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Rome & Tivoli, Italy

Updated: Apr 21

Day 8: Western Mediterranean Cruise with Rome

Royal Caribbean | Wonder of the Seas

Happy 10 Year Anniversary to us! We celebrated by splitting and doing two separate tours. LOL.

All of our mornings started early with our tour pick-up times at 7:30pm. We elected to do private tours because it wasn’t that much more compared to the large group tours offerer by the cruise line. We disembarked the ship and right outside were a group of drivers holding handwritten signs. There was one for Brian and one for me.

My son and I explored the road less traveled and visited the quieter and less crowded areas. The typical tour for the one we chose was to see the catacombs and then to Tivoli. I asked a lot of questions about the catacombs and in the end we decided to skip it. I wasn’t sure how my son would react to a closed area that the guide said was not for anyone claustrophobic. Also, I wouldn’t be able to bring the stroller. The guide made a couple other suggestions and we were on our way.

Our first stop was a small park that overlooked Rome. When we arrived, there was a faucet running. Our guide, Gio, told us that it was drinking water and showed us how to drink it the Roman way. You plug the hole at the bottom and then the water shoots out another hole at the top creating a nice arch of water which you can drink. My son thought this was the best thing ever! We then walked into the park filled with orange trees and got our first glimpse of Rome.

Amaris in Rome
View of Rome

Museo delle Mura was the next stop which means Museum of the Walls. During the reign of Emperors Aurelian and Pribus, a wall was built around Rome. It was constructed between 217 AD and 275 AD and used for military purposes. Some of the wall still stands today and we went in them! We could peak out the holes which were made for archers to protect the city. This is a free museum that is pretty neat!

Inside the Museo delle Mura
Museo delle Mura

We continued on Appian Way which is a historic road. It was first used by the military to move supplies. While it was a neat thing to see, the bumpiness of this road is not good for those who suffer from motion-sickness.

Bumpy road
Appian Way

Parco Degli Acquedotti which translates to Aqueduct Park was our next stop! This park was filled with locals running, biking, and walking. We walking down a path where a golf course was to our right and tennis courts and a pool were to our left. Straight ahead was a large and magnificent historic aquaduct. The longest aqueduct stretched 40 miles and routed spring water from the mountains to the city. A park worker had a small speaker playing Italian music and it really set the ambiance for our walk.

Aquaduct ruins in Rome
Parco Degli Acquedotti

Off to the mountains and the small city of Tivoli! When we arrived, my son was thirsty and wanted chocolate milk. I asked if there was a convenient store to buy some. The guide thought about it and said that there was something better. We stopped at a gelato shop for a frappe which was essentially chocolate milk made with gelato. My son loved it! I couldn’t pass on the opportunity for gelato so I tried the Stracciatella and Cioccolato Fondente. It was AMAZING!

Gelato in Tivoli
Tivoli, Italy

We had the option to eat lunch now or wait after the next site. My son barely ate breakfast since we left so early so we opted for early lunch. Eating lunch at noon is definitely not the Italian way. When we arrived at the restaurant we were the only customers until around 1:30pm. It was nice to have the whole place to ourselves! Our table overlooked a small park with a playground. It was perfect. My son could play while I relaxed in the shade. We ordered an appetizer and two orders of pasta which ended up being WAY too much food for us. The appetizer was my favorite and was basically crunchy bread soaking in olive oil and topped with cheese and ham. There was also a wild berry drizzle. We ate the whole thing and that could have been our whole lunch. Fettuccini was our main course. My son’s pasta was with tomato sauce and served with a semi-solid cheese on top with a little pesto. Mine was topped with asparagus and bacon. My son’s was definitely the better one, but neither was as good as the pasta from yesterday.

Ham, pasta, playground
Lunch in Tivoli

We finished the tour with the crown jewel of the day: Villa d’Este. This is a world heritage site and an absolute gem. Also, it wasn’t crowded at all! We first walked into the villa where each room was hand decorated from the ceiling all the way down to the floor. Each room was filled with masterpieces. We then made our way outside to the gardens. What a magnificent site! It was a really hot day so walking by all the fountains was very refreshing. Natural air conditioning!

Villa d’Este in Tivoli
Villa d’Este

This concluded our tour and it was time to head back to the ship. It was a 90 minute drive back to Civitavecchia.

Back on the ship, my son stretched his legs at the playground and then we cleaned up for dinner. Potato soup, lasagna, and bananas fosters for me tonight. Yum! We finished the night in the Royal Theatre for the Effectors II. I saw Effectors I while I was on the Odyssey of the Seas. The show was still in preview, but it is shaping up to be a nice complement to the original.

Food, playscape, and show
Wonder of the Seas

About the Author

Amaris is the owner of the Ohio-based travel agency, Adventures by Amaris. Her love for travel began at a young age when she traveled to her parents' home countries of England and Mexico. She continued traveling in High School by participating in a People to People program to Italy, France and Monaco. In college, she spent six weeks in Europe studying abroad and traveling. She visited Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Ireland, Vatican City, and Italy in a whirlwind summer. Through her adult life she continues to make traveling a priority with her family. Her young son is autistic so navigating the world of traveling with an autistic child brings on new adventures. Her travel resume includes Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, and Cayman Islands. She is an expert in planning family vacations across the world from Disney World to Europe to worldwide cruises.

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