The trip from Civitavecchia to Rome took about 90 minutes thanks to mid-morning traffic. Maria sat in the front with the driver and they chatted amiably in Italian all the way. The kids were getting a bit carsick by the time we reached the hotel so we were happy to get out and about.
After leaving our bags at Hotel Condotti we headed off to the Spanish steps. As you can see above, the Roman sunshine was quite dazzling.
Sarah and Teddy recreated their 2010 pose in front of the Spanish Steps. He was not asleep in a stroller this time.
Part way up the steps, we looked back and could see that there was quite a crowd today – much more than when Maria and I were last here in November 2016.
We walked along the road at the top of the steps that led us past the Spagna metro station.
There were some very good photo ops on the way – like this one.
Or this one. Eventually, we found our way to the entrance of the Borghese Gardens. We walked along and soon found ourselves in front of a tiny carousel. The kids wanted to take a ride,
Depending on their age, the response to the carousel varied. Rapture…
Well not so much.
I suppose tolerance is the most you can expect when you’re 10 years old.
So what is this gelato stuff all about? You’ll find out later, kids.
Heading back to the Spanish Steps, we stopped in at the lovely Church of Trinita dei Monti.
Later that afternoon we visited the Church of San Ambrogio e Carlo, which was just a block or so away on Via del Corso.
San Ambrogio e Carlo is the parish dedicated to the Norwegian community, as evidenced by this painting of St.Olaf of Norway.
On our way to the Pantheon, we passed Piazza di Pietra – a spot that Teddy enjoyed a lot in 2010.
It was all new to his sisters, of course.
Nice to see there’s no more scaffolding on the Pantheon.
But there sure were a lot of people inside and outside the building.
“Grandpa, why didn’t they finish the roof? Rain can get in.” “They didn’t know how, Teddy.”
We went into the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, where a choir and orchestra were practicing for a concert later that day.
The tomb of St Catherine of Siena. Most of her is here at least; apparently, they sent her head back home. Go figure. And with that thought, we ended our first day of sightseeing. Time for some pizza and pasta!