free. After a refreshing gelato, we wandered down Via del Corso and explored Trajan’s Forum. Built in the 2nd century, it consists of a series of markets, a temple, a basilica and three monuments to honor Trajan. A side of the forum is built in a sweeping curved hemisphere believed to have contained the markets of the day. There are many small rooms behind those arches that now hold more of the broken columns and pediments that are still beautiful works of art. We enjoyed great views of Trajan’s Column and the Vittoriano Monument. This majestic monument to Victor Emmanuel II was built between 1885 and 1911 to celebrate the first king of a unified Italy. We dined at an outdoor restaurant called Ristorante al Viminale. The waiter had to cross the street to serve us! We shared ravioli with a Gorgonzola sauce and pasta with porcini pomodoro sauce. It was absolutely delicious. The wine was tasty and inexpensive… 5 Euros a glass. The weather was beautiful and warm. It was a magical first day.

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