We left our hotel in Rome knowing that this was the last night we would spend on land for some time. We arrived at the Garden of Ninfa for a walking tour. The garden started life as a medieval town which was sacked and destroyed in the 1300’s then abandoned. In the 1920s the Caetani family began to restore the ruins and change its 260 acres into a summer residence. Leila Caetani and her mother transformed it into lovely English garden. The Caetanis brought plants are from all over the world and organized them around the ancient ruins. The humidity, frequent rains and the Ninfa River supply enough moisture for all the plants and trees to survive. The garden is now run by a family foundation. Although it had been closed for COVID, they opened it up for an OAT tour!

We later had lunch at a restaurant and arrived at the Artemis, our very own almost private ship. Although the Artemis can carry 50 passengers, there were only 29 of us and we were definitely  pampered.  

We were all happy to completely unpack; there was no need to get a suitcase out for awhile since the Artemis was to be our home for the next ten days. Of course we had the mandatory, legally required fire drill. It included important onboard and port information. On some of the large cruise ships, in addition to important information, it is a photo-op for the ship’s photographer to take pictures of passengers in bulky life-jackets and then place them on the bulletin board for sale. We had Jorge for that.

The captain and hotel manager introduced the entire crew while we all relaxed with a pre-dinner drink. We then enjoyed the first of many wonderful dinners as on the ship.