Rome, Italy - Day 5

Our final day in Rome started out pretty early with a tour through the Vatican. It would have been quite a walk from where our hotel was so we were lucky to find a cab at the Pantheon that early in the morning. The tour we booked was through Viator and our guide Igor was great! We started in the museums for several hours looking at everything from beautiful frescos, statues and sculptures, and tapestries.

The museum is vast and you could honestly spend days looking at everything that has been collected there over the years. One thing to note that if you go to the Vatican on a Wednesday morning the Pope is usually speaking and getting into St. Peter's Basilica is a challenge. The statues and sculptures were amazing and everywhere you look.

There's a long corridor of tapestries that you walk through depicting all kinds of historical events and stories from the past. One of these tapestries the last one in the pictures below is so unique that when you walk from left to right the table shifts position before your very eyes as an optical illusion. It was truly remarkable the size and amount of detail each of them had.

The paintings and frescos in the Vatican are stunning and emotional. Going from room to room and taking in everything is borderline overwhelming because of the beauty, detail and perfection. Work from artists like Michalangelo, Raphael, Pinturicchio, Giotto, and Da Vinci to name a few are everywhere and to be consumed with such visionary work was incredible. Walking into the Sistine Chapel is an experience I'll never forget. The frescos are stunning and beautiful, but I will say I did have another perception of what this would be like. It wasn't bad, but just different. I highly recommend anyone take the time and go through the museums and let everything sink in. It is truly a remarkable experience.

We unfortunately didn't get to go into St. Peter's Basilica for logistical reasons, but we did walk around to St. Peter's Square before it started to rain.

We had to make our way back to the hotel to pick up our bags and wait for our transfer to pick us up and take us to Civitavecchia. We got everyone loaded up and made the hour and twenty minute drive to the Rome Port of Call. Upon arriving we had some great porters get our luggage while we proceeded inside to check-in. One thing we didn't realize at the time was how lucky we were to be boarding in Rome rather than Barcelona because of the number of people getting on and off the boat. Later in our trip we experienced the disembark and embark process in Barcelona and whoa! Checking in was quick and simple.

We had our cards and we were on our way to embarking the Norwegian Epic. (Side Note: This was our first cruise ever so we really didn't know what to expect going in.) Upon entering the boat which was on deck 4 we quickly made our way to our cabin which was on deck 11. We booked a mini-suite that had plenty of room for us and an amazing view. After settling in and freshening up we proceeded to deck 7 to Cagney's for a great dinner with our friends. After dinner, we enjoyed some of the cruise activities like Deal or No Deal and hung out up at the sports bar for some drinks.

We were on our way to Livorno next and that meant an early start to see two of Cinque Terre's villages Riomaggoire and Vernazza.