"Dear Amber,I am forwarding the e-mail that I sent to friends upon our return from our wonderful trip to answer your question: What did you see and do while you were there? Then I will give you feedback about the Rome experience that you planned in such details. Jim and I just returned home from our Rome Adventure. What a coincidence that the movie ”To Rome with Love” by Woody Allen was available on the flight to Rome. Trips-2-Italy, a tour company based in Houston planned our tour of Rome which met my expectations. We took in all the sights that I had learned about in Latin I and II---the catacombs, the Appian Way, Roman Aqueduct. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica was overwhelming. I can hardly fathom that Michelangelo sculpted the Pieta with Mary and Jesus when he was only 24 years old. And according to some critics he believed that the tomb of Pope Julius, which he never completed, was his best work. The focus is Moses. The structure of the Pantheon, the best preserved Roman building, was fascinating. Seeing the Trevi Fountain illuminated at night was mesmermizing. In Miss Morrison’s English II class, I remember memorizing Shakespearean lines such as “And you, too, Brutus?” quoted by Julius Caesar and I was walking over the Roman Forum where this took place—WOW! Finally we wandered thru the Colosseum and it is just that—colossal!We headed to the port to embark the Viking Star, one of cruisings’ most beautiful small ships. I now understand what the Viking brand is and I liked it! We discovered the heritage(It was mindboggling how many countries had ruled each of the islands), culture, history and tasted typical foods of Pompeii, Sicily, Sardinia, Mallorca, Spain, and Valencia, Spain. We learned so much history and marveled at such scenic beauty. We truly experienced Mediterranean Splendors! Ciao. . . AmeliaReview of the Rome experience by Trips2Italy::From the time that your driver met us at the airport and transported us to the Hotel Columbia and picked us up again to take us to the port, your Rome plan did meet our expectations and more as I stated in the e-mail. It was very comforting and secure feeling to have the same driver for all of the transfers. He was very professional, friendly, and desiring of us to have the best experience possible. He was so excited about the big cricket match taking place on Sunday, Feb. 14. That way we learned firsthand how important cricket is in the six countries that were participating in the big match.We were very pleased with our accommodations and service that were so graciously provided by the full staff at Hotel in Rome. They even wrote us a nice note wishing us a nice stay. They would patiently give us directions and answer any questions. We loved going upstairs to the patio for cappuccinos and a snack in the afternoon before heading out to another sight.We loved the walking/eating tour that Thursday night in Trastevere . We learned the history of Rome at the Tiber River. It was a great way to sample many restaurants and the specialty foods that we otherwise would not have had the time to take in. We liked going to the small homegrown restaurants that are still run by the same local families for generations that the Romans choose to eat at. A highlight was Spirito di Vino, which was formerly a Jewish synagogue before the Jewish were sent to live in the Jewish ghetto. Another was Innocenti which had so many mouthwatering biscotti to choose from—an impossible task . Not as many visitors go on the Appian Way, Catacombs, Aqueduct excursion . But I am glad that we did, just for reasons I stated in my e-mail. But I learned so much that made me understand the history of Rome’s commerce and the Christians in Rome. I liked seeing the frescoes, stucco work and graffiti engraved by the Christian worshippers even before the edict given by ConstantineTo see the mighty aqueduct system built by the Romans was amazing. Then to learn that the barbarians destroyed parts of the system to destroy Rome was very informative and mind-boggling.Friday afternoon we visited Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Peter-in-Chains church. To see what Michelangelo considered his greatest work, the tomb of Pope Julius II including the famous statue of Moses was absolutely breathtaking!The highlight for us was the Vatican City Tour City tour. Not having to wait in line, getting started very early, and missing the crowds made for a wonderful experience. The very competent guide who sees educating tourists about The Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica as her passion made this excursion exceptional!Our last tour, Ancient and Old Rome, on Sunday morning before we were to be trasnsfered to the Viking Star, was very informative. We just did not have as much time as we thought we would at The Colosseum and the Roman Forum. It was rushed. Since the security line to get into the Colosseum was so long, we did not have time to actually do the Roman Forum part of the tour.As you can see, we were very pleased with all of the excellent services that Enjoy Rome provided. The guides are well educated, skilled in tour guiding, and passionate about the subject matter. We liked the small bus and walking tours that were more intimate__ as if they were designed just for us. I do not remember the names of our tour guides and driver, but if it is anyway possible, I would like for you to relay our very positive evaluations to their administrative directors for it is the tour guide that really makes a tour successful.Trips2Italy was highly recommended to me and I am highly doing the same to others. I hope to write up this same email as an article and submit it to International Travel News so many more interested travellers will learn about you. Ciao & Grazie,Amelia S. "
Amelia and James S.
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