Rome, Pisa, and the Island of Sardinia, in Photos

Rome

I had visited the Eternal City before when I was 15 with my high school so hadn’t put it on my list of destinations.

However, it happened that my friend who is a First Officer for Royal Caribbean was working on a cruise in the Mediterranean so I decided to go cruising with him (for free!) The most convenient port to meet his ship was Rome, so I flew to Rome from Istanbul and gave myself a day in the city to revisit some sights with a better camera and the eyes of an adult.

I befriended a frat boy from Chicago at my hostel and during the day that I was in town, we walked a total of 20 km from our hostel at Roma Termini to the Vatican and back. It was a bit surreal to be in Rome again after 10 years, because the city looked vaguely familiar, yet was not at all.

That evening, we sat down for dinner with 2 Quebecois girls I had met a week prior in Split, Croatia. Their itinerary happened to cross again with mine briefly, so we worked on solidifying our worldwide friendship.

The following day, I hopped onto a train at Roma Termini and rode an hour west to the Port of Civitavecchia to catch Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas as it set sail for Pisa.

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I started my 1-day tour at the famous Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre

Trying out the travel blogger/Instagram pose at the Arc of Constantine

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The Roman Forum is an incredible collection of ancient Roman architecture, with some structures dating back over 2,000 years

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The Palazzi del Campidoglio was designed by Michelangelo in the 16th century and is situated on Capitoline Hill, the most important of the Seven Hills of Rome

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Walking up to the Piazza del Campidoglio

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The Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) was build to honor Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy

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Out of the 12 countries that I’ve been to in Europe, I have to say that the food in Italy is the best. Every restaurant I walked into, without fail, served a delicious meal.

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The Italians really know how to make a cappuccino!

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As I walked through the massive stone pillars of the Pantheon, I could only wonder how such a structure like this could have been constructed almost 2,000 years ago

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The streets of Rome are narrow and lined with colorful, shuttered buildings

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All roads lead to Rome, so the Vatican, which stands at the center of the Eternal City, could very well be considered the center of the world! The Pope was giving public mass the following morning of my visit to Rome, but I was unfortunately already due to leave the city.

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Does anyone find it a bit strange that an obelisk stands in the center of the Vatican, considering it is a Catholic establishment?

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Sunset in the Eternal City

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The Trevi Fountains were under maintenance during my visit, but it still didn’t deter tourists from throwing coins over the fence and making a wish. Meanwhile, my friend and I were dramatically flailing our arms, shouting, “How will we ever find love now?!”

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The following morning of my 1-day trip to Rome, I took a train west to the Port of Civitavecchia to meet my Officer friend and his cruise ship

 

Pisa

We docked at the Port of Livorno, half an hour from Pisa, the day after I met the ship in Rome.

I made my way to the train station to go to Pisa, bought a train ticket, pulled out my phone to check the time, walked 20 meters to the train platform and my phone was gone. Whoever stole it is impressively skilled.

In a considerable panic, I found an Internet cafe where the computers ran Windows XP and attempted to change the passwords on all of my accounts and initiate a remote phone wipe only to have the computer freeze within 10 minutes.

Nevertheless, I saw and took cheesy tourist photos with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

On the way back, I witnessed a fight between an Italian man and a pregnant gypsy woman with 2 children. The man insisted she had stolen something from him, she insisted that she hadn’t, her children were crying loudly, and the bus was in a uproar.

I made it back to Livorno, bought a new phone from a random shop, managed to change the system to English, and was overall quite happy to get back to the ship.

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands on a well-kept grassy green space along with the Baptistery of St. John and the Pisa Cathedral. Watch out for tourists (and pickpockets!)

Cheesy photo with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy.

Of course: the cheesy tourist photos with the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Sardinia

We made it to the Port of Cagliari on the Island of Sardinia the next day. The island is beautiful, sunny, blisteringly hot, and has long stretches of sandy coastline.

I wandered around the medieval quarters of Cagliari for a while, found some Wi-Fi to install programs onto my newly bought phone, then decided to take a nap on the beach.

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Colorful houses in Cagliari

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Graffiti art, greenery, and Italian architecture

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The waves of the Mediterranean are warm, but not quite warm enough to swim in

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A relaxing end to a relaxing day