March 7th my wife and I traveled to Rome for a few days, since last summer’s cruise visit was too short and left us wanting more.

First we stayed at the Splendide Royal hotel. A “grand dame” with baroque decor and a fancy restaurant full of business people, rich Eastern Europe oligarchs and their lovers.

On the 9th we moved to the Kolbe Rome hotel, a monastery (part of it still in operation) located right next to the Circo Massimo and the Colosseo, where my in-laws joined us from Canada.

We went all over Rome:

Some of the highlights were the Foro Traiano, Colosseo, Ponte Sant Angelo, Largo di Torre Argentina (and the great cat sanctuary), the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Trastevere (although it does not show in my “movements map”)… but most definitely the two most delightful and amazing memories are:

  • A private tour of the Vatican Museum with a PhD scholar expert in Renaissance art

  • And a tour of the magnificent Borghese Gallery (I am fascinated by Bernini)

We also enjoyed the culinary offerings of Rome, like the amazingly good Renato e Luisa, the very authentic Armando al Pantheon, and some OK ones (which in tourist-trap filled Rome is quite good) like InRoma Movie Stars, Grappolo d’Oro (too bad Ditirambo across the street was full), or Palatium Enoteca Regionale.