Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rome, Part 2

After dragging the kids to all the ancient sites of Rome, we decided to take a day to play and relax in the Villa Borghese gardens, an enormous park within walking distance of our hotel.  It was on this day, our third day in Rome, that we discovered Kate had thought she was in Africa the whole time.  These "Lion King" trees gave her the idea:

They do look African, don't they?  Suddenly all Kate's comments about giraffes (which she was convinced would be lurking around every corner) made sense.  Poor Kate.  We straightened her out and she seemed perfectly content to discover she was actually in Italy, not Africa.

Really, how could she be unhappy when there was a beautiful carousel like this for her to ride?

The highlight of the day had to be the family pedal car we rented.

We even let Will drive a little bit.  He's got a long way to go before he's ready for a learner's permit, let me tell you.  But doesn't he look proud?

Kate thoroughly enjoyed herself:

But then, Kate always does.   The pedal car was a fantastic way to explore the park.  We discovered some incredible views along the way:

After returning the pedal car, we wandered down to the Spanish Steps,

which were beautiful but overrun with tourists.

Will decided to cool off in this fountain at the bottom of the steps.
That was a common theme for Will during our stay in Rome.  He couldn't resist soaking his head, splashing around or getting a drink from every fountain we passed.

Here he is blocking the spout so the water shoots out of the hole midway down the pipe, effectively turning it into a drinking fountain.  Just like a native!

Near the foot of the steps we found another wonderful piazza (Piazza del Popolo) with more fountains to entertain Will.

The streets surrounding the Spanish Steps are filled with chic boutiques.  I particularly loved the shoe display at this one:

The next day we headed over to Vatican City to tour the museums there and see St. Peter's Basilica.  For once, we actually got a decent family picture.  No one's making a face, crying or trying to escape!

Since the museum is so vast -- over 7 miles of corridors! -- we had to be pretty selective about what we saw.  Naturally, the Egyptian museum was at the top of the list.

It had the best mummy I've seen to date.  You could get right up close and look at its withered face.  Gross.  Will, of course, loved it.

The map room was gorgeous -- Kate's favorite!

On our way back to our hotel, we wandered over to the Piazza Navona where we stumbled upon a show:  A young man, dressed, somewhat inexplicably, in a loincloth and gobs of black eyeliner, performed all kinds of terrifying deeds:  walking on broken glass, inhaling fire, blowing huge flames out of his mouth and, as shown here, laying on a bed of nails while a participant from the audience stood on his stomach.

Will was absolutely captivated.  He thought it was worth a few Euros.

Kate's response?  "I wonder if that man's parents know what he does all day?" :)  Me too, Kate...

We spent about three hours in the Vatican Museums and another hour or so in St. Peter's, and the kids were beat by the end.  Frequent gelato stops helped a lot (gelato for the kids, cappuccino -- and gelato-- for the adults.  I love Italy!)

Obviously, no complaints here either!


  1. Looks like a wonderful trip! The kids look so happy.

  2. We love the pictures!, glad you all had a great trip.