Rome: The Eternal city
Everywhere you look there seems to be an open air museum in Rome. Monuments on every corner, history oozing from the foundations up to the ancient columns, and emanating through the Roman people. The smell of pizza and pasta wafts through the streets and gelato sits tempting you in numerous flavours and colours to cool you down.
The city is thronged with locals and foreigners, just has it has been for millennia. Breathe the culture and dive right in.
All roads lead to Rome: getting there.
If you fly from Europe, it’s possible to get a flight to Rome for approximately £50, if you’re flexible with your dates. Flights are quick. From Paris for example it only takes 2 hours to get to Rome, while from London it is only 2 hours 35 minutes. From USA, in certain states, it can be anywhere up to 10 hours, but the flights are usually direct.
Rome is also well connected with road and rail links. Whatever suits you best. We came from Ireland so flying made more sense.
A rectangular-shaped area, located between Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill. Known for religious and political activities. It was a public meeting area and also a place for gladiator combat.
There are a fascinating array of structures here. Temples, government buildings, open squares etc made this an important centre for day to day life, celebrations, and criminal proceedings. Public executions were part of the society. Life can be a bit gruesome.
An oval, impressive amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, just east of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built. It is famous because of the gladiator battles that took place in the time of Roman Empire.
The skill of craftsmanship is evident, even today, as it has stood the test if time. Not like our modern stadiums that get rebuilt every 30 years or so. A different level of culture eh?
Home to the rich and then to the emperors, Palatine Hill was central to Rome both in geographical terms, the centre most hill, and strategic terms, being central to ancient Rome and it’s governance. There are plenty of monuments to see here. It also gives a great view over the city.
A former Roman temple, now a Catholic church. It is one of the best preserved ancient buildings. In fact Michelangelo said, he thought it wasn’t the work of men, but angels. It’s awe inspiring as you enter the empty space, suddenly feeling small. The height of the dome offers harmony and peace.
Situated in the Vatican City, you can visit the Basilica and also the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. You can’t help but be impressed by the grandeur of this building.
The Renaissance and Baroque artworks and artifacts are magnificent on a grand scale. It is free admission. Don’t miss it when in Rome!
The most stunning sculpted fountain we have ever seen, located in the Trevi district in Rome. It was designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi, constructed in 1732. The fountain features Neptune, who is God of the sea. He is on a shell-shaped chariot pulled by two horses. Frank Sinatra even had a tune about it, “Three Coins in the Fountain”. Don’t forget to throw a coin in the fountain, from behind, so you can be sure to come back to ancient Rome!
We love creepy buildings and the catacombs didn’t let us down, the hairs on the back of our neck stood up! Underground, Inside it’s dark and eerie, with skulls and bones lining the walls. There are even skulls put together in the shape of a barrel. You feel you are being watched as you traverse quietly imagining the souls who have passed.
Watch the world go by in this charming piazza, surrounded by fountains, restaurants, cafes and shops.
Dress up for the Opera!
We choose the Chiesa di S. Paolo venue. A stunning church built in 1873 by English architect George Edmund Street. Church of St. Paul’s within the walls, which it is also known by, was the first non-Catholic church in Rome. The mosaic work and architecture is magnificent and a wonderful venue to listen to the stunning acoustics of La Traviata with ballet. Making an effort to dress up to the nines is the whole part of the experience.
Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità)
A marble mask, which stands against the left wall of the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, at the Piazza della Bocca della Verità, the site of the ancient Forum Boarium.
Stick your hand in the mouth. If it bites your hand you tell too many lies!
Visit and volunteer at the cat sanctuary. There are many cats that roam the ancient grounds, at the, Largo di Torre Argentina in the center of Rome.
Julius Caesar is believed to have been stabbed to death here in 44 B.C. You will also come across four crumbling Republican temples, the remains of Pompey’s Theatre, as well as a hundreds of felines, which are fed, watered, sprayed and given medical treatment at the sanctuary.
The teensy peep Aventine keyhole view consisting of two nation-states and one country, with the dome of St. Peter’s perfectly situated in the center and lush greenery. The door is nothing out of the ordinary in fact you would walk past it, if you weren’t aware the magic behind it. You will find the door in the Piazza dei Calvieri di Malta, on Aventine Hill.
A place to return
Rome is a great city to visit. There is just so much to see and do. Sometimes a single visit will only scratch the surface. We could definitely return and see a whole lot of different sights.