All roads lead to Rome is a saying many of us are familiar with and in my 16th year of life that was very correct.
I mentioned that I got my trip to Australia as a present, well my trip to Rome was also a present. I think that getting trips as presents are better than getting a lot of money. With the trips I can experience new places and new things and add yet another adventure to my life story.
So, the time for Italy and Rome had come my way and after a little planning me and my aunt were on our way to the land of pasta and vespa scooters.
We arrived in Rome early in the day and took the train from the airport to the right outside the city centre. When we were on the escalator we rode past some middle aged men in fine black suits, and as the godfather fan I am I couldn’t keep myself from thinking – Italian mafia -! They were most likely not mafia, but slightly graying italian men in fancy suits are something you notice when you have watched a lot of mafia movies. Well, anyway, back to the trip. We took a taxi through the city to our hotel. I would later see that this would be our only taxi ride except for the one back to the train station. When we arrived at the hotel we checked in and got in to the smallest elevator I have ever seen. We were two people with two not to big suitcases and we barely fit. The room was plain, but nice. We were only staying for three days and for me the hotel is not the most important thing. It should be nice, but 5 stars isn’t a necessity when you plan on seeing everything.
When we had changed our clothes and fixed our makeup we headed out to see Rome. We were real tourists and got ourself a map and started our little adventure. After a little while we ended up on one of the bigger piazzas, which are everywhere in Rome. Piazza Navona. Fast facts about Piazza Navona: It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones (“games”), and hence it was known as ‘Circus Agonalis’ (competition arena). It is believed that over time the name changed to ‘in agone’ to ‘navone’ and eventually to ‘navona’. In the middle of the piazza is a fountain with a big egyptian obelisk. It is covered in hieroglyphs and was brought there from the Circus of Maxentius.
We walked in to one of the smaller side streets and suddenly we came across this small italian restaurant. It was not mentioned in any books or anything, but there was a lot of italian people eating there. And if you travel anywhere and want to really taste the local cuisine, go somewhere the locals go. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I can say that I have never eaten a better carbonara then the one I ate there. So if any of you can find it you are very lucky!
After eating the wonderful food we went shopping. I mean who goes to Italy and doesn’t go shopping. Via Condotti is Rome’s version of 5th avenue with all the big expensive brands. I must admit that I did get one maybe two pair of shoes richer after shopping there. While walking around we stumbled upon fontana di Trevi or the Trevi fountain. In the area around the fountain there is a lot of shops worth a visit. Some of them are perfect for gift ideas to a special someone.
There are also tons of churches in Rome. They are very beautiful and everyone except a few are open to the public. So one thing that you should do if you go to Rome is to have a look inside some of the churches.
After hours of walking, for as I said before, except for to and from the train station we never took taxis or busses at all. But again, after hours of walking we felt kind of hungry and decided it was time to find a restaurant to eat dinner. We ended up at a nice little place near the spanish stairs where we ate a wonderful pizza.
The next day had been reserved for the sistine chapel and the St. Peter’s basilica. We decided to do the basilica first and when we came in my breath was taken away. I’m not christian and I don’t really believe in God, but I love churches. The interior of the church was so intricate with patterns and tiny details. I have never seen anything like it. We went all the way to the top of the tower and from there you can see everything. I think that st. peter’s basilica is something everyone should see, just remember to have your knees and shoulders covered or you won’t get in.
When we were done at the basilica we went to the sistine chapel, but the line to get in was terribly long and the weather was really hot so we decided to go somewhere else.
I have been in the sistine chapel after this trip and it to is a must see for anyone who is planning on going to Rome. Michelangelo’s roof is amazing and the rest of it to is something worth seeing.
Since we didn’t go to the sistine chapel we had a lot of time we didn’t know what to do with so we decided to got to the colosseum and forum romanum. The colosseum is huge! It was built as a gigantic amphitheatre and could on special occasions be filled with water. The day we were there was one of the hottest days of the three days and inside the colosseum there is little to no shadow. I almost died, but it was worth it. To stand in the place where gladiators fought, emperors sat and lions roared is quite amazing.
The forum romanum is basically just a lot of ruins from ancient Rome. If you are interested in history and of course ancient Rome than this cam be a place for you.
The last day of our little Italy trip we went to see the Pantheon. The name means “to every god” and was as the name suggests built as a temple to all the god of Ancient Rome. The building is huge and if you go inside you will see that it is completely circular, and in the roof there is a hole. When we came to the dome they were just about to start a service. We sat down and decided to be there for the service and it was actually not so bad. Everything was in latin and I didn’t understand anything, but the experience was nice. After the service we ate lunch, went back to our hotel, packed and went to the airport. Our three day visit to Rome was over for now, but I decided that I was definitely going back and I did!
If you want a city vacation with a lot of fun, history, good food, shopping and wonderful people I think Rome is a place for you!