Rome: Definitely was not built in a day...
There are not many cities in the world that can compete with Rome's stunning, historical beauty. I'll admit that I am a little biased, as Italy is very close to my heart, however, The Capital of the World was given its name for a reason. Rome has been centre stage to the great, gruesome and enduring events of ancient history, with remnants of this seen today in ruins such as the Colosseum. The monopoly of Rome over the ancient world was immeasurable, and to this day, the legacy of Roman language, culture, art, law, infrastructure and economics transcends time and geographic borders.
Of course, there is more to Rome than its history. We wouldn't have the word romantic without the Romans, and romance is in definitely in the air here. Whether you're strolling through the colourfully tangled cobbled lanes, watching red sunsets over the River Tiber, or enjoying an aperitivo on a warm summer evening in Trastevere, you would be crazy not to fall in love with Rome.
The Sacred City
Of Rome's many names, The Sacred City is most appropriate - it is saturated by some of the most significant religious art and architecture in the world, the most symbolic being the Vatican. As is common knowledge, the Vatican City is a city-state in the heart of Rome, and is home to the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope. The land was established as holy since as far back as 326AD, though it wasn't inhabited by Popes until the 14th Century.
It is free to enter St. Peter's Basilica, though you may need to leave early to avoid the queues for security. I would advise climbing to the top of the Dome first (La Cupola), as you will need all of that breakfast energy. Entrance to La Cupola is 5 euros, and 2 more euros to take the lift....TAKE THE LIFT. Even after you take the lift, you only get to the base of the dome and still have to climb about 400 stairs. As if that isn't exhausting enough, the stairs are extremely narrow and form what seems to be a never ending spiral that you will be praying to Popes past and present to get out of. I am making this sound horrible, but once you get to the top and recover from your claustrophobic meltdown, the view is spectacular...
Colosseum and Roman Forum
Before I even begin, buy tickets in advance. The queues for the Colosseum are ridiculous, and we had bought ours, and got there at 10 am. As you can imagine, it is one of the most visited attractions in the world, and literally screams ancient Rome and all the gladiator films you've ever seen. I wasn't overwhelemed by its history, but I think thats because I didn't take an electronic tour guide. However, visually it is impressive!
Aperitivi in Trastevere
Trastevere is south of the Vatican, and not the easiest place to get to on a hot summer's day, but once you get there, you have a choice of some of the trendiest bars, clubs and craft beers in Rome. Situated on the River Tiber, Trastevere's picturesque evening aperitivo situations will leave you feeling very Roman. I didn't get much time to explore it, but here's what I did do.
We had these lovely evening snacks at Mechanismo, just on the west bank of the River Tiber in Trastevere.
And finally, watch the sunset on the Tiber
I love sunsets, grab yourself a gelato, perch on Ponte Sisto and watch the burning orange sun go down over the water. You won't regret it. The second Rome post is coming soon! xx