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Rome in December

Route: 5 nights/Rome, 7 nights/Florence (day trip to Pisa, Volterra, Chianti), 5 nights/Venice, Munich via layover. Christmas in Florence. I traveled with my boyfriend and two nieces (25, 15). *** Highlights in Rome: Rented a lovely apartment by the Trevi Fountain, walked to Pantheon at 4AM (experienced a quite Rome, couldn't sleep due to jet lag), Underground Tour of Colesseum (definitely worth the extra money), Scavi Tour of St Peter's Tomb (simply amazing), Vatican Museum near closing (enjoy the experience without the loud or pushy crowds), Papal Audience (bring rosaries to be blessed by the Pope, sit near the back if tourist behaviors annoy you), Campo Di Fiori (pizza place on north side is amazing!), Sistine Chapel (get the audio guides, sit and take your time), rented bikes in the Heart Shaped Park near Borghese (our best afternoon there). Walked to our destinations and took a taxi back, worked out just wonderfully. *** What we did right: Booked our tour tickets early, detailed itinerary, free day every 3rd day, used the Trip Advisor App on Google Tablet, buy souvenirs when we saw them instead of going back, visit as many churches as possible.
*** Least Interesting Moments: Piazza Navona (church there is amazing), vendors sell items made in China, vendors are not Italian, sell same items at most stalls. Spanish Steps (pushy street vendors, crowded, very commercialized).

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