We’ve left Rome out of our travel plans, for too long. We’ve always said:
“It’s so close…we can go anytime we want!”
“Definitely not this year, there’s so much to see out there. Maybe next one!”
“It’s too hot in summer…”
“Neeah, too …mainstream.”
For all of you thinking the same, I confess: we were so wrong to leave Rome behind. 🙂
And if the heat, or thousands of tourists standing in line everywhere, are an inconvenient for you, give it a try in off-season (November-February). You’ll get a lot of sunshine and blue skies. The city almost feels quiet. Definitely a good choice when you want to escape a rough winter at home! 😀
Of course, there’s a lot to discover by tracking its 2000+ years of history and greatness. But you can read all about that in any travel guide, right ? 🙂
Rome is something to behold from just any angle or hight. You can walk the whole day, and still be delighted on each step! But the most important thing I’ve learned about it: the higher, the better! :))
Here’s how we ended each day with a perfect Italian photo shoot!
Start with only 138 butterfly-shaped stairs, to take a first pulse of the narrow lanes, packed with the finest designer shops.
And here you are, in front of one of the richest streets in Rome!
Walk on top of the largest amphitheatre in the World!
As you’re sitting here, speechless and amazed, imagine the crowds cheering gladiators or chariot races. But the most impressive view requires a climb to the final terrace. From there, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Arch of Constantine spread out beneath.
We’re reaching one of the seven hills where Rome was founded. Traditionally where Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she-wolf. The site chosen by roman emperors to build their palaces.
Ok…this is getting better and better. 🙂
Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica
We’re heading to Vatican now!
Cannot miss the heart of the Catholic Church. And while waiting in the huuuuge cue (yeah..this one is for free), have the time to make some friends: a funny 80-years old lady from the USA, anxious to climb the 551 steps to reach the ‘cupola’. And a Greek chick, saying she’s not gonna spend the money to visit the Colosseum…they have plenty at home 🙂 (well…i’ll give her that, they do).
It’s time to start climbing, now. We’re brave enough not to take the elevator that would save half of the steps, and start from step no. 1. 🙂 I might have changed my mind, if I knew how narrow the passageway can be. Luckily, we see some people twice our age going up with bravery, and this keeps us going.
Finally, after step no. 551, some fresh air… And maybe the best panoramic view of Rome!
The inside view from the Dome is just as magnificent. The largest church in the world, designed by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Bernini, will simply take your breath away.
Castel Saint D’Angelo
We’re leaving Vatican behind, ready to head to the hotel. And as we walk, some gigantic fortified walls rise ahead.
Built as a Mausoleum of Hadrian, transformed in an impenetrable defensive bastion later on, with a treasure room added during the Renaissance, becoming also a brutal prison with executions carried out in the inner courtyard, the place was a real surprise at the end of the day.
And, as the sun goes down, and we climb to the top of the Castle, the whole city of Rome rises before our eyes.
- Visiting Prices/person
Vatican Museum – 16 €
Castel Saint D’Angelo – 13 €
Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill – 12 €
Basilica Saint Pietro – free (climbing up to the Dome is 6 €, or 8 € if you take the elevator halfway)
Pantheon – free
You will find restaurants almost everywhere. Here’s two places we really loved:
San Valentino – The hotel is perfectly located, at walking distance from Vatican.
January 2017, Rome – Italy & Vatican