Rome is the capital of Italy with a population of approximately 4.3 million inhabitants. There is archaeological evidence that Rome has been inhabited by humans for at least 14,000 years. Everywhere you walk or drive in the city you come across historical buildings, remnants of walls from bygone eras, museums, monuments, fountains, squares and architecturally interesting buildings.
The buffet breakfast in our hotel was very plentiful. They had a selection of cereals and yoghurts, breads, cheeses, meats, bacon, eggs, fruits, coffee and more.
After breakfast we took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour around the city to refresh our memory of the city since it has been 20 years since we were last in Rome. The city tour took us to many of the main sites like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Castle Saint Angelo, the grand building of justice as well as many parks, fountains and monuments. Everywhere we went it was extremely busy with tourists from all over the world. The bus ride took more than two hours to make one loop of the city tour.
After the bus tour we walked down the Spanish Steps and visited the famed Trevi Fountain before heading back to our hotel. We stopped along the way at a small Italian café where we had lasagna and tiramisu for lunch. By that I mean Mark had the lasagna and Kent had the tiramisu.
Our first meeting with the Globus tour group we are traveling with met in the breakfast room for a meeting at 5:00pm. Out tour leader is a gentleman from the Sorrento area by the name of Giacomo. Our group of 40 is a bit larger than we are used to traveling with when we travel with Vantage Travel. Most of the Vantage Travel tour groups are only about 24 guests.
After our initial meeting we were taken by bus to a local restaurant called Ristorante Mino where we enjoyed a welcome dinner. The dinner started with a lovely plate of melon and prosciutto and a bruschetta (a large thick slice of bread grilled with olive oil and topped with chopped fresh tomatoes, celery and basil). Next, they served us a pasta course consisting of a slice of lasagna and a scoop of tube pasta with mushrooms and peas in a cream sauce. The main course consisted of two slices of pork roast with roasted white potatoes. For dessert they served a berry ice cream with a fresh berry sauce. They also served unlimited bottles of red and white wine, soft drinks and bottled water.
Kent and I sat with three ladies from Adelaide, Australia who are traveling together. They were very friendly and were having a lot of fun chatting over dinner about most everything.