Rome to Stroncone

Our plan Sunday was to pick up the rental car at noon. We checked out of our hotel and stowed our bags there. Then we walked to the park near the rental car place and people watched for a bit.

Sunday morning in the park

Renting the car was an adventure. We had a reservation guaranteed to cover the total rental cost. The lady in the single person Sixt rental car office told us that the cost was going to be over $500 more than the guaranteed price. We have rented a lot of cars in Europe and we have never had a problem like this.

After arguing for a bit we left and looked into renting someplace else. But, long story short, she eventually cancelled our non refundable reservation and booked us another car for basically the same price. I don’t know if she was trying to scam us or she was inexperienced and using their system wrong or what, but three hours later we finally had out car and were leaving Rome.

Roadside stop to stretch our legs.

When we arrived in Stroncone, the medieval hill town where we are staying there were cars parked along the road everywhere as we drove through the people walking up to the town. When we got to the main square it was closed and we found out that the Chestnut Fastival was going on!

So we parked out of town, along the road, at the bottom of the hill. We left our suitcases and walked up to our hotel. It did help that once we got to town there was an elevator that took us up to the road near our hotel. It’s so much fun to happen upon local festivals.

The Chestnut Festival in Stroncone

We walked around enjoying all the activity. They were roasting chestnut in a barrel with a crank over a big fire.

Roasting chestnuts

We had some wine and chestnuts. A cone of hot roasted chestnuts and a glass of wine cost us €3.

Wine and hot roasted chestnuts

About 7pm the square was open and we were able to walk to the car, move it to the town parking lot and get our suitcases.

Rome and Vatican City – 23 October 2021

Saturday we had tickets to see the Vatican Museum at 6:30 in the evening. That was the earliest we could get tickets. We left our hotel around noon and did a lot of walking and saw a lot of Rome.

We saw the Italian Parliament and the obelisk they took from Egypt after conquering Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.

Italian parliament

We saw the Pantheon,


had coffee on Piazza Navona overlooking the four rivers fountain,

Coffee on Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona

And then walked across the Tiber and got our first view of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Tiber with St. Peter’s in the distance.

At St. Peter’s Square we waited in a 30 minute line to get into the basilica. It is enormous and it’s beauty is like no other church I have ever visited.

St Peter’s Square
St. Peter’s Basilica
The alter and bronze canopy at St. Peter’s

From St. Peter’s we walked about 20 minutes to the Vatican Museum. It is enormous too. I bet we only saw a quarter of what there is to see. We ended with the Sistine Chapel. I particularly liked the map hall.

Map of Sardinia in the map gallery
Map Gallery
One of the ceilings.

The quantity and quality of the art works was overwhelming. By the time we left the museum it was dark. We had a nice view of St. Peter’s from some of the windows.

Our feet were hurting and we were worn out. We planned to get a cab back to the hotel but couldn’t find one. So we got gelato and walked the 40 minutes back to the hotel.