Friday, 5 April 2013

Travel Destinations: Rome

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Rome three times, and I love it: the constant buzz of the city- especially in the summer; the mix of old and the new; the mopeds driving around the Colossuem; pizza; pasta… Parmagiano!!
There are 2 airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino, the latter is closer to the city. From there the main way of getting to the city is buses. Or if you decide to go via train, Termini is the main train station, located to the South East of the city, North of the Tiber. The language spoken is, of course, Italian and the currency is the Euro.
 The Colosseum is a must,the last time I was there it was around €15 for this and entry to the Forum. Its best to have a decent camera and go on a sunny day if possible. The buildings look beautiful in the sun and I find I could picture the fights and audiences clearer… I guess I've probably seen Gladiator too many times!
 The Forum, located between the Palatine Hill and the Capitoline Hill (there were seven ‘hills’ of Rome), used to be the centre of Roman life. And they have recently unearthed part of what was believed to be Emperor Augustus’ Villa, which had really old interesting paintwork that they'd recently uncovered.
One of my favourite places in Rome is the Trevi fountain (above). I think the sculptures are beautiful and love the atmosphere around, and the cute little shops- it also has an amazing Gelateria (to the left when you're looking at the fountain) which I go to every time! The 'legend' says that if you throw a coin in the fountain with your right hand and your back turned to it, that it will ensure a return to Rome.
Other 'must visit' places are Piazza Navonna, where there are artists selling their pictures, entertainers, cafes and restaurants all around (although if you eat in the square you're going to pay more).
For all the shoppers out there you can’t go wrong with all the designers near the ‘Spanish Steps’, so called triangular ‘square’, is named after the Embassy to the Holy See...

And lastly there is of course, The Vatican, a huge city or even county in it’s own right, in the heart of Rome (well, North West) and home to the famous St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, numerous paintings, sculptures and even an Egyptian section with a mummy. Its best to leave a whole day for this, as whatever time of the year, it tends to be full of tourists. There is a dress code, no short sleeves, shorts etc. Best to check before you go.
A map was my best friend! Never eat near squares, the Colosseum, or major churches, Pantheon etc if you can help it as prices will normally double. Be prepared to haggle, and watch out for the odd pickpocket! But this really is a lovely city!

Thanks for reading, have any of you been to Rome? Or are planning on going?

Also I had a little play around with the blog design, what do you think? yay or nay?