From delicious Gelatos, to Vespas whizzing by, fascinating ancient ruins, the dreamy Italian weather, stumbling upon cute shops and boutiques, endless history, ornate fountains and the perfect melody of the Italian language. Elements which combine to create one of the most iconic cities on the planet. What can I say? Rome really does have it all.
The Colosseum was first up on the agenda, and we visited it on our first morning in Rome. Unfortunately it had begun to rain lightly, but thankfully it didn’t last long. The Colosseum is truly a magnificent structure, and it was hard to fathom that I was standing within such an important and iconic ancient monument. We were given a short tour of the site, and then afterwards took plenty of photos all together.
The tour continued on through the ancient centre of Rome, to the Roman Forum where we saw ruins thousands of years old, which included the place in which Julius Caesar was assassinated and his body burnt.
Italy is known for its delicious gelatos, and our tour brought us to a street boasting at least 5 different gelato shops. One business even offered an array of 100 different flavours. I decided to visit the most famous of them all, Giolitti and enjoyed a welcome break from walking around all morning.
Our guide took us to all of Rome’s ‘must-sees’, including the Pantheon, Piazza del Rotonda, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps. Walking was a fantastic way to see the city of Rome, and all it’s famous and historical attractions.
One full day was spent visiting the Vatican City, the smallest nation in the world, which lies within the Italian capital. This was our earliest morning of the tour; we were woken up in time to travel to the Vatican and catch the Pope during the Wednesday morning Mass. To get a seat in the audience or to be anywhere near the front, one would have had to arrive some four hours before the service began. Some members of our group even managed to do this.
We did indeed see the Pope, although I was too far away to take a reasonable photo. The service was also very interesting, and was conducted in multiple languages. The atmosphere was certainly something else, imagine standing in a square with thousands of other people from all over the world.
After finding lunch outside the city, we then returned to visit the Vatican museums, which hold hundreds of historic religious paintings and artefacts. The museum is extensive, so it was impossible to see everything throughout in just one afternoon. However, of course, we made our way to the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo’s world famous artwork lies upon the ceiling.
Our day ended with a visit to the Saint Peter Basilica, a truly vast and beautiful structure and one of the largest churches in the world.
There is so much to see and do in Rome, a city full of life. Our three days there were incredibly busy but very well spent.