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Carol Perkins: Advenures in Italy, Part 1

Read all of Carol's Adventures in Italy: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

By Carol Perkins

In planning for our vacation with the youngest grandchild, Noah, Guy suggested we go to Italy where he spent Christmas of 1966 (Navy) in Genoa and has wanted me to see the Vatican since his visit to the country.

I began to plan. Rome, Florence, and Venice were the destinations I wanted us to see, with three days in each. I prepared Noah by sending him a young person's guide to Italy (which I could understand better than some I'd read) and he was ready to go! I prepared myself by getting another shot in the knee!

We left Nashville, flew to Atlanta, and then nine hours to Rome, arriving a different day and time zone. The first night there I had booked a sunset tour called, "Rolling Rome." A golf cart ride took us to all the highlights of the Old City, which included every structure anyone could want to see. The young Italian driver had studied in the U.S. and had spent a semester at Campbellsville University.

That night was our first taste of "real" pizza. For the next ten days, we ate lots of pizza and pasta, mainly because we knew the ingredients, and Gelato, too,

The weather was so hot and the crowds so massive I might have thought I was at Disney. If I saw one guide with a flag on a pole, I saw fifty. I bought a Hong Kong fan with Rome printed on it and was afraid if I raised it, a crowd might follow as we struck out on our tour of the Vatican.

Along with thousands of others, we hung tightly as we walked through the many chambers of great artwork and tapestry until we reached the Sistine Chapel. Up and down hundreds of stairs, I hobbled along for the sake of the trip until I found anything against which I could lean. A marble pillar dating back to the 14th century became my rest station. Noah said, "CiCi, you should have had that knee fixed."

Once inside the chapel with no room to swing my arms, I admired the wonders of the ceiling and the artist who lay on his back to paint the marvels above. This was the first of many treasures to come, followed by the largest church in the world, St. Peter's Basilica. While Guy and Noah were walking around the massive structure, I found the base of another marble pillar and sat. A guide told me (and others) to get up, but then he looked at me and motioned for me to stay. Bless that man.

I was surprised by the number of visitors who were not of the Christian faith and wondered what they were taking away from the story of Peter, the first Pope, and the layers of Biblical references revealed by our tour guide. This was the first full day of our trip and the one that Noah will not ever forget. To come, Papa and Noah take a "Gladiator" tour of the Coliseum.

Follow Susan and Carol-Unscripted on 99.1 the Hoss in Edmonton on Tuesdays from 10amCT to 11amCT and replay on Sundays from 4pmCT to 5pmCT. Listen to Carol's podcast at for entertaining stories and a replay of Susan and Carol-Unscripted.

This story was posted on 2019-07-21 08:03:13
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