European Vacation, Part Tres (Tuscany and Rome)

When you go on a cruise, you have the option of purchasing land excursions through the ship.  For the majority of our vacation, we decided not to book excursions and instead decided to go with the flow.

However, we did book excursions for two different ports: Florence and Rome.

Rather than visiting the city of Florence (which I’m sure was beautiful, as well), Brandon and I decided to go wine tasting in nearby Tuscany.


We took a bus from our ship to a small vineyard in the heart of Tuscany.


Everything about this winery was picturesque.


Our hostess at the vineyard was warm, funny, and very knowledgeable.


She took us on a quick tour, which included seeing the grapes and the presses they use to make olive oils.



After the tour, we were all seated at beautiful, long picnic tables. 


They had several bottles of wine on each table …


… along with cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh bread, sun-dried tomatoes, cured meats, cheeses, olives, and biscotti cookies.


It was an absolutely perfect day.  We chatted with new friends, enjoyed the gorgeous scenery, and savored the incredible treats we were given!


This was definitely the best excursion we went on. 


If you enjoy wine tasting and you’re going to be in Italy, I would recommend visiting Tuscany!  You won’t be disappointed!

The next day, we had a full day excursion in Rome.


We started out visiting the Colosseum …


… which is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture.

It was even bigger than I had expected it to be!


And much more crowded, too. Winking smile


Next, we drove toward the Vatican.


(That’s not the Vatican … just a pretty shot!)


There’s the Vatican!


In order to be allowed in to the Vatican, you have to have your knees and shoulders covered.  So I wore a long dress (which made me sweat on that hot hot day!) and I brought a small sweater to wear inside.



The pictures really don’t do this place justice.  There aren’t even words to describe the beauty of this church!


After seeing the Vatican, we broke off from our group to do our own exploring.



We only had a few hours to eat lunch and explore, so we had to hurry to see everything we wanted to see.


First we saw the Pantheon.


The Pantheon was originally built as a pagan temple, but was later used as a Catholic church.

Next we hurried over to the Trevi Fountain.


This was probably the tourist attraction that I was most excited to see.  Isn’t it gorgeous??


The only downside was how many people were standing around!  I just could not get over the amount of tourists everywhere we went. 

I think the time of year you go makes a difference.  July is obviously quite a popular month! Winking smile

So next, we visited the Spanish steps.


The steps were built in 1723, in order to connect the Spanish square at the bottom of the stairs to the French church at the top.  Since that time, they have become one of the top “must sees” in Rome.


But honestly?  I just thought they looked like normal steps. Who me?

But what do I know?


Overall, I’m really glad that we visited Rome.  It is a beautiful city, rich in history and gorgeous architecture.  But I do think that we tried to cram too much into one day. 

If I were to go back again, I would either: a. Plan to be in Rome for several days or b. Make it a more leisurely day, and not worry about seeing all of the major tourist attractions!

So that recaps our days in Tuscany and Rome.  I know I said that this was the last Europe-focused post, but I do want to write just one more.  I still have pictures to share from Capri, plus I want to give some more tips that I learned from our trip!  Several of you have commented that you might want to do a similar vacation, and I would love to pass on some of the knowledge that I have now acquired!


Question for ya …

What are you doing this weekend?

I have a baby shower to attend tomorrow for a friend from church … can’t wait!! Smile

Ever gone to a wine tasting?

When you go on vacation, are you more “go with the flow” or “hurry and see everything!”?





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Posted on by notsodomesticated Posted in Food, Travel

20 Responses to European Vacation, Part Tres (Tuscany and Rome)

  1. Amy

    Answering your question… I had to run to see everything in Rome I mean we didn’t miss a Euro lol. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I almost got ran over and beeped at lol. A big regret I never got to go actually in the Vatican the lines were a mile long and we had to see everything else.
    Did you go see the leaning tower of Pisa? That was amazing!!

  2. Kelli

    Thank you so much for sharing these I cant wait to show my husband these pics tonight he loves all the art and architecture!

  3. kaceyjt

    I have a baby shower to attend this weekend, too! It seems like my schedule used to be full of weddings, but now it’s all babies…I guess I’m getting old:p
    kaceyjt recently posted..Sacher BarsMy Profile

  4. Jan Petters

    Bellissima! Sembra un viaggio di divertimento!

