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Day One

     We took a cab to our first tour hotel conveniently located a short walk to anything you might want in a nice neighborhood near many historical sights. We stored our bags at our hotel then took cab to The Vatican. Luckily, we had already bought tickets because the line was really long. We walked all around and it looked pretty familiar because we had seen it before in 2019. Our ticket also included a delicious lunch in the cafeteria. Walked back to our hotel and met our group at 4pm. It was a lovely evening for a relaxing group walk. We crossed over the Tiber River to Trastevere and had dinner there. Trastevere is a very picturesque neighborhood particularly with it’s narrow streets lined with medieval houses. Lots of restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias. On the walk, we visited the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome. The first sanctuary was built in 221 AD. The mosaics from the late 13th century by Pietro Cavallini were the highlight. It was a enchanting evening stroll with the group back to the hotel.

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Day Two

     We had a morning group tour with Francesca who we had seen on several Rick Steves’ TV episodes. She guided us through The Jewish Ghetto and the Capitoline Museum, home of many of Rome’s most treasured sculptures including the Dying Gaul and Marcus Aurelius on horseback. He was the Emperor of Rome from 161-180 AD. He was known for his meditations on philosophy. We walked to The Colosseum in the afternoon and caught glimpses of The Roman Forum. We had seen all of this before but are always awed by the sight of it!

“When you arise in the morning think what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
– Marcus Aurelius
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