Saturday, June 30, 2007

June 30, 2007 – Monte Cassino/Rome

Monte Cassino - Benedictine Abbey Eating McDonalds in front of the Pantheon Our siblings and Chris and I with Franco, our tour guide Ahh – our last day in Italy. We drove from Sorrento back to Rome today, with a brief stop at Monte Cassino, a Benedictine Monastery along the way. Yesterday we thought we might die because of the bus ride up the mountain to Anacapri. Today, we had a whole new realization of what thinking we might die on the mountain might be. I cannot believe even still that our large bus made it up the zigzag roads of this mountain which at the very top sits the Abbey. It was beautiful. Evidently, it was bombed in the war, so it was re-built in the 60’s (with American tax dollars since we bombed it by accident) and is absolutely beautiful. When we walked in, we saw doves. That was a welcome change from pigeons. We spent just a short time here and then back down the mountain. I wanted to have everyone sit on one side of the bus to keep us from tipping off the side of the mountain. It was quite the ride. We got back to Rome around 1:00. Chris and I went down to the pool and sat there for a while. I saw a lady tanning topless. You know you’re in Europe when… Luckily Chris didn’t see it. At least that’s what he says! Ha! We had to take a shuttle in to Rome since our hotel was situated close to the airport and a bit out of the action. Chris and Dan ran to the hotel we stayed at when we were there at the beginning of the tour to pick up the bag that we left while the Mom, Kendra, Jason, Stephanie and I went to Piazza Navona. Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Amy and Nancy all got off at another stop and went to the Pantheon, where we were going to meet. Luckily, we all met up after finding a birthday present for Grant from my parents in Piazza Navona in the square in front of the Pantheon. We ate McDonalds on the steps of the fountain, grabbed one last gelato from mom’s favorite gelato place and headed out to Trevi Fountain, because Amy promised Matt that she’d throw a coin in so they could return someday. So we made Amy and Nancy close their eyes as we led them to Trevi Fountain. They were amazed at its beauty. We all tossed a coin in to the fountain, wishing to return to Rome someday. We wandered around the city a bit longer, found some more ancient ruins where I counted 20 stray cats…and those were only the ones I could see from looking above! And then we sat where the bus was going to pick us up again at 8:00. We were tired, and ready to go to bed.

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