The Sistine Chapel is closed. Now What?


I recently had a conversation with one of my suppliers and we were talking about the fact that many travelers are upset that they cannot take the complete Vatican – Sistine Chapel tour as the Sistine Chapel is closed and they would like a refund.


Get a grip people!  This is Italy and all of the tour guides in Rome can manage changes like this.  You must be flexible when you travel.  You will be in Rome during the making of history!

I remember taking a small group to Italy and the day we left for Italy the pope died.  I knew there would be changes along the way but it did not bother me.  I was thrilled to be in Rome during this event.  And an event it was!    We arrived in Rome on the day of his funeral.  The private bus had to leave us two blocks from the hotel which was located on the Vatican side of Rome.  We dragged our bags along the cobblestone streets and when we entered the hotel we left our bags and joined the crowds.  We still remember the experience and still talk about to this day.  We also were scheduled to see the Sistine Chapel on our tour but it was closed!

What did we do?  We continued with your plans and enjoyed  the rest of the tour which included the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Enjoy Rome people! Be a better traveler by immersing yourself in the local culture rather than being a tourist!

Any of you readers experience changes in your itinerary while in Italy?  What was the outcome?  Did you still enjoy yourself?

A Favorite Restaurant in Rome – L’Asino D’Oro

Whenever I go to Italy I always like to try new restaurants.  This fall when Gourmet Getaways brought 15 eager travelers to Italy I knew had to try some new restaurants when we arrived in Rome.  Br. Paul Diveny, from Delbarton School, and I knew that we would have some followers for dinner one evening.  I had been doing a lot of research before leaving the states and knew that I wanted to try L’Asino d’ Oro. There were six of us that evening.  Since we were staying at the Palazzo Manfredi it was not a difficult walk from the hotel but I would suggest you take a cab.

Lucio Sforza, the chef, is originally from Orvieto so his cuisine is Umbrian.  He is very adventurous in mixing his ingredients.  His creations are over the top.  There was so much to choose from that it was very difficult to make a decision.  We all decided that we were going to order as many different dishes as we could and none of us were disappointed!

He has an extensive wine list that will not break the bank.  Everyone had an appetizer and main dish.  Of course we were very thrilled with the entire meal, including desserts.

If you are going with a small group I suggest you make a reservation.  Go a little early as the locals will fill up the restaurant later in the evening.

As we were leaving the restaurant I noticed the jar of biscotti.  The manager offered me two which I gladly took.  I  never refuse biscotti.  They were delicious and I wish I could have had more!  Crunchy and full of flavor!

I highly recommend this restaurant.  When I return to Rome I will definitely go back here!  Go with an appetite and be daring in your selection.  You will not be disappointed.

L’Asino d’Oro on Via del  Boschetto – go there on your next visit.  Maybe I will see you there!

Ostia Antica - an easy visit from Rome

About 30 minutes from Rome lies Ostia Antica!  During our stay in Rome I arranged for a morning tour of this ancient site.  It was a clear day with mild temperatures so it was perfect day to tour this ancient park.  We met our guide at the hotel and drove 30 minutes to Ostia Antica.  I highly recommend having a guide so that they can tell you about the history of this ancient port. Ostica Antica was an ancient port for Rome located right  on the mouth of the Tiber River.  It was founded in the 4th BC by rich businessmen, merchants, sailors and slaves.  There are many parts to this ancient ruin including: Decumanus Maximus ( the main city street), the Forum, the theatre, Capitolium, an elaborate bath complex,  which still contain beautiful mosaics.  These are just a few mentioned features of this ancient park.

The entire park is quite extensive and can take you up to three hours to explore so wear comfortable shoes!  The entrance fee is 4 euros, and accessible by subway from Rome.  Well worth the visit to see how the people of Rome lived many years ago!  Rome’s answer to Pompeii – only older!