That Eastern Med cruise we took in 2008 was probably our best cruise ever. You probably thought thankfully – it’s over….finally. But no!!! We tacked on a trip to Rome to make this into perhaps the best trip overall we ever had.
A group of 7 of us took the train to Rome for a 4 night stayover. It was an adventure. Most of the group were in different hotels in Venice and converged on the train station from different directions. One person in our party was tardy. We waited and waited and reluctantly decided to board without them. One of our party decided to give it one more try and got off to take a look. And there was the late person huffing down the walkway with their big suitcase in tow. Phew, we all made it aboard!
Our accommodations were… superb. We had booked the whole floor of a building with 4 separate 1 bedroom apartments which connected with each other through a central foyer. It was located only 2 blocks from the Vatican. We each would take turns hosting a party, and boy did we party! Being an older building, there was limited electricity capacity. If 2 of us put our toasters on at the same time, the master breaker would blow and we would all be in the dark lol. So we had a person shouting out “OK apartment 1 – you can put your kettle on now. Apt 2 – turn off your hair dryer quick. OK who needs lights?” You get the idea it was pandemonium! It was fun. We never stopped laughing the whole time.
OK back to Rome. We had 3 short days to try and see it all. This is far too short a stay folks! Nevertheless we packed in a lot of sightseeing: the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel), Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Castel Sant’ Angelo and some great delis, cafes and restaurants.
Now as to the partying. One night we went out to an innocent looking pizza restaurant for a group dinner. Naturally we had had a few glasses of great Italian wine before we got there.
The hostess saw (and heard) us coming and sat us down at a nice table outside. She said “I know what you want.” For the next 2 hours we never ordered a thing. They brought us wine, food, more wine, more food and we laughed and laughed. At one point our hostess brings out her mother and father the restaurant owners to meet us.
Of course we laughed along thinking isn’t this great, what a nice family. Then she brought out her real father Pepi and they all had a laugh on us.
The she brought out her brother. By now we are all 3 sheets to the wind. We gathered that Italians like to laugh so we fit right in.
After this mayhem we headed back to the apartments where things got even crazier.
One day on a grocery excursion, Dave hid a huge block of parmesan cheese in our friend’s shopping cart. When the couple got to the cash, the wife erupted to her husband “What the heck is this? We rolled in the aisle laughing. To this day we still chuckle about our stay in Rome when we get together. What happens in Rome …. is fun!
So that’s it, for real this time. Fourteen wonderful places visited over 25 days. In case you can’t remember them all, here they are again:
Highly recommended cruise itinerary once the pandemic is over.
Dave and Marie
PS. The Oceania Nautica is currently safely riding out the pandemic in Genoa harbour.