The bags were packed and we were on our way. Off to one of the greatest ancient cities in the world. After spending many hours looking at various websites, finding things to do which avoided the usual tourist traps of a capital city, we felt ready. Naturally. It was decided that of the three days we had in the city, 1 would be spent exploring the backstreets, 1 would be at the Colosseum and surrounding area and 1 would be at the Vatican and surrounding area. Exploring the backstreets it quickly became clear how disorientating they were. At little over a few meters wide and with buildings each side multiple storeys high it was difficult to get any sort of idea where you were going. Even with a trusty map. While walking around we stumbled upon the Trevi fountain, however it was not as it seemed in the many pictures we had seen of it. It looked as though it was undergoing some serious renovation work as there was scaffolding and boarding up all around it. The day spent around the Colosseum was exceptional. Seeing the sheer scale and size of it makes it hard to believe how it was built over 1900 years ago without any modern-day machinery. Another highlight of this day was the Roma Del Cielo lift. This takes you to the roof of the Vittoriano complex offering unrivalled panoramic views of the city. Being a huge glass lift in the centre of the city you’d think it would be crowded with hoards of tourists waiting to see the view from the top. However due to its hidden away location we found it to be practically empty and more or less had the whole roof to ourselves. Spending our final day at the Vatican city was an ideal way to end the holiday as this offered a much more relaxed atmosphere. Arriving just before 12 noon on a Sunday we found a large amount of people gathered in the centre in anticipation of the Popes weekly speech. Hearing the pope talk was a great experience, although we could not understand a word that was being said. However the jubilant crowd seemed to be enjoying it with every sentence ending in a huge cheer. Nightlife, albeit expensive, can be found around the Campo De Fiori area. Here you can sit back with a nice cold beverage, or meal, or both and watch the many street performers. There are many bars which can be found offering almost every drink and cocktail you could think of. Rome is definitely a city worth visiting, just make sure you take a camera as there are photo opportunities around every corner.
Things I’d Recommend:
- Heading up the Roma Del Cielo lift, a bit of a search to find but well worth it for the views.
- Buying your ticket for the Colosseum at the Palatine hill. It’s a short 2 minute walk away from the Colosseum but there is rarely a queue here and once you have your ticket you can skip the hours of queuing and head straight in.
- Enjoy the nightlife at Campo De Fiori. You wont get much change from 10 euros for a pint here but if you make it last you can get your moneys worth in street entertainment and watching the world go by.
- If you go in summer make sure you have air conditioning in your hotel room. It will be well greeted after a long day walking around in 40 degree heat.
- Staying at the Hotel Panama Garden. Far enough away from the centre to be able to get away at the end of the day, but close enough to get in the mix of things whenever you want.
- If you want to see the views at the top of St Peters Basilica in the Vatican don’t bother with the lift. It costs 2 euros more and doesn’t even get you half way up, you have to walk the rest anyway. Spent the 2 euros on an ice cream instead.
“If you do something that has never been done you will collect treasures that have never been found.” ― Jenna Newton