We booked the Vatican museum for our Saturday in Rome. Just one thing, a light day… Har-de-ha-ha. Seven kilometers plus of incredible works of art and at the end of it we still wanted to pop over to that basilica, you know, St Peter’s.

One lovely bit of one of Raphael’s rooms of paintings.

Seriously old art.

Elena and Saint Elena.

Mosaics! I’m inspired to break some plates.

The dome of St Peter’s from below.

St Peter’s Basilica. And lovely fountain spraying cold water at us.

We had no further capital P Plans for Rome but Luuk had an idea to go out to some lesser known ruins near the coast for a kind of leisurely Sunday day trip. Ostia Antica was the big port town, but the port was problematic and eventually abandoned (river changed course, everyone moved to Rome, etc.)

A couple thou years later, when we got there, the eftpos machine was broken. So I sun blocked the kids while Luuk trekked around (new)town for cash. THEN we went gallivanting around the ruins.

Elena and Luuk in an old Basilica.

It was incredible to walk among the remains of what was once a thriving town. Now, it’s a working excavation. They’re piecing things together and it’s fun to imagine what places once were. Felt like some kind of Indiana Jones type… Except for wrestling the push chair along the treacherous remains of a Roman road… tired arms.

We took turns waiting with the buggy, and whichever kid slumbered within, while the other of us explored. Got very dusty and thirsty but avoided injury in the form of wasp stings or broken wheels. Found a cafe and museum (of some artifacts from the excavation) just in time for much-needed ice cream, bathroom and air-con break. Then back to Rome for pizza and sleep.

Must say, kids are enjoying the food, all pizzas, pastas and daily doses go gelato. We’re walking so much I’m not concerned. Drinking a LOT of water.

Tomatoes and basil are veggies, right?

We only meant to see the Pantheon on our last day, but then I discovered what the Pantheon actually is (a church) and decided to figure out what else was nearby.

Inside the Pantheon. Very cool, and different from all the many many other impressive churches, and the largest unreinforced concrete dome there is. Anywhere.

We found piazza Navona nearby, which has a glorious fountain. Louis soaked himself before police came and cleared away the crowd of people doing the same. Most of the fountains are accessible but not the famous ones, I guess. There’s also an art market there and I found a gorgeous little watercolour of the usual, everyday and every other corner, Roman drinking fountain, which were a great delight (to Louis) and relief all week long. A week which was basically over. We returned to our apartment, though first to the gelato vendor downstairs, and the next day we were for Napoli!