It was off to Rome today. After a quick breakfast, we headed from Civitavecchia into the capitol of Italy.

Once there, we made for the Coliseum. After a short wait we were able to spend the better part of an hour exploring. It really was amazing to see what Roman engineers where capable of. We both would love to see an actual naval battle waged in the arena there.

We then headed to Trevi Fountain, which has a similar tradition to the drinking fountain on La Rambla in Barcelona. We both took turns tossing a coin over our shoulders into the water, signifying that we are destined to return to Rome – which is a good thing, considering the number of things we weren’t able to see today.

We then headed to the Pantheon. As an engineer, this was perhaps the highlight of the trip for Brandon. The fully self supporting dome is a thing to behold. And the stream of light entering the hole in the roof is striking. As an added bonus, the famous artist Raphael is entombed there.

It was then time for lunch at the Piazza Navona. We weaved through the dozens of artists/vendors and ducked into a small restaurant just off the square for some traditional pizza and lasagna. Delicious! We even managed to find some excellent gelato (thanks for the tip, Dave and Bailey!).

Then we zipped off to the Vatican. For the second time this week we managed to visit two countries in the same day! After walking around St. Pete’s Square, we headed through security (and the clothing police) into St. Peter’s Basilica. The basilica was HUGE! Just to remind you how absolutely gigantic it is, there’s marks on the floor to show you how large the other “big” churches are in the world (hint: they don’t even come close to the size of St. Peter’s). And talk about beautiful. While the style is certainly different than La Sagrada Familia, it’s equally impressive. And the age of the works and relics inside are humbling. No Pope sightings, unfortunately.

After getting back to the boat, the waitstaff had a surprise for us at dinner: a special cake, along with a song and a spur of the moment balloon sculpture of a couple flowers and a heart in honor of our honeymoon.

Tomorrow we make port in Naples. We have a trip along the Amalfi Coast to Pompeii planned, which should be a good change of pace from the crowded cities of Florence and Rome the last two days.