You know the song where they sing that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well, they were absolutely right. There is so much history there! For all the people that did some kind of ancient studies or who like their history, it’s definitely the place to be! So many emperors have put their stamp on the city. And the ruins are still there to tell the tale.
But first thing’s first. We went there in May 2014… when it was Pentecost. Really…genius…idea. Mostly because we planned a visit to the Vatican on, yes, the day of Pentecost itself. Really, genius. More about that later on. We stayed in the “Anfiteatro Flavio hotel”. Not really recommendable. Though, they were friendly, but… the breakfast really wasn’t all that much – which we knew beforehand. But also, first night we stayed in the annex-building, which was some kind of apartment, for families of four. First they told us we got the choice of staying there or change to a room in the hotel self. The morning after… they told us to pack our things and make them ready so they could move it into another room (at least they moved it their self, because I didn’t plan on taking them down myself – too many steps). But, they were friendly. And the locations was actually pretty awesome. At the end of the street we had a nice view on the Colosseum.
We arrived late in Rome, so we went straight to bed. The next morning, after breakfast, we went to the Colosseum. It was exactly as I Imagined it – with gladiators. Next stop were the Terme di Caracalla: the ruins of the terms, set up by the emperor Caracalla. It was gigantic. And not many tourist go that far, because it’s a little walk outside the city center. It thought it was worth the walk. Also because it’s nice to have a place in Rome where it’s not crowded with people.
Next stop was the Circus Maximus. Thought there is nothing to be seen there, with some imagination you could see it all before you. You could, because there’s a big field with nothing there. In the form of the Circus. And I could see it. All the people, screaming and shouting. The carriages and the horses, the gladiators… Running around, deliberately crashing the others… Just like in a movie, I could see it before me.
After that we went to the Santa Maria in Cosmedin, which was not far away, and the Bocca della Verità. There was a huge line to get you picture taking with the Bocca – and yes, we stood there to :-).
Next was the Palatine hill – one of the seven hills of Rome. According to the mythology, it was the location where Romulus and Remus were found by the wolf that kept them alive. During the rise and fall of Rome, many emperors lived here: Augustus – Tiberius – Domitian. On the hill there’s also the residence of Livia, the wife of Augustus. When you visit the Palatine Hill, it’s very easy to visit the Forum Romanum and – after that – the Colosseum. You can visit them all with buying one ticket. The best thing is to buy that ticket in the Palatine hill – most people go to the Forum Romanum or the Colosseum first. So the waiting line is rather small here.
Next day we thought of going to the Vatican. We visited the Castel San’Angelo, which was nearby. We als visited the Basilic of San Pietro. After that we visisted the Vatican Museum. We bought or tickets in advance, so we could cross a lot of people (a lot!) who were waiting in the blistering sun. So if I can give you just one little hint… it’s this one.
The Vatican Museum wasn’t really nice to visit. Because you are dragged by all the other people who just want to go to the Sistine Chapel. You don’t have the time to look at the other art in your own time. And there are a lot of beautiful things next to the Sisitine Chapel, so you should look at them! After you’ve visited the crowed Sistine Chapel, you can go a bit more at ease through the museum. You can’t take pictures in the Sistine Chapel – so we didn’t take any. But most people do take some – or a lot. Pity for the paintings.
We also visited the Piazza del Popolo and the Santa Maria del Popolo. Watch out for men who want to give you roses. They just want money. A bit further you have the Spanish Stairs. What a disappointment. I mean… Okay, they were working on the church at the top of the stairs. But, they are just stairs… Maybe in the beginning of spring, when they put the flowers there it’s nicer.
Next stop: Fontana di trevi. We couldn’t even go within 2 meter of the fountain. They were working on it as well. A lot of people were gathering there as well, so you have to fight to get a good place to take your picture. If you go in the evening, it’s a lot quieter.
The Pantheon and the Fori Imperiali (which are just a lot of ruins – sometimes just three pillars) were also on our planning. So you have to use a lot of imagination to be able to see how it must have looked like a very long time ago. Must’ve been impressing. We also passed by the Isola Tiberina.
At the Piazza del Campidoglio you can enter the Musei Captitolini (in which you can find the statue of the Wolf and Remus and Romulus). Some other things we’ve visited: Piazza Navona, Terme di Diocleziano and the Santa Maria degli Angeli.
Rome is a big city, with a lot of history and a lot of things to be seen. You can spend all your days there. But we didn’t do that. We decided to spent one day in Tivoli. Worth it! Really! It’s a bit tricky with the buses and the hours of the bus (read them very carefully), but I definitely recommend going there. We visited Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este. I preferred the Villa d’Este, because it was more about the garden, with a lot of green and fontains. The Villa Adriana was more about the ruins. And in the warmth of the day… I preferred the cooling of the garden.
So, that was the long version of Rome. Glad I finally put it on the blog. I hope it will never get erased ‘cause I won’t write it again :-).
Until the next.