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Our first stop on our European trip was in Rome. After we landed on a Saturday morning and took a quick nap, we took a quick trip into the city and checked out our transportation options. That resulted in a quick stop on St. Peter's Square and the first taste of the wonderful Italian gelato. The following day, we took some time to explore the Coliseum and the Trevi Fountain with the boys. Stefan said that the Coliseum is "a round thing" and Sebastian pointed around and said "rocks" - ah, 2,000-year old historic artifacts through the eyes of a 4 and 2-year old kid.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Basilica

Gelato, it's so good...

...and messy

Jetlag in action

The Coliseum

Spanish Steps

Trevi Fountain


Marc's parents and his brother Lars arrived a couple of days later, and gave us the opportunity to sightsee Rome, while the boys enjoyed the zoo with their grandparents. Lars, Jana and Marc explored many famous attractions in the city


Villa Borghese Gardens

Piazza del Popolo and the twin churches

Piazza Navona and Fountain of Neptune

Moor Fountain

Fountain of the Four Rivers

Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone

Wonderful Gelato


On Wednesday morning, we leave our hotel to do some more sightseeing. As we arrive at St. Peter's Square, we walk right into a general audience of the Pope. As Jana pointed the Pope out to Stefan, his response was "do you mean the man in the white dress, mommy?". After a short bus tour through parts of Rome, Omi, Opi, and Lars took Stefan and Sebastian to a park while Jana and Marc explored the Forum Romanum.

View from our hotel

...include St. Peter's Dome

General audience of the Pope

Sebastian - the consummate tourist

Forum Romanum as seen from the Coliseum

Arch of Titus

Palace of Septimius Severus

Hippodrome of Domitian

Domus Augustana

Huts of Romulus

View onto the Forum Romanum

Temple of Antonius and Faustina

Temple of Vesta


On Thursday, we visited the Vatican City with Nicky and Nick, who had joined us by then. We toured St. Peter's Basilica and Marc made his way up to the top of the dome. It was extremely tight in between the inner and outer shell of the dome, but he was rewarded with amazing views over the entire city of Rome. Afterwards, we visited the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel. There was so much artwork on display that it is entirely impossible to cover everything.

View down the main aisle in St. Peter's Basilica

Michelangelo's Pieta

Altar at the end of the basilica

Papal altar and Baldacchino

St. Peter

Mosaic on the way up to the dome

Dome of St. Peter's as seen from the ground

View of the dome when you get half-way to the top

Squeezing in between the inner and outer shell of the dome is not the picture that is crooked.

It's a little tight

At the beginning of the Vatican museum

Map of Italy

Map of Venice

Sistine Chapel