It’s a hard call to make, but, Rome is my favourite city. It is full of pasta, gelato, and history which all make me very happy. I loved Rome when I first visited with my parents and even ten years on I skipped around the ruined streets with glee.
I organised mine and Adam’s holiday down to a tee. Click here to have a look at our daily routes. We were there for four days. We would often spend the morning sunbathing alongside our rooftop pool and stroll into the city for some culture in the afternoon. Before we went we invested in a Roma Pass. I did a lot of research and for what we wanted to do, it worked out the cheaper option. For 36 euros you get a 3 day public transport pass as well as entrance into 2 listed museums – we used ours for the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine (all one ticket) and the Castel Sant’ Angelo. The Pass also includes a free guide for your smart device, an information booklet and most importantly, queue jump, which was fantastic in the Colosseum!
TIP: When planning your trip, do note that most museums (not the Colosseum) are closed on a Monday.
This post follows our route around Rome, we thought it worked quite well.
The Theatre of Marcellus was built by Emperor Augustus to promote the image of Marcus Marcellus, his nephew, son-in-law and heir until his untimely death. What struck me was the crude addition to the top of the theatre. This originally was a sixteenth century addition, for the Orsini family. It is now residential apartments. The addition makes for a very odd appearance.
Do you dare put your hand in the Mouth of Truth? Found at the front of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It’s a quaint tale that if a liar put their hand into the mouth it would be bitten off!
Although all that remains is the outline of the grounds, the vastness of the Circus Maximus is still astounding with the ruined Palatine in the background.
As a child, the term ‘awesome’ is a naff, cheesy description. Take away these preconceptions of the word and it becomes the perfect term to sum up the Palatine. As you stroll around the ruins you are in the constant shadow of the former palaces of the Emperors.
Here is a shot of the Palatine from a spot overlooking the Circus Maximus.
The Forum is equally as awesome. One cannot fathom how advanced their society must have been to succeed in such architectural feats.
Rome’s icon – The Colosseum. Like everything remaining from Ancient Rome, this arena is simply epic. Not only is the monument impressive but also there is a fantastic exhibition inside too.
The Forum of Augustus was the hub of activity under Augustus, and you can still see the remains of his imposing Temple to Jupiter.
The main man himself.
Trajan’s Column depicting his conquests.
Monument to Vittorio Emanuele was built in honour of the first King of unified Italy. It’s imposing style has caused controversy. I understand the criticisms, accusing it of being pompous. It is true that it does not fit in with the rest of Rome, but I still can appreciate the skill in creating something quite so magnificent.
The Vatican Museums are quite an undertaking. Their collections in all honesty are too vast and I do think that Adam had lost the will to live by the end of it.
The Museums do house some absolute treasures but the Museum system ruins it somewhat. You are only able to tour the Museum via one route, and as you are regularly caught behind huge tour groups, walking round is quite a lengthy process. Especially as the majority of the visitors clogging up the space are only there to see the Sistine Chapel at the end.
I was annoyed that for my visit, the Borgia Apartments were closed for refurbishment.
We found the Sistine Chapel overrated. You are herded in to this crowded room where you feel the constant pressure to hurry up and leave. To help conserve the decoration, the room is kept quite dark. I understand this but unfortunately it does mean that you do not get to see the Chapel in all its glory that it is so famous for.
St Peter’s Basilica
I forgot quite how tight it is walking up to the top of the dome. As you climb higher and higher you must walk at an increasingly diagonal angle that gets quite claustrophobic. The view is totally worth it though.
The symmetry of Piazza del Popolo is fantastic. My guidebook told me a fantastic little fact how that one of the church domes is actually an oval rather than a circle, in order to maintain the image of perfect symmetry. Lots of lovely fountains here to sit by and watch the world go by.
I was really excited to visit the Castel Sant’ Angelo after reading of some of the torturous horrors that happened there. Frankly I was a little disappointed. The Castle was great but was seriously lacking in any interpretation.
Piazza Navona is a beautiful example of one of Rome’s many delightful squares. I just wish when I was there it wasn’t raining so that we could hang around there more and soak up the atmosphere.
The Trevi Fountain is stunning. Unfortunately when I visited with Adam, it was switched off and so there was no intricate waterworks to keep me mesmerised like when I was a child.
Everywhere that you turn in Rome, there is something to make you go wow. The food is sublime, the people are gorgeous and the buildings are spectacular. This city is oozing with culture and I would return in a heartbeat.