Rome’s Coliseum // © 2010 Janeen Christoff
I didn’t think I would ever say that I loved visiting the Trevi Fountain in the rain, but when we came upon the sultry lights of the fountain during a downpour, the collective “oohs” from my group made me realize there’s never a bad time for a truly beautiful sight.
Even though it rained for most of my visit to Rome on a Trafalgar tour, the Vatican Museums were no less impressive. It was the perfect respite from the steady sprinkle outdoors. A person could spend hours gazing at the intricate architecture and, of course, seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time was a definite “wow” moment.
One of the best things about our tour was the relaxed pace that was set by our guide, Roberto, and the creative way we took in many of the sights. After dinner one evening, there was no rain and so we spent about a half-hour strolling around the city. One of the most beautiful spots was Castel Sant’Angel, which is beautifully lit in the evening. A bridge lined with sculptures of angels leads the way to the glowing building – a stunning spot in the evening. It was this casual, unscheduled way of touring that made the experience feel less like a tour and more like an FIT experience – albeit with 40 other people.
There were still moments that were very tour-esque, however. One of those was our visit to the Colloseum. As we exited the bus, we put on our Audiovox headsets and listened as Roberto began to tell us the long history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even though this felt very touristy, it was a great way to be able to explore at your own pace and still be informed. And, despite the bad weather, as our motorcoach pulled up in front of the massive structure, the clouds cleared away as if on cue and a rainbow arced across the road behind the Colloseum as we walked up, feverishly snapping photos along the way. It was the perfect way to end my first visit to this ancient and modern city – it certainly won’t be my last.