Rome, the city of culture history and food. As my sister and I are getting older, my parents wanted to go on a family holiday before My sister goes to university, and I go on my own travels. Booking to go to Rome was a very spur of the moment thing, And one of the best decisions my dad has made. My sister has a talent with languages, she has qualifications in French, German and Japanese. Also she had studied Arabic and Italian. I, as well as the rest of my family are incredibly incredibly proud of her. Because of her knowledge in Italian, we weren’t as clueless as we would of been.
Arriving in Ciampino airport just outside of the city. The airport was great arriving in, however on our way back to England the wait to check in was ridiculous. If you use this airport, be prepared for this (about an hour and a half wait) as you may not make your flight in time. Luckily we came early and was able to make our flight. The journey into Rome was about a 40 minute drive. We were dropped off at Termini (central metro station), and got a taxi to our hotel. Warning to first time visitors, try to use a booked taxi service as we were charged an extortionate amount. Also, bare in mind that Italians drive much faster than we do. I felt like I was in the back of a racing car.
The hotel we stayed at was Hotel Metropolis. This was a comfortable, friendly hotel. The food is great, and my overall experience with the hotel was very good. The rooms are modern and clean. There is a restaurant in the hotel, I believe it specialised in fish but could be wrong. We only had breakfast in the hotel, it had a variety of food to fit people from all over the world.
Whilst in Rome we visited many of the typical tourist sites. As well as some non contemporary ways of viewing the city. We visited: The Colosseum, The Roman Forum, The Trevi Fountain, St Peters Basilica, Piaza Navona, The Spanish Steps, The Vatican and The Sistine Chapel. Over the week it was an incredibly packed holiday, we also used a bus tour and we did an evening Segway tour. The Segawy tour was in my opinion the best trip on the holiday.
The Colosseum was structurally amazing. I had seen the Colosseum on tv and in films, but it truly doesn’t compare to seeing it in real life. I found myself wondering and being fascinated by the fact that this was made by hand. That humans built this stone by stone, it was an inspiring site and made you feel like you too could create something amazing. Inside the Colosseum it was boiling. We visited in the summer, and the day we went to the Colosseum the temperature was around 32 degrees. Which when walking around an exposed building for an hour can become very uncomfortable. When visiting the Colosseum remember to bring water and clothing that will not only keep you cool, but protect you from the sun.
The same day we went to the Colosseum, was the same day we visited the Roman Forum. Although both were amazing to visit, the temperature really took its toll. Being in the heat walking around for 4 hours really wears you out. The Forum showed how the Rome had transformed through out the years, as many rulers would build on top of old buildings. You could visualise yourself walking through the Forum in its former glory, it would of been beautiful and truly breath taking to of experienced it as it was made to be.
The Trevi Fountain, 1 coin to return to Rome, 2 coins for luck and 3 for love. The fountain is world renowned, and truly lives up to its expectation. The location of the fountain is rather strange, you walk through a series of narrow streets and then bam! There it is. There are many restaurants and gelatarias situated around the Trevi. One Gelataria had 150 different types of gelato! How is that even possible?! Another thing I found out was that all the money thrown into the fountain is donated to charity, I thought this was a wonderful idea, and was very impressed.
St Peters Basilica. Where do I begin? As I am not religious, I was sceptical to wondering around a place of worship for 2-3 hours. However, it is hands down one of the most beautifully decorated building I had ever seen. The art work was truly outstanding. As an art student I can understand the time that is put into pieces, but this. This was a whole other league of art. The murals covered the ceiling and walls, in such detail and colour. It was spectacular. To anyone who visits rome, I advise you to go here as it is breathtaking the amount of detail put into the interior.
Now for my favourite excursion: the segway tour. I was very reluctant to this as it seemed like a very tourist thing to do. But my mum convinced Jess and I to do it. I recommend this 100%, it was brilliant! The people were lovely, they take you to multiple places that you wouldn’t be able to access my car or fit all of them in in a small period of time. We visited the Altare Della Patria (aka the wedding cake), the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Forum and the Pantheon. Also multiple plazas that I can’t remember the names of. You are in small groups it was my family, 4 and an american couple. I couldn’t recommend this more as it is fun and an excellent way of viewing Rome. Piaza navona was one of my favourite places in Rome, as it was full of artists and had beautiful fountains. Look out for the spray painters, they are wonderful to watch as I could of sat and watched him produce painting after painting.
The bus tour came a close second on my list. It was an open top bus and it drove around all day to popular tourist areas. It was great because you got to figure out your surroundings without having to get lost multiple times. It was the City Sight Seeing, hop on hop off bus. This business is in multiple countries, and i would definitely use it in those countries as it is an excellent service.
I will do the vatican and the sistine chapel together as they are in the same location. When planning to visit the Vatican take this advice, BOOK YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE!! The queue can take up to 6 hours!! Luckily we booked in advance and was inside in 10 min. The vatican as most places in Rome is artistically outstanding. Every hall and room has a different style, and each is equally as beautiful. The Sistine chapel, what Rome is famous for. Michael Angelo’s masterpiece. The room is silent, and this makes you appreciate the work even more. The hours and hours on end Angelo spent painting is hard to understand, but boy is it worth it.
The flight home was the most amazing flight I’ve been on. We went through and around a lightening storm. Storms are hands down my favourite types of weather, I could watch them forever. But seeing a storm from above it quite something. The electric blue bolts shoot down like bullets, all compacted in swirling clouds. Being at the same level as the storm made me love them even more, and realise how powerful they can be. This was the perfect ending to my trip, and will be an experience I shall hold close forever.
*disclaimer, the photos I have used are not mine, I didn’t take many photos as we were running around the whole time*