Continuing on with the capital city theme lets take a look at Rome. This city is one of a kind situated right in the middle of Rome. It was said that there were two Brothers who designed the city. These brothers were raised by a wolf and decided to design the city. They were called Romulus and Remus. Romulus killed Remus after an argument and hence Romulus went on to build the city of Rome. The city is large and filled with ancient history from the Romans to the renaissance. I recommend that you have at least 4 full days and an excellent pair of walking shoes to really enjoy what this city has to offer.
I don’t know if anyone else has a travel inspiration from a film when they were younger. (Monte Carlo). For me the Lizzie McGuire movie which came out in the early 2000s cemented my love of Rome. She has an adventure with a musician and explores the city and has a true romance story. She over comes adversary and sings “Hey Now” which I had to play on my walk around the city. Check it out.
Here is a few tips on what to do and see.
Rome airport is about half an hour away from the city centre. However, it is easily accessible by train. Once in the city centre, I recommend that you take a taxi to your accommodation if it is no close by. The taxis are not overly expensive. Rome’s underground is not as vast as other cities. Every time they dig, they discover new ruins which are automatically protected. The underground that is present is very efficient however and fairly priced. The best way to get around Rome is to walk. A lot of the sites are very close together and you never know what you might find when you are exploring the city.
Rome is HOT. The early spring it can already be 20 degrees which is fairly comfortable and it may not cool down until the end of the summer. The high summer can easily be over 30 everyday but Rome is humid in the summer so unless you are used to these temperatures and busy streets then be prepared. Rome has been known to see snow but winter usually sits around ten degrees but as the houses are built for heat, you can really feel the chill at night.
Rome has a great variation in hotels and hostels. The more expensive locations are closer to the centre. There are some great hostel spots right by the main train station, all equipped with a bar, booze bus and local restaurants for convenience.
At the south side of Piazza Nova there is a small side street which is pedestrianised. Go down this street and you will find a tiny restaurant covered in ivy and fairy lights. This place has the best spag bol I have ever tasted!!!
This is the icon of Rome. It sits on the edge of the centre and has a tube stop right next to it. Ensure that you book your tickets in advance and get a tour guide. This is the perfect Instagram moment and the history of the structure will astound you. The arch of Constantine is also right next to it.
The old city ruins
Scattered amongst the city are various Roman ruins. The main ruins are right next to the colosseum. These have the house of the virgins. The heart of Romulus and some of the original structures of the city. Again, you will need to book in advance and have a guide to really help you know what you are looking at. These structures are incredible and can be brought to life with your imagination.
(sorry my pics are slightly blurry. Taken a while ago on a dodgy phone.)
The Trevi fountain is one of the iconic fountains in Rome. This makes it very busy, so try to go early or later at night. The fountain has the power to grant wishes. But you have to turn your back and throw a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand for your wish to come true. However, see if you can find the artificial window which was boarded up after a young boy committed suicide by falling to into the fountain.
Even if you are not religious the Vatican is an incredible place to visit but ensure you dress modestly. It holds some of the finest art work in the country. One of the halls holds the first concept of 3D art. It also has the Sistine chapel with Michelangelo’s picture of Adam touching god which is in excellent condition. St Peters church is one of the largest I have ever been in. Though not being protestant, it has less meaning for me. You never know you might see the Pope on his balcony or give a sermon.
This building is still standing and in use at nearly 2000 years old. It was built during hardians reign who also built a four-foot wall to keep the scots out of England. It is right in the heart of the city in the pedestrianised areas and close to the Trevi fountain.
I really recommend booking a walking tour. These can often be free and in a different language. Ensure that they have an ID card as Italy is really strict about its tour guides and you don’t want to be scammed. These folks often work on tips and are cheaper so at least give them 10 euros. Having a guide brings the history to life and there is so much to do in Rome. I have barely scratched the surface. Time to go and discover the rest for yourself!