On Thursday, May 26th, the ship docked at Civitavecchia, Italy Pier. Rome was a 90 minute drive to the southeast. Instead of taking a Carnival Cruise Line excursion, we decided to go on our own, since the ship excursion was 10 1/2 hours with a full bus full of people (about 40 people). We wanted a bit more freedom.
We left the ship and were bused to a spot at the side of the road, where you could walk into the train station or get a cab. While there, we were approached by someone selling a private tour with 6 other people. They made a variety of photo stops and you had a bit more freedom than a large 40 person excursion, so we decided to go ahead and give it a try. Two of our group just wanted to be dropped off at the airport, so we ended up with only 6 in our group.
Our driver was not a guide, he basically dropped us off at places for photo ops and gave us a time to be back at the Van. For example, we were given 45 minutes to visit the Vatican City. Most of the other stops were 15-30 minutes. This worked perfect for us and we had a fabulous day in Rome. Mid Day our driver took us to a recommended restaurant, Il ristoro dal Patriota, where we had lunch before continuing on to other stops. Although the food was good, there was a delay in John and I getting our food for some reason. John intended to order a Peroni, an Italian beer, but unintentionally ordered a Negroni (an Italian cocktail with gin Vermouth and Compari).
Besides Vatican City, our other stops included Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and an overlook of the city. We also drove by Circus Maximus and Janiculum Hill. The map below shows our stops in Purple.
Although a bit hot, partially cloudy in the upper 80’s, low 90’s, our van had air conditioning and the stops were manageable. Overall a very comfortable 5 hour tour. We got back to the ship by 3:00 pm.
John went to the show: Viva Variety! Luke Burrage!