Rome – May 2014

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Pantheon

We landed in Rome and took the bus to central town close to the Vatican. Your trip starts in a somewhat modern building into hectic traffic and then you end up in an old town with narrow streets, buildings become more and more beautiful, everything looks old and from another era. Now you know you are in Rome!
 
When we finally got off of the bus and headed to our accommodation we realised pretty soon we were completely lost. Not even the Romans could read our map. Only on day two we found the PERFECT map – a printed page you get at most hotels. If ever visiting Rome try to get your hands on this asap as most other maps do not show the smaller streets, which literally means you can miss a few blocks walking…
I would describe Rome as magical. A beautiful old city that comes to life at night, you must go walk around in the narrow cobble stone alleys and see the town at night alight with the city lights. Rome has magnificent art, some of the best you will find on your trip. You want to stay as central as possible – so that you can enjoy these areas at night and Rome is quite a big city against Firenze for instance.
My top places to visit in Rome:
  1. Vatican Museum and St Peters Basilica – Yes, there are many tourists, but you have to do this once in your life. The art is amazing, overwhelming, beautiful. Book your tickets for the vatican online to skip a never-ending queue. Go to St Peters Basilica just after 8am, there will be no queues, walk up the dome, the view is breathtaking. Be sure to walk over the bridge leading to the Vatican side of Rome lined up with amazing sculptures.
  2. Colosseum and Roman Forum – this is a must, amazing piece of history. We did not book in advance, went early in the morning and got in easily. Do not miss the Roman Forum, try and take a book along showing what you are seeing, how it used to look and what it was. We actually enjoyed the Roman Forum more than the Colosseum in the end.
  3. Visit Piazza del Popolo – you must visit as many piazzas as possible as their all special with their fountains. Piazza del Popolo used to be the entrance to Rome if I remember correctly, you will find nice fountains, a massive obelisk and two identical but different churches. Piazza Navona is very nice early in the morning as well.
  4. Pantheon, oldest most intact building I think? It is beautiful, walk past it several times and try to go in if you can be there when it is open.
  5. Trevi fountain – beautiful – go early in the morning or late at night otherwise you will hardly get to see it in a very small piazza with all the tourists.
  6. Borghese gallery – they have the best art, you book a slot to visit and here the number of people are actually limited which is great! They have nice gardens to stroll through as well.

My best places to eat in Rome:

  1. Pizzeria Pan Unto – the cheapest food you will find in the whole of Rome, situated in the Trastevere side of Rome. You will literally pay half for your meal than you will pay elsewhere, even next door.
  2. Frigadarium – close to Piazza Navona, cannot remember the address, but they have the best ice cream with amazing toppings, very affordable as well.
  3. Tazza D’Oro – best coffee in Rome. This is a stand-up coffee bar, no place to sit, but they have amazing coffee. You can stand outside and have a view on the Pantheon at a sixth of the price you will pay at a restaurant in the Pantheon’s square.

When we planned our trip to Rome it felt overwhelming as there is so much to do. Try and book as much tickets in advance to have a time slot and also skip queues and remember to enjoy it and take in this special ancient town.

Wish I could go back!

M@Home

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Raphael’s Room – Vatican Museum

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View from top of Dome – St Peter’s Basilica

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Building that stood the test of time – Roman Forum

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Taza D’Oro – best coffee in Rome

 

 

 

 

 

 

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