Scusi (excuse me) — Some technical difficulties combined with a lack of free time have me behind! Getting caught up now:
- Breakfast in the Hotel…you’re going to love it. A traditional Italian breakfast is what they call “Caffe & Cornetti,” which usually consists of coffee and a pastry. Very light. Italians generally eat smaller meals throughout the day. However, that is not the case at the Barcelo Aran Mantegna! We are going to have long days with lots of walking, so it’s important to eat a large breakfast — and our hotel delivers. There are amazing coffees and pastries, for sure, but also: Eggs, bacon, fruit, yogurt, make-your-own waffle stations, as well as juices and several cappuccino machines. The dining area is also very large, and separate from the hotel restaurant — it will be reserved for the travel groups staying at the hotel.
After breakfast we toured the hotel and saw a few different room setups, meeting places, and rehearsal areas:
After the hotel tour is where the fun began: guided tours of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and a guided tour of downtown Rome. Each one of you will get an audio player with a step-by-step guide that walks you through the site at your own pace. Very important: WE GET TO SKIP ALL THE LINES. We have priority passes everywhere we go, and you will too. At the Colosseum alone, people wait in line for 3+ hours. We did not wait at all. Anyone who has been to Rome knows how amazing this is. Imagine having an ultra-fast pass at every amusement park! This is part of the amazing package Destination Events has put together for us.
Pictures at the Colosseum:
Roman Forum — the center of political, commercial and social activity of the area with ruins over 2,000 years old:
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, otherwise known as the “Wedding Cake”:
This man does not have a sense of humor:
After the Colosseum/Forum, we met up with our tour bus and took a beautiful drive around Rome including the Circus Maximus, Baths of Caracalla, the Capitoline and Palatine Hills and Tiber Island (you’ll have to Google these…it was hard to take pictures from the bus). After that we stopped back near the city center and had a guided tour of Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
For dinner we went to a great restaurant near the Colosseum, which we will be returning to in December. It’s in an old wine cellar which is hundreds of years old, which has been remodeled into a restaurant. Additionally, they hire singers to serenade the groups with traditional Italian folk songs.
More coming soon…ciao!