The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Rome is History. The city is seeped in history and the awe inspiring architecture which inspired countless majestic buildings all over Europe would surely impress anyone. The Roman empire pretty much founded many important European cities of present time. The Italian capital boasts of both modern and historical mix of things, be it the beautiful old buildings in the downtown or the modern flashy restaurants serving delicious Italian cuisine.
Rome is one of those destinations that should definitely not be missed even if you are not into history. The majestic Colosseum with its 2000 year old history along with the tales of some of the heroic Gladiators entertaining the audiences with their violent and gruesome fights, historic monuments that dates back to centuries and mouth watering gelatos would leave you wanting for more when you visit this amazing destination. Even though it’s a big city, it has a kind of charm that can’t be expressed in words. Each and every thing about this city would mesmerise you like never before. The city stands true to its famous saying “Rome was not built in a day”.
We definitely didn’t get enough of Rome and are pretty sure that we would pack our bags and visit again pretty soon! We can hear those mesmerising Roman streets calling out name already…
How to reach and transportation in the city:
Rome is extremely well connected due to its popularity and flights regularly fly in and out of Rome. It’s also well connected by train and road. We traveled to Rome from Salerno via high speed train and it hardly took a few hours to get to Rome. When in Europe, try to take advantage of the excellent train connectivity all over Europe.
Metro in Rome is fast, flexible and very cheap. Similar to many other popular European cities, getting around the city is a piece of cake, thanks to the many lines of the Metro serving the length and breadth of the city. You could always get a day pass for metros and/or bus but we enjoyed exploring the city on foot. All major attractions are within walking distance and we really enjoyed getting lost in those Roman streets.
Things to do:
Visiting Rome and skipping colosseum would be a crime. The iconic symbol of Rome, the Colosseum was originally known as the Flavian amphitheatre, stands tall in the prominent part of the city. This majestic monument has stood through many wars, damages caused by thieves, barbaric raids and earthquakes. We highly recommend taking a guided tour of the colosseum through one of the renowned tour operators. We opted for Gladiator Tours and it was well worth it. This way, you would get a fast track entry into the colosseum and also learn about the interesting facts about the monument. Colosseum is so massive that without the guided tour you would be going around inside the colosseum without knowing the head or tail of it, wasting many valuable hours. With the guided tour, the knowledgeable and humorous guide would explain all the fun facts and interesting stories in an hours time and would let you explore this great piece of architecture on your own. The tour typically includes the nearby Roman forum which dates back to 7th century BC and Palatine Hill as well where the great Julius Caesar has been laid to rest. We were completely in awe listening to the stories and were trying to picture the lives of Roman people.
A trip to Rome should definitely include the beautiful Trevi fountain. The grandeur and beauty of this fountain can’t be explained in words or photographs. You have to be there to see the beauty through your own eyes! Be aware of the huge crowd around the fountain and no wonder it’s so crowded. It will be close to impossible to take a nice shot of the place without strangers in the frame. The seasoned photoshop professional wouldn’t mind the crowd but for the normal people, you will need to wait for your moment and seize it. One of the best times to visit the fountain would be either early morning or really late evenings when there would be fewer crowd and the place would look just magical.
Legend says, if you throw a coin with you right hand over your left shoulder, your return to Rome is ensured! Now, I threw a coin from my right hand over my right shoulder. 🙄 Wondering what would that mean? 🤔🤔Well, I didn't even get a chance to go back to the fountain and do it right the next time. 😓 . All said, the fountain is spectacular and mesmerizing! And I do want to go back to Rome some day because it's such a charming city.. #livingeurope #living_europe #living_destinations #europe #visiteurope
Pantheon, the temple of all Gods, is one of the best preserved Ancient Roman monument. It sports a giant unsupported dome built with great precision. The ancient romans must have been marvellous engineers to achieve such a feat. Pantheon is gorgeous from both the outside and inside and the fountain right in front looks beautiful. Situated right in the heart of the city, it’s a must visit monument in Rome.
This smallest country in the world is land locked by Rome and houses the most famous Basilica in the world, the St Peter’s basilica, which is also the home of the revered Pope. The long serpentine queues would intimidate you if you get there after 10 AM. The best time to visit the Cathedral would be before 9:30 AM or after 5:30 PM, as the lines would be much shorter. The Cathedral has some impressive paintings and the beautiful light that shines through the huge painted glass windows of the Basilica is a treat to watch on a bright sunny day. Also don’t miss the Swiss guards donning colorful uniforms assigned to protect the Pope.
You could also visit the Sistine chapel where you can see the awe inspiring ceiling paintings done by Michelangelo. It’s a part of the Vatican museum and usually very crowded. Please be aware that this museum is pretty big and could take days to visit everything in there.
Altar of the Fatherland would be hard to go unnoticed while exploring the city on foot. You would see this huge monument on the way from the Pantheon to the Colosseum and would definitely leave you awe struck..
Italian cuisine is world famous and definitely the “goto” food when you cannot find anything else. Italians take their food very seriously but try to avoid the restaurants near touristic locations as the food is usually bad unless chosen wisely.
On our first night we were having dinner near the Pantheon when these street performers come and started singing the most beautiful opera / roman songs we had ever heard. The whole ambience was a memory of a lifetime – open air dinning, live music, wine and Italian food followed by some even more delicious Gelato!
Oh well, how can we not write about coffee when we are writing about Rome.! Cafe’s in Rome cater to both tourists and the locals. Take away coffee is usually opted by tourists as the Italians take their time in finishing up their perfectly brewed ristretto. Even though coffee is not grown in Italy and imported from carefully selected plantations, they do take pride in their coffee. Try the espresso and not the usual latte, cappucinos as real coffee is always the strong espresso poured in the crafty tazzina.
I am dedicating a separate section to Gelato as it definitely deserves a special mention. One of the main gelatterias is Venchi and they serve some amazing Gelatos we have tasted to date. Not just Gelatos, they have a huge collection of their branded chocolates and chocolate drinks. Don’t miss this place and we are sure you won’t be disappointed.