As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.” Therefore, being able to explore all of Rome and its treasures in a day alone is a highly impossible feat. To make this equation more difficult, add a barely walking 67-year-old grandma, a history buff father, a just turned 40, take charge mom, a college party sister, the inspiring filmmaker teen, a nine year old video-game addict, and the cute when she doesn’t need a nap three year old. At first glance, most minds only see it as the unsolvable problem, but there is only one solution. His name is Silvio Biola, the “Napoleon of the Vatican”.
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We had just survived a two-hour bus ride from our port where our temporary guide tried frivolously to enchant us with her knowledge of history. There was no doubt in my mind that what she was saying was interesting, so I tried to stay awake unlike the rest of my family members. The droning of her monotonous voice began to take a toll on me, so to no avail I fell asleep. My mother woke me up when we came to a brief stop to pick up our new tour guide. He had a deep, gruff voice that penetrated the bus and woke us all up. He said his name was Silvio and he was a “true Roman.”
After we departed from the bus, we began walking to the Ruins of Rome. As we crossed the street, random pedestrians waved excitedly and shouted “Ciao Silvio!” I instantly began to notice how popular he was. I also began to notice the infinite zigzag lines to enter our destination. I stared in astonishment. Silvio quickly ushered us around the lines and to the front. As we pushed through the turnstiles, we received dirty looks and glares from the unfortunate travelers who had to wait. Then we began our adventure into ancient Rome.
The Colosseum was majestic. It was scorching hot outside, but my family and I were too entranced in Silvio’s stories of gladiators to notice. Silvio was a magnificent storyteller. He was enthusiastic and explained everything in terms my dad or my little sister could understand. Every once in a while he would implant little jokes into the stories to make them more interesting.
We encountered the long lines at the Vatican next, but were quickly rushed inside within seconds. It was packed with people shoulder to shoulder, but when you looked up you saw nothing but igrand paintings. Giant statues of different gods adorned all the halls and Silvio could tell you every name and story about them when asked. Soon we were approaching the more populated area, my little brother grabbed the back of Silvio’s shirt, I grabbed my little brothers hand, and the chain linked onto the rest of the family members. Then, Silvio began to sing. As he sung loudly, people turned around allowing us to barrel through a neat little path. We were ducking our heads trying to conceal giggles and apologize at the same time. Silvio spotted something that looked like a really tall nightstand. He told us to quickly follow after him and that it was his last trick of the day. All the sudden, Silvio ducked his head and stepped through the table pulling all of us after him. We quickly cut into the line of people about to enter the Sistine Chapel. We all quickly realized as we entered the Sistine Chapel why Silvio was called the “Napoleon of the Vatican.”
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