Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Fortunately, I had been reading the Fodors Forums a week before we left and was reminded that we needed to get tickets in advance for the Vatican museums, which we had done. We made it to the Vatican by 10:00 like we were supposed to, even though it was really far from our apartment. We toured most of it, my favorite was again the mosaics from ancient Roman villas. I just love the designs and the colors, and it’s amazing how they are so well preserved. Of course the Sistine Chapel was good. I’ve decided those guards have the worst job ever. They basically just have to periodically yell “Silence” and then direct people to one side or another. All day. Yuck.
Afterwards we went to St. Peter’s Basilica using the group tour entrance as recommended. Not much I can add about St. Peter’s that hasn’t already been said. That church is large! Then the girls and I went down to the crypts because the line was short but Mark doesn’t like such things so we agreed to meet back. Little did we know the crypts get out at the same group tour entrance we were at before so we had quite a walk to get back to him!
We went to lunch at an air conditioned restaurant reasonably close to the Vatican. Not the best food we’d had but good enough. And there was a water fountain nearby. The water in Rome is so good, it comes from the old Roman aqueduct, it’s super cold and free! One of my favorite things was filling up the bottle at the stations.
We returned to the apartment to rest, and then set out for the main shopping district. Checked the Disney store for an Elsa doll, no dice. Zara had a great faux leather jacket Genevieve loved but not in the right size. We went to all three other Zaras trying to find one in her size but no. Both girls got some cute stuff as well as me, but poor Mark got nothing (not that he was looking). Genevieve also found the Roman Brandy Melville, a trendy teen shop started in the SF Bay Area. The store looked small from the street but it had a lower level and it was huge, filled with teenage girls that looked just like the girls that shop there in the ValleyFair store in Santa Clara.
We couldn’t figure out where we wanted to go to dinner so we decided to just head back to Emma Pizzeria. The food was just as good but the service was soooo slow. We had been planning on getting desert but our waiter disappeared and didn’t return for an hour it seems so we just got the check as soon as we could and left.