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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 41.8955, 12.4823
Today we started off with an early morning breakfast at our hotel. We were pleased to find it was included in the price, which will save us a bunch of money. Mastering the coffee machine was a challenge. Ultimately, pressing cappuccino and coffee gave us something close to real coffee.
Then it was off to our tour of Rome. With a little effort we were able to find our tour bus at the Repubblica stop somewhere between Moses and along Via Vittorio Emanuelle Orlando. Our tour guide was a little old man who "was special."
The bus took us past many historic sites until we were dropped off and followed the little old man around, eventually landing at the Pantheon, which, in the words of Steve Stone, was "real good." Upon returning to the bus, we were taken to Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. We stopped at a store in Vatican City where Jake and Rich became investors in silver coins featuring Pope Benedict ? that will soon be making a reverse pilgrimage to Lansing, Illinois. Soon the little man and his plaid umbrella led us into St. Peter's Basilica (San Pietro) where we took in the architectural masterpiece in a whirlwind. Michelangelo's Pieta was especially well crafted.
Then it was off to lunch about 12:30 and we were told we would be picked up (around) 2:00. The lunch was "real bad." The main course was tripe, which was boiled cow stomach. Jake tried it and rejected it-out of his mouth. After this, Rich, Barb, and Jeannette opted out completely. We had a bad lunch, were probably overcharged for drinks, and ended up getting picked up for the afternoon segment of the tour around 2:40 p.m. (This was not the best part of our day.)
Our afternoon tour was with a really good tour guide from Holland who led us through the ruins of the Roman Forum. We were standing among things that existed centuries before Christ. We also walked past the Colosseum and a nearby famous arch. After another bus delay we headed to St. Paul's Church outside the old city wall of Rome. Most of the building was empty space, which although beautiful, reminded us of the giant useless lobby at T.F. South.
We disembarked the bus outside of the Colosseum where we found a nice little outdoor café and sat down to enjoy beverages and the scenery. From here it was back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
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