It’s a wet October day but we are excited at returning to Rome after more than 40 years. This time we have the privilege of a guide in one of our close friends, a Roman, who moved to Sydney many years ago but returns to Rome every year with his wife.
A day tour with a difference
Our guide meets us at our hotel and takes us to discover parts of Rome that many tourists don’t visit. Our first stop is the famous statue of Moses by Michelangelo which takes pride of place in the San Pietro in Vincoli, home to the tomb of Pope Julius II. Completed in 1551 this powerful statue is well worth taking the time to see. Moses is an extraordinary work by Michelangelo who also painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. We were very lucky to have the chapel to ourselves on the day visited, probably because of the rain. It was very wet!
We also took the time to see the Bocca della Verità (the Mouth of Truth). To be found on the wall of the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church and dating back to the 1st century, legend has it that if you are a liar and place inside the mouth you’ll lose some fingers! We didn’t try it out – we have our very own life-size replica on our back wall at home and it keeps an eye on us.
Lunch Italian style
After a morning of exploring with our wonderful guide we were taken to lunch at a cafe high in the hills next of Lake Albano, the site of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandalfo. Traditional Italian food cooked for us by an Italian passionate about his food – a delightful lunch with convivial company, immersed in the history of the place.
The next day we had time to explore more of the streets of Rome – checking out Keat’s last abode on the famous Spanish steps of Rome – before we headed to the dock for our cruise. The weather had been really stormy, very heavy rain and wind, but we truly enjoyed our taste of Rome revisited.