The next day the Disney Magic docked at Civitavecchia, the port 44 miles outside of Rome. I was excited to visit Rome because there is so much history and so many things to do in the area.
Since one day is not enough to tackle Rome, we booked another private excursion with Italy Tours to try to fit everything in. If you are looking for a place to stay in Rome, we plan on our next trip to be in the Trastevere area.
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Italy Tours and Rome
We met our tour guide right outside of the Disney Magic at 7:35 am for a quick departure to go to Rome for a full day of sightseeing.
For this private excursion, we only booked a driver and not a tour guide because we built our own itinerary and downloaded a couple of Rick Steves audio tours to assist us with learning more about the sites we were seeing.
I was nervous about driving because, with traffic, the ride could take anywhere between 1-2 hours. One to two hours is a big-time waste when you only have one day to explore one of Italy’s finest cities!
Lucky for us, the traffic was not that bad and we arrived in a timely fashion.
After being in the car for about an hour and a half, we stopped right outside of the city walls to stretch our legs and take in the view of Rome for the first time (well except for Mom, she traveled throughout Italy in the 70s).
After adequate feet stretching, we carried on to Rome.
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Since we did not have tickets to the Vatican (we are saving that for another trip to Rome), we were planning to drive through Vatican City, but the traffic was super busy!
Instead, our driver dropped us off at the Pantheon because the line was super short.
Coincidentally, it’s better to visit the Pantheon on a Tuesday or Wednesday between the hours of 8-11 and we were right in that window.
My other favorite tip about visiting the Pantheon is that it was free – great if you are trying to travel on a budget.
We downloaded Rick Steven’s Audio tour which allowed us to walk around the Pantheon with our earbuds learning more about the building than if we were just wandering around.
One of my favorite things about the Pantheon was the open-air ceiling that allows snow and rain in.
The construction of the building allows any runoff from weather to drain down underneath the building.
There is so much I can say about the Pantheon, but you need to make sure to budget some time in your itinerary to see this while you are in Rome for only a day.
Getting Coffee in Rome
The combination of being jet-lagged and our early morning pick up left us exhausted by 10 am. We popped into a small coffee shop right next to the Pantheon to get coffee at La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro.
I went to the counter and ordered our lattes, and quickly stood off to the side which is what I thought was the right thing to do.
There were a ton of construction workers that ordered behind me.
I noticed that they all got their espressos very quickly, stirred the drink, drank it on one fell swoop, and continued on with their day.
I figured my coffees would take a little bit longer since I had a latte, but then I noticed that people were standing close to the counter and giving the barista their receipts and soon afterward a coffee would appear!
Trying to not stick out like a sore thumb (Yeah….I did) I handed over my receipt and quickly three lattes appeared in front of me.
Sis and mom blended in perfectly with the Italians by drinking their coffee very quickly.
I am more of a lukewarm type of coffee drinker so it was hard for me to quickly chug the coffee.
Eventually, sis reminded me that we had a ton of sightseeing to do that day, so unless I wanted to fall behind schedule, we needed to get going.
Bones Church – the Capuchin Crypt
If you go anywhere in Rome, you need to go to Bones Church.
As I said, mom went on a trip with a group in the 70s and she said the one thing that stuck in her mind (besides breaking a revolving glass door with her purse) was Bones Church. This off the beaten path church is also known as the Capuchin Crypt.
I only briefly researched the Capuchin Crypt because mom wanted to make sure that I went in with an open mind.
I couldn’t find a way to purchase tickets ahead of time, but this museum and crypt aren’t that widely visited so walking in off of the street should be fine.
Tickets are 8.50 Euros for everyone but 5 Euros if you are under 18 or over 65. You can also purchase an audio tour to listen to all the points of interest in the museum and crypt.
Our entire tour took about an hour and a half because we took our time throughout the museum and we absorbed everything in the Crypt.
Mom was excited to see the addition of the museum which really prepares you for what you will see in the crypt.
Bone church is not creepy or scary, but it somehow gives you a sort of peace when you see the artwork done with the bones.
Another quick tip, you must dress appropriates (bring a sweater if you are a female and cover your knees) and you cannot take any photos of the Crypt. I was so tempted to take a photo, but I’m also terrified about being locked up abroad that I did not.
If you would like to see photos of the Capuchin Crypt please visit nomadtravellers.com
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Lunch at Il Chianti Vineria
After working up our appetite, we asked our tour guide the best place to visit to get something delicious and authentic. He suggested that we go to Chianti and promised that locals go to this restaurant.
We split an appetizer that had delicious cheese, bread, and chutney with a small side of greens. For my entree, I had a bowl of pasta with sausage and plenty of cheese.
