On our last day in Rome we woke up bright and early (ish) to enjoy the hotel breakfast. Sean was very disappointed by his Rice Krispies but I was very impressed by the array of pastries and helped myself to a chocolate croissant, a sugared croissant and a slice of some kind of gateaux, as well as being tempted by a large doughnut. I WAS ON HOLIDAY OKAY.
We had already decided to head over to the Vatican on the Monday but as it was over on the other side of the Tiber I decided to drag Sean on the metro so I wouldn't have to walk for an hour. The queue when we got to St Peter's was huge, and there were guides everywhere telling us we'd better buy onto their tour or we'd be waiting two hours but we stayed firm and what do you know, we'd made our way to the front of the queue in less than twenty minutes. Lesson to be learned here, tour guides LIE.
We joined another small queue to get right up to the top of St Peter's and Sean was too stingy to pay the extra two euros each it would cost us to get the elevator so instead we climbed the stairs. Oddly, there weren't that many others who decided to do this with us. The signs warning away people who were elderly or who had heart conditions didn't exactly fill me with optimism either. FIVE HUNDRED AND TEN STAIRS LATER, I was at the very top of the dome looking over Rome. Or at least I would have been if I hadn't had to sit down and hyperventilate for about ten minutes. Ta for that, Sean.
When we got back down to the bottom we had a look round the inside admiring the ever so slightly ostentatious decor, but we decided to give the museums a miss when we realised that neither of us actually like art that much. Give me a monolithic pillar any day of the week, but a portrait of some cherubs? Not so much.
We took a leisurely walk back over to the other side of the river and stopped for a long lunch at a highly recommended Italian restaurant called Roscioli, which served the most decadent carbonara I have ever had. It is always completely packed out by locals and tourists so we had to wait half an hour for a table but it was well worth it, even if we were served by possibly the grumpiest waitress ever. This seemed to be a fairly common feature of the restaurants in Rome, possibly because service is almost always included in the bill. In a way it was almost comical though, my favourite was the middle aged man at the place we stopped for lunch the day before, who got grumpier and grumpier with me the longer Italy was getting thrashed by England in the football.
Soon after we finished lunch we began our trip back to the airport ready to fly home, and our holiday relaxation came back down to earth with a bump when we were delayed over and over again and then almost couldn't land because of the snow. Thanks for the warm welcome back, Britain.