Monday, October 2, 2017


The week before last I had to go away for work. It was a really tough go; I had to go to meetings in Rome, Italy.  The meetings were for a week but I added a few days afterwards to stay on and play tourist. My sister Annette came along with me again to enjoy a government-paid hotel room, well at least for the days of the meetings; I had to pay for extra days that we stayed.

I had never been to Rome before, it is a lovely city so full of history.   Our trip there was uneventful, unlike the trip to Brussels in March.  We had booked on Air Canada aircraft all the way so were able to do online check ins and we had also paid for one seat selection so that we would be sitting together on the Toronto to Rome leg. We arrived in Rome on Sunday morning. We used the Leonardo Express train to get from the airport to Termini station and then walked to the hotel which was only about two blocks away.  We stayed at the Best Western Premier Royal Santina hotel. After checking into the hotel and unpacking, we explored around the hotel a little.

Hotel room

Grounds around the National Museum

Piazza Republica

Statue to John Paul II

Outside Termini Station
Side entrance to Termini Station
While I was at meetings, Annette had time to explore Rome.  The hotel had a Smart Phone in each room that you could use and one feature she liked was the button already set up to take you back to the hotel. In the evenings we were able to wander about a bit ourselves and it was nice that Annette was able to get the lay of land during the day.

The first evening we went to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. Annette had found the Trevi Fountain during he day but hadn't seen the Pantheon.    The legend says that if you throw a coin into the fountain you will return to Rome, so of course we both threw a coin in.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon was once a temple to the gods but was converted to a church and so survived when many temples were torn down. We also went down to the  Piazza Navona on the recommendation of some other delegates at my meetings. We had supper there after exploring the square.

Piazza Navona

Tuesday evening, we took the Metro down to the Colosseum . We had tickets for it on the weekend but wanted to see it at night as well.

Panorama shot of the Colosseum and Arch
Wednesday, already getting tired of pizza and pasta, we headed over the Hard Rock Cafe for supper. We didn't have reservations so we had to wait awhile to be seated but it wasn't too long a wait.
155 County Road 16, 
Hard Rock Cafe Roma

 Thursday, our hosts had organized an afternoon visit to the Engineers museum followed by a reception at the museum. 

Communications Vehicle for carrier pigeons

Engineers Chapel

Model of an ammunition depot


Hail Caesar!
On Friday, our meetings ended early so we were able to get in some sightseeing in the afternoon.

Memorial to Victor Emmanuelle

Romulus and Remus

But as we had booked a Segway tour that evening, we found our way down to the meeting point early and then had dinner in the area. The Segway tour was loads of fun. It was my first time and it wasn't hard at all to learn to ride. While wandering around before our Segway ride, we found a cat sanctuary in some of the ruins.

Ruins with Stone Pines

Lazy afternoon

 Our Segway tour took us back to many places we had seen during the day but they looked so much different at night.
Castel Sant'Angelo

St Peter's

Piazza Navona

Trevi Fountain

Roman ruins
Now with the meetings were over, we had the weekend to see what we had decided were the two main attractions. Saturday would be Vatican City with the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel while Sunday would be spent at the Colosseum and the Forum and Palatine Hill ruins. Monday, we had left as sort of a free day for shopping and packing.

Sunday, we had tickets for the Colosseum. The tickets were also good for one entry for the Forum and Palatine Hill Ruins. The tickets have to be used either on the same day or on two consecutive days so that's another reason we left Monday as a free day.

Stone Pines

Our last day was a Monday, most museums are closed but not churches.  We decided to tour a few churches and then do some shopping. There were still some church services that were going on in the morning so you had to be respectful and not enter those areas.

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore

Monday evening since our flights on Tuesday were not too early we went out and treated ourselves to a very nice dinner and a bottle of wine at Ristorante Target. I would highly recommend this restaurant. A bit pricier than most restaurants in the area but quite worth it.

The trip home went well too. We arrived at the train station, got our tickets and boarded the train with about 10 minutes to wait. We did some shopping at the airport and ate our last gelato in Italy, then made our way to our gate. We had to clear immigration in Toronto but this time we didn't have to collect our checked bags, they were booked right on through to our destinations. We had time in Toronto to have supper before heading each to our own gates for our flights home.

Termini Station

Fiumicino Airport
I do hope the legend of the Trevi Fountain is true!!!


  1. Wow! What a fabulous work vacation! The photos are just incredible!

  2. Wow, that was some work vacation. Beautiful.


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