Rome with Kids. And Pompeii and Sorrento!
First stop was Rome. Two buses. One train. One plane and one very expensive taxi. But the taxi ride was the best. Sunset past the Colosseum.
Too late to do much when we got there so we went out for pizza. Found a friendly basement eatery and ordered. Doug got a double dose of red wine. He perked up. Kids and I ate pizzas. Caroline gave it a thumbs up.
The next morning we had an early start at the Colosseum. A couple hours there. Touching. Standing. Antagonizing one another in an arena 2,000 years old. Lots of blood was shed there- no Dziekan blood though. 75,000 people could fit in there with the women and the kids only allowed in very top section. The inauguration of the Colosseum was marked by 100 days of 'games'. 24 hours a day. The author of the Hunger Games may have been inspired by the Colosseum. A fight until death might get you a wreath. Though apparently they didn't have any interest in killing the gladiators every time. It was expensive to train them. Super.
A gladiator on his iPhone.
We also had tickets to the Forum and the Paladine. I still have no idea which was which. It was all cool. And old. I had sort of thought I could rely on my son, Sam, to tell us where we were and what we were seeing. Apparently he likes certain periods in history- not all of them. We muddled along. Met a really nice young family from the States. Her husband is in the service stationed in Italy. They had five kids- all under 7. Talked life in Europe, sending kids to public schools for the language immersion, and what to do with them when we go back to the States- how do you keep a foreign language going when you know the schools don't offer it? Weather was beautiful. Kids hunted lizards in the Paladine and then we moved along.
Not one of my kids holding a lizard. This little girl was fearless.
Then a weird thing happened. We started talking fondly of Switzerland. The clean, reliable transportation that was on time. The city pride- how clean and safe it felt. Then it got a little confusing when Caroline said she wanted to 'go home'. She needed to clarify. Home as in the hotel in Italy? Home to our flat in Switzerland? Home to our house in the US? Turns out it was the hotel. My kids are turning into nomads.
The next day began even earlier with an 8:30 tour of the Vatican. I was starting to really enjoy having done NO research for this trip. Besides the bits and pieces of information learned in elementary and high school, I knew next to nothing about the places we were visiting. It was all a big surprise. Kids liked the Vatican. We were all surprised by the huge wall that separated Vatican City from Italy.
The man in the center is Raphael, the painter. He admired Michelangelo. Michangelo didn't admire him. So, Raphael painted this gigantic painting (The School of Athens) with both of them in it.
Off to the Trevi Fountain. Wasn't expecting that! We all enjoyed it. All 1,000 of us. It's pretty popular.
Picked up our rental car and headed further south to Pompeii. Pompeii is a confusing little town. You have the ruins- a huge area- which was a very sophisticated and wealthy little town by the way. Bakeries, cloth manufacturers, theaters, parks, a city center, brothels, anything you want. We wandered but Lauren got a little tired of our haphazard approach to touring. She got out a map and drew up an itinerary.
Interior painting at the Villa
Then there is the small town of Pompeii which has a really pretty Main Street.
Last stop was Sorrento. Loved Sorrento so much full sentences aren't even needed.
The pastel colors.
The turquoise blue ocean.
I have to go back.