    Beautiful! It looks like a fun trip!

    Ha Ha used my translation app for fun. :)

  5. Corrie Anne

    Wow, you did do a LOT!! I’m a totally go with the flow vacationer. I tend to not see a lot of things, but have a really good time!!! Lol.
    Corrie Anne recently posted..Blueberry Lime Salsa + Morning Creativity Is OverratedMy Profile

  6. Megan@ The Running Doc

    When I went to Europe with a group of my high school girl friends it was definitely “hurry up and see everything” in every city we visited. We didn’t do any wine tastings but that vineyard looks beautiful. Definitely something I’ll add to my list of things to do if I ever make it back to Italy.
    Megan@ The Running Doc recently posted..40 Minute Elliptical + Circuit WorkoutMy Profile

  7. Yellow Haired Girl

    I love the Trevi Fountain! I went on an Italy/Greece trip in high school … and that will always stand out in my mind. Just beautiful!

    Very cute maxi dress!
    Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..Lessons LearnedMy Profile

  8. amy @ fearless homemaker

    we have so many similar pictures from our trip to italy last fall — too fun! looks like you had a wonderful time. =)
    amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..watermelon ice cream cakeMy Profile

  9. Tessa @ Amazing Asset

    Gahhh Rome is a place I MUST go one day, and I am telling you now, it will happen :) Fantastic pictures lady, what a wonderful experience
    Tessa @ Amazing Asset recently posted..LA Recap- Part 1, Encountering ObstaclesMy Profile

  10. Erin @ erinberries

    I went to Rome just last year. Apparently the Spanish Steps were built on some rolling hills. And the steps are “rolling” with the hills.
    Erin @ erinberries recently posted..You Didn’t Know What?!My Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Ohhh! Erin, you’re so smart. I should have brought you with me, to be my tour guide! Haha! :)

  11. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy

    Rome looks so beautiful! I don’t have any big plans this weekend, but it’ll be kind of nice! Have fun at the baby shower!
    Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..Honeymoon Recap, Part 4: Under the SeaMy Profile

  12. Jessie

    I’m just loving all these recaps. It’s so cool to see pictures of the different countries & all the beautiful architecture, food & surrounding that comes a long. Oh I lovee your dress. It’s adorable!!

    Have a great weekend girl :) . We’ll be staying in since were having sandstorms.
    Jessie recently posted..Liebster AwardMy Profile

  13. Alyssa @ fit and fun in third

    I LOVE reading all your recaps and comparing our trips! I couldn’t get over how many tourists were everywhere, too… it was impossible to walk around without getting bumped into and pushed around!
    Wasn’t Tuscany gorgeous?? I loved our wine tasting, too… so much fun! :)
    Alyssa @ fit and fun in third recently posted..Family time and Limoncello!My Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      The tourist thing was super annoying. Of course, I couldn’t get TOO annoying since I was a tourist, too hahah! :)

  14. natalie @ southern fit foodie

    When we are on vacation, we are usually “go with the flow” type people, but there are some places where you really want to get in as much as possible! Your pictures are gorgeous!

    I’ve only done a local wine tasting, but I would love to do more!

    We went to Memphis last night for Daniel’s birthday. Tonight we have setup for church tomorrow and that’s about it. :)
    natalie @ southern fit foodie recently posted..the rest of daniel’s birthday week and my announcementMy Profile

  15. Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health

    Oh my goodness, Italy is one of the places that I desperately want to go to! I would love seeing Tuscany and doing a wine tasting there :) . I’m relaxing this weekend and seeing a friend from college! I hope you have a great one friend!
    Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Burpee Cardio CircuitMy Profile

  16. Sloane @ Life Food and Beer

    I did a semester abroad in Tuscany while in college! It was beautiful and I could picture myself living there one day! This post reminded me of my summer there and made me miss Italy. What city were you in for the wine tasting?

    One of my favorite parts was house wine on tap… 1 euro! For a college student, that was a deal!
    Sloane @ Life Food and Beer recently posted..Beer and… Yea Just Beer!My Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Honestly, I have no idea haha! I just know we were in Tuscany. And I have a picture of a wine bottle there, so you can see the name of the vineyard. We were on a cruise excursion, so we just let the bus drive us to the location! ;)

  17. Pingback: A pink party and a slow cooker recipe. | Confessions of a (Not-So) Domesticated Newlywed

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