Let me tell you a short story about a remarkable dream-come-true in Rome:
It starts with a little girl of European immigrants, orphaned at age 3 in Erie, Pa. Little Theresa was taken in by her older sister, of meager means who was the mother of three children of her own.
Unfortunately, Theresa was separated from her other siblings and had to learned to fend for herself at this early age.
As a young girl, she developed a strong faith in God and she had the desire to become a nun. But due to intense financial issues in the home, she had to quit middle school and go to work. As time passed, she soon found herself a single mother of three children of her own and abandoned by her husband.
Although she was only able to complete the eighth grade, her oldest son became an engineer, the second son, a physician and her daughter, a nurse.
She became a matriarch to her family and a motivator to her grandchildren. She instilled faith, hope, and forgiveness through God into her children and grandchildren. This is especially noteworthy because prayer and faith were rapidly becoming unfashionable.
Finally, at 93, Theresa voiced a life-long, unfulfilled wish that she could have seen the Pope and visited the Vatican in her life time.
And, that mission became our challenge !
Of course, this took discovery, investigation, participation by all her children, and a bit of faith to make it happen.
Let’s face it, traveling across the Atlantic and all through Rome with a 93 year old is a bit like walking out on a limb. Plus, trying to keep it all at a reasonable cost.
Then we discovered Vitor Tours and Marcello !
He and his assistant, Christina, helped us develop an itinerary that was exciting yet restful, complete yet do-able, plus they scheduled a driver and guide to get it all done.
Did I mention the restaurants and food, pasta, artichokes, vino, limoncello ?!
The driver and guide coordinated between themselves so that the car was readily available when and where we needed it.
Have you seen the traffic in Rome ?
Or the parking in Amalfi ?
At the Papal Audience in St Peters Square, we were in awe as we watched our guide, Martina literally run to get us a seat in the first row. This put Theresa within arm’s reach of the Pope: her first wish comes true !!
Theresa walked the entire Vatican, marveled at the Sistine Chapel, and touched the worn feet of St Peter at St Peter’s Basilica.
She was able to take it all in at her own pace with Martina’s guidance. Second wish completed !
As an added bonus, Theresa stayed in the Santa Brigida Convent while in Rome, which enabled her to worship with the nuns every morning before breakfast. How is three for three on the wishes !
Of course, we shopped the open markets of Camp de Fiori, visited the Trastevere and Jewish districts, the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, over looked the Roman Forum and stood on the floor of the Colosseum right where the gladiators fought for their lives, all while listening intently to Martina.
From their we traveled to Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast. Although the Blue Grotto was not on the itinerary, our guide made that happen for me.
At the risk of sounding like an ad for Vitor Tours, please excuse me. This is, instead, a heart-felt THANK YOU to Marcello, Christina, Martina and all the staff.
The key here is to appreciate that the Vitor Staff made it their priority to understand our mission and to thank them for their attention to detail to make it happen. No stress.
CIAO .....for now, we threw coins into the Trevi, so we’ll be back !! ☺️
Dr Kathleen T
Dr Tom T