“All roads lead to Rome”. After all these years of traveling, my road finally led me to Rome.
And yes, technically, we were in Rome for 3 days, but it was more like 48 hours. We walked and walked and walked, but still I wish we had more time and could take it a bit easier.
Why is Rome so special?
If you’ve never been to Rome, you cannot imagine Rome for real, at least I couldn’t. It’s like an open-air museum. Wherever you go, there is something historical to see: a monument, a square, a fountain, an old building.
Just walking around the city made me feel like I traveled a couple of centuries back in time.
Walking tour through Rome?
I usually have a great experience with walking tours wherever I go, but this one was not so great. Don’t know if the guide was the problem or Rome has a lot of things to offer… But this time I remember only running around for two hours, not being able to take photos, not hearing half of stuff she said, and also hearing and seeing so many things that I didn’t remember 🙂
So the next day the two of us made the walking tour of our own, and took as much time as we wanted.
First thing I wanted to do, is to see the Colosseum. Not to eat, to see the Colosseum 🙂
Could you imagine going out of the metro station and standing in the city center near something that was built 70-80 A.D? So many years ago this amphitheater held over 65.000 audience members watching gladiator contests.
Since it was the 1st of May, entrance to the Colosseum was free (otherwise it’s 16 euro), but the crowd was huge. So the idea to skip the tour, wonder around the city center and come back other time, was great, except we didn’t find time to go back and actually do it.
Next to the Colosseum, there are a lot of ruins which once represented an ancient city of the Roman empire. According to a legend, the city of ancient Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C.
This whole place was actually buried underground and these ruins weren’t excavated till 1898.
And this is me, annoyed by our tour guide 🙂
Ticket for the Colosseum is for entering the Roman Forum as well, so no, I haven’t visited this one either. Shame, shame, shame…
Trevi fountain, one of the most famous fountains in the world, was the second thing I remember from 2 hour running around tour.
I even got a nice photo from that day.
The fountain has its tradition where people throw coins over their shoulder. The legend says it will bring you good fortune and one day you will return to Rome.
Believe it or not, around 3.000 euro is thrown into the fountain every day. Money is collected for charity, helping the ones in need.
On our own walking tour, we came back to the fountain, and got as many pictures we wanted. But when you ask someone to take a photo of you, you usually get something like this 🙂
If you don’t recognize it, it’s the Trevi fountain water 🙂
Piazza Navona is my favorite square in Rome, and the most famous one. It has 3 beautiful fountains and it’s full of restaurants, painters and musicians who give nice atmosphere to it.
The square is so large it can hardly fit in one photo.
For me, this is the best place just to sit down, taste Italian kitchen and enjoy Rome. It’s not cheap, of course, but it was totally worth it.
Rome has so many beautiful squares in the city centre, so where ever you go and whichever you choose for your break, you won’t be disappointed.
Pantheon, which was built in 27 B.C. was a former Roman temple. It was destroyed in 80 A.D. due to a fire, second time hit by a lightning and destroyed in 110 A.D. Later in 125 A.D. transformed into a Catholic church like we know it today. Third time’s the charm 🙂
Now it’s the best preserved building from ancient Rome.
There is no enter fee to the Pantheon. It is free. But it is closed on holidays, like the 1st of May for example 🙂
Luckily, there’s a nice little square in front of the Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda.
We had found some cute restaurant and sat for a glass of wine and enjoyed the crowd and the Pantheon from a distance.
Vatican city is actually an independent country since 1929. Yeey I can add one more number to the list of countries I’ve visited 🙂
It’s the smallest one in the world. It’s one eighth the size of the Central Park in New York.
It’s the seat of the Roman Catholic church and the home of the Pope. And of course, the Vatican museum. It has its own flag, passports, printed euro’s, license plates, etc. But Vatican history began in the 4th century A.D.
There is so much to see here, so we had spent a couple of hours. We had a prebooked guided tour. It’s really a must if you want to skip lines and not to wonder around without any clue where to go next. And a plus, you can hear a lot of interesting facts about sculptures, paintings, architecture of the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica…
Even if you’re not an art person, you surely know about that picture with Adam and God barely touching their fingers. You can see that picture (Creation of Adam) painted onto the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo himself.
It’s prohibited to take photos inside the Sistine Chapel, but anywhere else its allowed without using flash.
It is really something you must see, but prepare yourself for marching through the crowds of people.
Piazza del Popolo
Now a pedestrian zone, but for centuries this was the main entrance to the city during the Roman Empire. This oval square was the first thing travelers saw entering the city, so the architects made it stand out with an obelisk and twin churches.
Its dating back to 3th century AD, but in 1589 it became Piazza del Popolo.
Three streets branch out from the piazza into the city, but I found Via del Corso the most interesting. Guess what, it’s a shopping street 🙂
And why all these pictures with the roses? Some random guy practically made us buy them, so we have like 20 pictures with the roses. As you can see, not even one representing the square like it should have 🙂
On the other side of my favorite street in Rome, via del Corso, there is Piazza Venezia. It’s the biggest roundabout in the centre of the 4 major roads.
The building of the Palazzo Venezia is the imposing one and impossible not to notice. This building was built by a Venetian cardinal who became Pope Paul II. Even Mussolini had his office in the Palazzo Venezia, but today is a museum of Medieval and Renaissance art.
Other than seeing this huge white monument, you will also notice the monument of the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II.
A beautiful bridge with sculptures, connects Rome city centre from one side and the Castel Sant’Angelo to the other side over river Tiber. Its history goes back to the 2nd century AD.
There is a secret passage, 800 meters long, that links Vatican City with Castel Sant’Angelo. This is how Pope Clement VII escaped the siege of Rome.
It’s considered the most beautiful bridge in Rome. You should really check it out. Especially by night. Don’t mind my photo, it’s not that nice, I know 🙂
What not to see in Rome?
If you don’t have much time, like I didn’t, don’t just run around trying to visit everything that’s marked on the tourist map. For example I regret wasting my time and going to see the Pyramid, or Republica square. I think visiting Trastevere area, or going on a tour in the Coloseum would be a better option.
Rome is really the city that stands out from all the others I’ve ever visited. I just regret not having enough time so I could do or see things I wanted but couldn’t.
I really hope the Trevi fountain will do its magic and bring me back to Rome one day 🙂