Arrived in Rome on Friday. Once you finally get there, it's amazing how different things look than what you imagined.
Our hotel (Bramante) was only a few blocks from the Vatican, and just lovely, down an alleyway with potted trees framing the doorway. The little Italian we knew (hello, goodbye) went a long way, mostly because the Italians are so accommodating. We were grateful. Exploration of Rome included the Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul/the Pieta, a stair-climbing adventure to the top of the Dome, the Vatican Museum (and Sistine Chapel, of Michaelangelo fame). The Colosseum and Forum also gave us pause because of their age and the history behind them. We met my friend Tammy, who organized the trip and brought a group of friends, fresh from a tour of Tuscany. She made sure we all ate well and saw the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon. Couldn't ask for a better tour guide!