St PetersA really early start today, just woke early luckily. Strange that the first night we were here we had to get up and shut the window in the night as it was too cold now last night all the windows open and the air conditioning would have been a better idea.

I think giving the house red at the Trattoria Pallaro a miss next time would also be in order, it's a touch rough (or so says my head).

Out the door before 7 and back to St Peter's for a trot up the 550 odd steps (Mary skipped a couple of hundred of them by opting for the lift, probably wisely) to the top of the dome. The basilica is huge and fabulous, way beyond our expectations, although I had seen it before some 40 years ago. Don't miss it if you can help it.

The guide book says an early start is essential to avoid the queues. Don't think there's time for breakfast first as the books are absolutely right.

An electric bus took us back to Campo D' Fiori where we took up the Lonely Planets recommended walking tour including an excellent breakfast and coffee and ended at the rather disappointing Spanish Steps. Highlights, apart from the coffee, were the Pantheon, Bernini's statue 'Elefantino' and of course the Trevi Fountain.

Inside the DomeOnce you get amongst the hoards of tourists everything suffers and we had an expensive and mediocre lunch near to the Via Condotti, a street full of big 'brand' name shops selling the same ludicrously overpriced crap they do in every other big city on the planet. Best advice? Avoid.

Another bus back to Largo dei Pallaro courtesy of our Roma Pass and a very welcome shower and change of clothing.

We've been hammering the Lavamatic washing machine but the drying facilities consist of two ropes with pulleys outside the bedroom window. Today i found out that if you remove the peg without holding on to the knickers they fall three stories into the well and land on the roof at the bottom. The Lonely Planet phrase book does not run to how to say to the ground floor inhabitants "I dropped my knickers from a great hight can I have them back please?"

Trevi FountainDrinks in the Campo again and and excellent dinner (and wines) in Cul De Sac, lovely spot, would go again.