Accomodations: 3-Night cruise aboard the MSC Divina departing Barcelona, heading to Marseille, France and Genoa, Italy, ending in Civitavecchia, Italy (Port of Rome). Lovely experience! We adored our stop in Genoa and could have spent another full day there touring around. We enjoyed it a bit more than the day spent in Marseille as there was not much to see in this port and visitors should be cautious of certain neighborhood areas.
Air B&B 3-night stay at Pantheon in the Window, Rome Italy (Truly an incredible and safe location right in the city center of Rome and within walking distance to beautiful shops, restaurants and attractions. About a 25-minute walk to Vatican City.
Our Favorite Meal: Trattoria del Gatto Bianco – Via della Stelletta, 8, Rome A truly authentic family-owned restaurant with less than a dozen tables and warm service by the owners themselves (along with their sweet baby granddaughter). The children enjoyed generous heaps of fresh spaghetti with sweet tomato sauce. The adults snacked on salty meats, cheeses, olives and artichokes from their signature cutting board and for dinner enjoyed oven baked lasagna and ravioli.
Our Best Traveling Tip: The number one thing on most people’s list when visiting the incredible city of Rome is a stop at Vatican City to see St Peter’s Square, The Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Planning ahead is key and we were sure to book advanced Skip the Line tickets for these attractions. But be sure to read the FINE PRINT.
The tour company found through TripAdvisor.com advertised our tickets as “Skip the Line’, but this benefit only applied to access for The Vatican Museum and The Sistine Chapel. When it came to St. Peter’s Basilica itself, we were told to wait on the regular line with everyone else – not ideal for anyone, let alone our party with three young children and two older adults. Regardless, we rescheduled our time at The Vatican for the following afternoon (best time for the shortest queues here is 5:00 pm by the way!) and all worked out.
If you are traveling in a group and want to see city highlights with convenience and ease (and hardly any walking), our favorite recommendation is to buy tickets for a Hop On Hop Off bus (HO-HO Bus, some refer to it as!) We’ve enjoyed doing this in almost every European city visited and always book with Big Bus Tours.