Cruise 2006 - Mediterranean
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  Civitavecchia - Rome

Civitavecchia is an important seaport close to Rome and can be seen as the gateway to Rome. The cruise ship docks at some industrial port and if you've not booked a tour, there's not much too see unless you take a taxi to the city of Civitavecchia. We did what most cruise passengers also did: book a tour to Rome. Be prepared: it's a more than two hour drive by motor coach. But Rome is worth it. Just as Barcelona: you can't see it all in one day, but be inspired for a later and longer visit.

On the picture below is the Victor Emanuel II Monument, in Italy known as the Altare della Patria or Il Vittoriano. It now houses the museum of Italian Reunification.

Page introduction photo
The famous Trevi Fountain a large Baroque fountain, the largest in the city.
There's a traditional legend that says that visitors who throw a coin into the fountain, are ensured to return to Rome. Two coins will lead to a new romance and three leads to either a marriage or divorce. The current version of the legend states that it is lucky to throw three coins with one's right hand over one's left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. So, do you have some change?
The Spanish Steps are a famous set of steps in Rome. They form the longest and widest staircase in Europe. There are 138 steps, connecting the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top.
Our tour includes a visit to Vatican City, a sovereign city-state in Rome.
Is this the waiting line for St. Peter's Basilica? I'm afraid it is. It seems worse than it is, the line is continuously moving and when we leave, the line is twice as long!
Members of the Swiss Guard in their traditional uniform.
We're almost there: the Basilica of St. Peter.
At the entrance of St. Peter's Basilica. They're preparing for a speech by the pope the next day.
We made it! We're in St. Peter's Basilica. It has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world and can hold 60,000 people!
Our tour guide speaks to us using a wireless microphone and head set, so she doesn't have to shout and everyone of our group can hear her. That's some high tech in an old church!
This is the dome. It rises to a total height of 448 (136 metres) from the floor of the basilica to the top of the external cross. It is the tallest dome in the world. And one of the most beautiful.
The Altar.
Statue of St. Andrew, the brother of St. Peter.
One of the many paintings.
Another highlight of Rome is of course the Colosseum, a must see. After visiting St. Peter's Basilica, our tour guide takes us there.

The Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheatre, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.
Construction finished in the year 80 AD and there was room for 50,000 people. Regarding the age of the Colosseum, much of it has been preserved.
This picture shows the two-level underground structure that was originally hidden under the wooden arena floor. There was a network of tunnels and cages beneath the arena where gladiators and animals were held before contests began.
A part of the wooden arena floor was rebuilt to show how it must have looked like in the old days.
The height of the outer wall is 48 meters (157 ft). The amphitheatre had eighty entrances at ground level, 76 of which were used by ordinary spectators. There were four tiers on which the spectators were seated.
The triumphal Arch of Constantine is the largest of the remaining Roman arches. It's situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was built in the year 312.
Although there's much more to see in Rome, our motor coach doesn't wait too long to bring us back to the Rotterdam in Civitavecchia. We threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, so we'll be back someday!

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