After a poor night’s sleep, I was awake when Sister M’s alarm went off at 5 am. The Epic was ready to pull into Civitavecchia already.
While drinking the in-room coffee, I got a laundry bag ready to take advantage of the mid-week laundry special of $19.95 for one full bag. I managed to get in 2 pairs of capris, 4 shirts, 1 pair of pajamas, and 6 undergarments. Neither sister took advantage because of the Friday delivery but my brother also did.
We all met at O’Sheehan’s for breakfast at 6:30 am. (Darn early!) Service was fast and good. The food was good but the coffee was not. :
After breakfast the three of them headed off for their 7:30 am tour with ItalyTours.eu. They were doing “Best of Rome” and had a busy day planned.
Hilltop Towns Excursion
Since my husband and I spent several days in Rome a couple of years ago I decided to do something different and booked the Hilltop Towns tour with NCL.
I arrived at the theater about 15 minutes early and found there were many tour groups meeting here. We were the last tour to be called and there were only 27 of us. We were escorted to our bus right on time and we left the port.
Our guide’s name is Rita and she lives in Civitavecchia. She mentioned that air pollution from the local coal power plant is a major problem.
The bus headed to Tuscania first. It was about an hour ride with incredible scenery.
The old part of Tuscania (founded in 7th century BC) is walled but the city has grown beyond quite a bit. We walked through the old gate opening…
and through the “town” to a viewing site.
Across the way, we could see a church,ruins and beautiful hillsides. I love these old Italian towns and could take photos forever.
We had 45 minutes or so of free time so on my way back I stopped at a cafe for a pistachio gelato…
and pictures of the scenic town.
As always, I enjoyed the fountains.
Eight people were five minutes late to the meeting point but fortunately that was the only time it occurred on this tour.
Civita di Bagnoregio
We then had another hour drive to Civita de Bagnoregio. The scenery was gorgeous but we were going to fast for me to get any good pictures.
You can’t drive to Civita so we parked in the sister city (and where virtually all the people working in Civita live) of Bagnoregio at a designated lot. Then we departed our bus and took a city bus to the starting point to walk across to Civita di Bagnoregio.
Fortunately only our group was on the shuttle over although Rita had prepared us for crowded transportation. We got there and she gave us an orientation and we had great shots from high point before heading down to the ticket booth right before the bridge.
Now I didn’t notice when we headed down to this point exactly that — we walked down a lot. It was a LONG way up on the way back!
Once Rita handed us our ticket to cross the bridge we were on our own for three hours. She had given us a map with the highlights of Civita.
Crossing the bridge itself wasn’t difficult for most and I was at the top in ten minutes although the last bit is very steep.
This town is gorgeous but it disappearing. The town is built on volcanic rock over soft clay and sand. So between the wind, landslides and other elements, it is eroding. Only seven or eight people live there full time.
There were already a couple of large school groups present but they weren’t a problem as they didn’t stay long or get in the way.
I visited the tiny church first and am glad I did as it was closed after lunch.
I walked around enjoying the beautiful scenery before selecting a restaurant for lunch.
I ended up at Cantina di Adrianna and had a lovely outdoor table in the shade.
Taking Rita’s earlier advice I ordered the wild boar along with a salad and glass of red wine.
They served me bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The meal was fantastic and I think the salad was the best I have ever had!
I also had a great time visiting with the Americans at neighboring tables. It was a perfect experience ;the kind you wish you could bottle to relive over and over. I eventually had to give up my table as there was a line of people waiting for tables and I had more exploring to do.
After another half hour of wandering around, I decided to head across the bridge and up to the meeting point (the shuttle stop)
I had to take a lot of breaks heading up to let my heart rate settle down but eventually made it to the cafe at top for water and a rest. We were all back on time and in line for the 3 pm shuttle to the bus parking. It was very crowded and I had to stand but at least we got on.
After a few minutes for hitting a souvenir shop or the restroom we headed back to the ship. Our driver, Nino, took a more direct route so it took 90 minutes and many of us slept or rested on the way.
We were back shortly before 5 pm and after tipping the driver and Rita I was onboard after going through a short line. Crew members were waiting with cold towels and drinks for returning passengers. A very nice touch!
The rest of today will be in a separate post.
If you missed the other parts of the recap the links are below.Next Vacation: Barcelona and Norwegian Epic
Barcelona Flights and Lodging Plans
Norwegian Epic: Port Call Plans
Traveling to Barcelona
Barcelona Day 1
Cava Winery Tour/Taste
La Sagrada Familia
Epic Embarkation Day
Epic Sea Day
An Epic Visit to Naples