This was perhaps one of the most exciting thing for the girls on this section of this trip. A great way to see Rome — a vespa tour. Grace, our Rome tour guide had really pushed for this one. And oh, these girls were pretty filled with anticipation for that thing.

Now, let’s get this straight: the traffic in Rome is no cakewalk I tell you. So I’m sure it was with good reason that the guys at the vespa place were pretty particular about making sure we were confident driving those things.

They made Elle and Grace (our drivers) do circles in the little square. A few times until they were confident they would be able to weave in and out of the crazy Rome traffic. Those girls have both had their fair share of experience so they passed the “test.”

Still, our tour guy had me ride on the back of his vespa until he was more sure all was well. Ha!

A Vespa Tour of Rome

We zipped around the city and it was pretty exhilarating I must say.

Our guide took us to more off-the-beaten-track spots that we loved.

Aventine Keyhole

This is a famous Rome keyhole of the Priory of the Knights of Malta. It’s famous because you can see two nation-states and one country all in one shot. You see, the Knights of Malta is a nation-state as well as the Vatican. And you can see the dome of St. Peter’s perfectly framed through the keyhole.

Here we are looking:

I couldn’t get a good picture through that thing so this pic is from a website that also has some good information about it if you want more.

The view from the Aventine Keyhole we visited on our vespa tour

St. Paul’s Basilica

Next we went to St. Paul’s Basilica.

Not to be confused with St. Peter’s in the heart of Rome. This one is a little more on the outskirts.

I especially loved this stop because I had been reading so much about Paul in the New Testament after never really “getting” that before.

a statue of St. Paul

So much power in one man who went from persecuting the church to one of the most famous apostles.

This is where Paul is apparently buried, and it is a famous destination for pilgrimage since 300 AD. (there are four major basilicas that are made pilgrimage I think every 25 years).

It is a pretty impressive place.

There are statues all around the outskirts of the main building, maybe one of the spots where my church got inspired to have the statues of the apostles at the temple:

a view of St. Paul's on our vespa tour

Cimitero Acattolico

This cemetery is also known as the Protestant or English Cemetery. It’s where non-catholics were buried in Rome.

Shelly and Keats are buried at this cemetary.

The cemetery where Keats is buried that we visited on our vespa tour

More Exploring

We visited another spot with a great lookout and some other historical landmarks.

We passed by many places we had already seen and explored. It was fun to see how they fit in with the overall picture of Rome.

As luck would have it, we made a stop at the very same church Grace had taken us to that morning:

The one with the incredible ceiling.

We took it all in one more time, with a little more historical background…like it is actually painted to look taller than it is.

We better end with this fabulous “portrait” shot of the girls.

Ha! They thought it was so funny that our tour guides were so into the portrait setting.

Yes, a vespa tour is a pretty exhilarating way to spend a morning in Rome.

One we won’t soon forget!

Shawni and the girls with our vespa guide

Other posts about Rome:

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