Or drive to Toulouse was uneventful and we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare for our flight to Rome.
This time in Rome we are staying in the area of Trastevere, which translates literally to “across the Tiber,” was once considered the outskirts of Rome and therefore allowed to develop its own flavor. It is now part of il centro storico but it has a distinct charm with its cobblestone narrow streets, resturants, bars and gelaterias.
We arrived in at lunch time and our first job was to find lunch the children were looking forward to pizza and pasta – Abigail not expecting radioactive apple juice!!
Then it was on to the colosseum to hopefully get in before it closed-unfortunately we were too late!, last entry 3:30. So we took it all in and did the touristy thing and took some photos!
From there we went to Il Vittoriano. This massive mountain of white marble began construction in 1885 to commemorate Italian unification and honour Victor Emmanuel II, it also incorporates the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can now go to the top for great view over Rome.
The weekend unfortunately was drizzly but we donned out jackets and headed out to the Vatican to see the museums and of course the Sistine chapel. The museums were founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century and enlarged by successive popes. This ostentatious, 5.5-hectare complex consists of two palaces – the Vatican palace nearest St Peter’s and the Belvedere Palace. It houses one of the worlds greatest collections of paintings, tapestries and sculptures.
Then we climbed St. Peter’s to the top of the dome. The last time we were here we had Bella and Wills as 6 month olds. After doing the climb again and remembering how narrow it is climbing alongside the dome, I’m not quite sure how we did it with babies in backpacks.
We spent lots of time walking through the cute streets and found much entertainment on the way. Counting how many people would try to sell us an umbrella-we reached 45 in one day! Small Roman cars and funny looking men!!
Or the Pantheon
Or any of the hundreds of other piazza’s and fountains in the city.
We went back to the Colosseum to take the kids inside and see what was originally known as Flavian Amphitheatre, built between 72 and 80 AD. It could hold between 60,000 and 80,000 bloodthirsty spectators that came to see gladiators meet in mortal combat and condemned prisoners fight off wild beasts. (Sounds a bit like Suncorp stadium on state of origin night!!!) Games held there to mark the inauguration lasted for 100 days and 5000 animals were slaughtered!
Monday was my birthday and as someone said I reached an auspicious age. The skies cleared and turned blue and I got to spend my 40th in the wonderful city of Rome with my dear Simon and 3 wonderful children, eating pizza, pasta and gelato. We went to dinner at a lovely family owned restaurant in a building that dates back to 980AD and a cellar that dates back to 180 BC!!!