Monday, March 12, 2018

Naples and Rome (Adams visit)

In March of 2017, my sister and her husband and their son came to visit us in Germany! We had a great time exploring some parts of Germany and took a quick trip to Naples and Rome to check that off their bucket list. We spent a day in Nurnberg touring the castle and some historical spots from WW2.

Our getaway to Italy started in Naples. It was a quick flight from Munich, and we arrived just after lunch. We checked into our hotel and then headed for the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. We spent a few hours wandering the museum and checking out the artifacts. There were so many interesting pieces and many of them were older than the United States! :) Our first dinner in Italy consisted of pizza and calzones at a little hole-in-the-wall place. It was delicious!

The next morning, we took a train to Pompeii and got to use another free Rick Steves audio guide to walk through the old city.  It was so strange walking the same paths that people ran through millenia ago to escape a volcano eruption. As they excavated the site, they found hollow spots in the ash/lava that they filled with plaster. When they dug up the plaster, they discovered that the holes were formed by people who had been encased in the ash and then decomposed. It was such an interesting piece of history. Pieces of expensive pottery and silver coins were found in a bathroom, as if someone hid them there intending to come back for them later. It was really incredible to see what life was like, interrupted suddenly and frozen in time.

After Pompeii, we took a train to Rome. We had so many things on our list to see in Rome!! We really packed a lot in, but there's still so much more we could have seen. I do recommend booking your museums/sites in advance online. We would have spent way more time in line and not actually touring if I hadn't gotten tickets before hand. The lines were crazy! We started at the Colosseum. This is one of the seven wonders of the world, and that list is Tyler's and my current bucket list, so we made sure to fit this in while we were there. We used another free Rick Steves audio guide instead of booking a tour guide. It worked great! We were glad to get World Wonder #3 checked off.

After the Colosseum, we visited the Roman Forum just across the road. It was the hub of ancient Rome where politicians would give speeches and craftsman would sell their wares. It was fun to imagine the hustle and bustle of 2,000 years ago.

We also got to see Vatican City and St Peter's Square. I had bought tickets for the Vatican City Museum online so we were able to skip the line and get right in during our time slot. After touring the museum (and seeing the Sistine Chapel!), we found a back way into St Peter's Basilica and skipped the line there too! We really enjoyed seeing both of those places.

We grabbed lunch on the go, tracking down some delicious paninis. So yummy!

The Pantheon was our next stop. The construction of this building has long been under debate, wondering how the dome supports itself. Amazing that methods from so long ago can still stump us. :)

On the way to our last stop, we paused at the Trevi Fountain for some quick pictures. So pretty!!

We were too late to tour the inside of Castel Sant' Angelo, but the outside was still really neat. I'm glad we got to see it.

My nephew so great with all of our wanderings, and had lots fun on the "choo-choo." It was fun to spend time with all of them!