Another Clemson student is working an internship in Rome this summer, and we laid plans early on that we wanted to visit Maja there. So the cruise stop in Civitivecchia allowed us the opportunity to spend a day with her. We disembarked Wednesday and found our way to the train station to catch an early train to Rome, along with, apparently, the rest of the population. There were no seats available so we stood in the passageway between cars. At each stop, more people would pile into the train. Three dozen people in the space of, oh, a typical bathroom-sized space, all trying to avoid making eye contact with each other, while holding onto their wallets. At the last stop before Rome, I found myself belly to belly with a rotund gentleman, about 9 inches shorter than me, with an inch of cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Thankfully, he put the cigarette stub in his pocket (for later, I guess). But yeah. I was glad to arrive in Rome.
We found Maja and a friend at the McDonald's as we planned. Anders, a Norweigan guy visiting in Rome himself, was great fun and good company/conversation and made it a pleasant foursome. Then started our Amazing Day in Rome. In the space of under six hours, we somehow managed to tour the Coliseum, sip wine, throw coins in Trevi Fountain, eat gelato, mug at the Spanish Steps, wander around the Capitoline Hill, visit the Vatican, enjoy a fabulous meal together, and almost miss a train. Basically, it was a perfect, sunny, happy, friendly, whirlwind day in Rome.