No trip to Italy would be complete without a train strike. Although some of our group members had already been through this, we got to experience the unpredictability of public transportation together as we started our trip to Rome. We had a broken down bus, a local train strike, and a late bus—all while trying to get to Bolzano. But, miracle of miracles, we arrived in Bolzano six minutes before our next train which was actually running, and, with only a short panic over the group getting separated in the station, we all made it onto the train and got to Rome with no further problems.
The next morning our first stop was the Colosseum. It's quite a moment to come out of the metro station at Colosseo and look up to see the Colosseum right in front of you. We had a beautiful day for wandering around and taking pictures as we read information about the history of the Colosseum.
Some of the group wandered on to the Palatine and the Forum to continue the historic tour.
On a personal note, after a failed attempt four years ago, I finally made it into the Protestant Cemetery to see the graves of Keats and Shelley...
...and a variety of cats who live in the adjacent cat sanctuary and wander freely in the cemetery.
The group outing for the following day was a walking tour (although mostly all of Rome is a big walking tour). We checked out the Spanish Steps from the top and the bottom.
We found our way to the Trevi Fountain and threw in our coins.
Then we walked on to the Pantheon.
After lunch we headed to Vatican City, where we got to see St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica.
Dylan—our group's official art person—had quite the day with seeing The Pieta and the Sistene Chapel.
Our last night in Rome, most of us decided to see the Colosseum lit up. We had the place almost to ourselves, except for the few people trying to sell us glow-in-the dark souvenirs, but the sight of the Colosseum was souvenir enough.