Four years ago, Mr. Beez and I were cruising the Mediterranean for our honeymoon. The ship happened to have a stop in Rome on Easter Sunday. We assumed this would be a disaster. After all, isn’t the city overwhelmingly Catholic? Wouldn’t the city be disappointingly quiet?
We were thrilled to hear that we were wrong. A lot of the small family businesses (shops, restaurants, etc) were closed for the holiday, but there were plenty that were still open. Rome was awake, but not stiflingly crowded.
We kicked off our visit by hanging out with the Pope. I thought St. Peter’s Square would be packed and you’d have to have special tickets to get in, but that was not the case at all. It was open to the public and there were plenty of people, but not obnoxiously packed at all.
We next made our way over to the Palatine and the Colosseum, which despite the Easter Holiday, were both open to the public. Lucky for us, the usual tourist hordes were all searching for eggs or having family meals or what have you, and not crowding up our visit.
And since our travel time was not bogged down with fighting through people, we even had time for a visit to the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
As you can see, there were definitely tourists out and about, but it was nowhere near the Mid-July-At-Disneyland level of crowds that I had expected.
Despite our hesitations, our Roman Easter Holiday turned out fantastic. We’d love to go back for more in-depth exploring of the city (and in my case, several leisurely afternoons of sipping wine at outdoor cafes, watching the passers by), but the few hours we did get to spend there were lovely.