Being fair to the restaurant’s name we also tackled a bottle of Chianti Classico where we really started our love affair with Chianti on this cruise.
During lunch, we were sat next to two young American girls who were on their way to Greece celebrating graduating from college.
It was great talking to other tourists about some of the same struggles that we faced over the past few days.
After dinner, we walked down to Trevi Fountain which was extremely crowded. I was shocked to see how large and beautiful Trevi Fountain was in real life. It was quite overwhelming!
We were at the fountain long enough to snap a few photos and throw a coin into the fountain.
We only spent a short amount of time here because we needed to eat gelato (always a priority), and buy some bottles of wine to bring back onto the boat.
Did you know on a Disney Cruise you can bring 2 bottles of wine on the boat for each port you visit? For our family, that is 6 bottles of wine at each port.
We also grabbed a quick bite of Gelato while we were in Rome. When in Rome, am I right?
We booked open tickets for the Colosseum because mom and a companion were able to get in at a discounted rate (only 2 Euros!).
Once we arrived at the Colosseum, we went straight to the ticketing office to get our vouchers exchanged and to buy some audio tours. I would not buy the audio tour from the Colosseum because it wasn’t that useful.
The Colosseum was one of the warmest areas of our cruise. Standing in the Colosseum in the afternoon sun was one of the brutal parts of our vacation. Since we went to the most crowded part of Rome at the end of the day, we were all exhausted while walking around.
At one point, I was pushing mom and listening to the audio tour and saw that mom was engrossed in something on the bottom level of the Colosseum.
When I looked closer, I notice that she fell asleep while looking at the Colosseum.
For anyone that’s counting, we are now up to three places where my family fell asleep on this trip – on the Bus in Barcelona, during the Muster drill on the Disney Magic, and now in the middle of the Colosseum.
The Colosseum only allows 3,000 people in it at one time. While we were in the Colosseum there was an announcement that the Colosseum reached capacity.
If you are willing to brave the crowds at the Colosseum, or if you can go on offseason, then the Colosseum is a pretty handicapable friendly place.
Grocery Store Shopping in Civitavecchia
After the Colosseum, we hopped in the car to head back to Civitavecchia. We asked Gianni to stop by a grocery store so we could purchase some water.
While we were in there, we, of course, stumbled upon some 4 Euro wine that we ended up purchasing and actually enjoyed it!
I knew Italy had great wine, but who knew that an inexpensive bottle of wine from a local grocery store would taste great!
Dinner at Rapunzel’s Table
Our second night at Rapunzel’s was the World of Flavor Menu. Everyone on the ship had the same menu so that everyone had the same dining experience.
I started off dinner with the Italian Bresaola which had goat cheese, grape tomatoes, and virgin olive oil.
For a salad, I ordered the American Iceberg wedge salad with tomatoes and Blue Cheese Dressing.
My Main course was the Pad Thai with Rice Noodles weight Bead curd, shallots, Eggs and Chives in a Sweet and Sour sauce garnished with crush limes wedges and roasted chili powder. – The whole family got this dish, and we basically did not touch it because it was inedible, this was the only complaint about the food I had on the whole cruise.
Dessert we ordered and split the Irish Warm Guinness Pudding served with Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Ice cream.
The Canadian Ice Cream Sundae with butter pecan ice cream, maple syrup roasted pecans and whipped cream.
The French Passion Fruit Creme Brulee with Raspberry Macaron.
Dinner was overall great, but I was highly disappointed in the Pad Thai, luckily for me, my authentic Italian lunch held me over and I wasn’t really all that hungry.
Our waiters were so concerned that we didn’t enjoy the dish they wanted to bring us something different, but being that I was halfway through the cruise I was about sick of eating!
In my real life, I do not eat this much!
Tangled The Musical
That night, we walked down to the Walt Disney Magic Theater to grab our seats and the theater was super empty!
Of course, we remembered that the day before they also showed Tangled so I really like having a choice to watch the show.
Never seeing Tangled the Movie, I was pleasantly surprised to see Tangled The Musical.
The show is pretty true to the movie (that we watched later on in the week in our stateroom) and watching the show allowed me to connect some of the references that the actors in the restaurant were throwing down.
Settling in for the evening
That evening, we ended up going to be semi-early because we had another early morning to see the best of everything in Florence and Pisa.
I remembered that everyone I met on discussion boards and Facebook groups raved about the Cake of the Day and cookie from room service. For room service dessert, I ordered the Cake of the day (it was cheesecake) and the cookies, but I forgot to ask for ‘warm’ cookies.
I wasn’t impressed with the regular chocolate chip cookies.
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