Days 1 & 2
: No sleep at all on flights, but enjoyed getting caught up with S on the Atlanta to Rome leg. Arrived mid-morning and the hotel room was (surprisingly) available. We got our day trip to Pompeii booked for the next day, and then set out.
Walked thru the Borghese Gardens (our hotel was just east of there), shared a panino from a cart. Saw a very cool statue in the Piazza Barberini. Works by this artist are actually all over town; this is just the first one I saw.
Had to visit the Spanish Steps because I missed them on my first visit years ago. Walked in to the first leather store we saw and bought the first jacket I tried on. It seemed too good to be true, but I really liked it.
Rest of that day: Palazzo Barberini, Museum of Decorative Arts (don't remember the Italian name), Capuccin Crypt (eerily decorated with bones from thousands of monks), long grumpy walk back to the hotel. Cleaned up, nice dinner out, bed.
: Day trip to Pompeii. They weren't kidding. We were picked up at 7 am and got back about 10:30 pm. Lovely drive and saw some sights in Naples. Stopped at a cameo factory (tourist trap) but bought a ring anyway. I didn't think I wanted one, but liked the non-traditional ones very much.
Pompeii was fascinating. It was worth the long day to have the few hours there.
: Half day City Tour included Vatican (Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's), Palatine Hill with great view of parts of the Forum, and Colisseum. On our own, rest of the day: Forum, Trajan's Forum, Capitoline Hill, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Theater Marcellus, Jewish quarter, Trevi Fountain, dinner in Piazza Barberini. Lots of shopping every day... We rarely failed to slow down for shoes or purses in store windows.
: Catacombs of St. Priscilla - probably my favorite activity in Rome. Cool (in both senses of the word), creepy, couldn't get enough. Took bus to Termini, walked to Basilica of St. Peter-in-Chains (S. Pietro in Vincula) where Michelangelo's Moses statue is. Galleria Doria Pamphilj - odd museum with some great works by Caravaggio, Titian, Durer - the family that owns the palace still lives on the top floor. Crypta Balbi - newish archeological museum. Very modern - active digs on the grounds.