After my last couple of days in Civita it was time to move on to my last stop in Italy , and that was Rome . My host in Civita was kind enough to drive us back to the train station early morning and it was a couple of hours ride to Rome . From all the country side that I was soaking in over last few days , it was to this ancient city finally I was coming to .And to Rome , which many believe is the global capital of the world.
As the train chugged into , it was an over cast cloudy sky in the month of May and the rains waiting to burst from the clouds . We decided to first fill our tummies with lunch and then hit our Airbnb apartment . Since our taste buds were done with ‘Pizza bread ‘ we hunted to find some spice . And here we found a little Bangladeshi restaurant right in the middle. As we digged into some hot Roti and ‘ Chicken Curry , it was pouring out . We arrived at the apartment quite late afternoon after that spicy indulgence and the host was kind enough to offer us a wine bottle , fruits and some food too .A really sleek place it was with amenities enough for a comfortable stay for the three nights .
Some rest and we had next two days to explore Rome . Just ‘ TWO ’, I suddenly thought in my head as it was not enough . As they say ‘ Rome was not built in a Day ‘ Catching up whole of Rome in just 48 hours was a challenge but I guess that was it . As my apartment was just next to the colosseum , it was the first place to hit that evening .
A short walk and there we were . Right in front of the magnificent amphitheater which once hosted the great gladiator fights .
The crowds here will leave you a little perplexed as it’s massive.I heard ‘ Rome ‘ can be crowded but never thought it was this crazy.So we decided to come next day as the long queue was daunting to even try to get in . I decided to buy an ‘ hop on hop off ‘ bus ticket for two days as it will save much time and walking around here . And I suggest you book online tour tickets for the ‘ Colosseum ‘and the Vatican. So it was an Airbnb tour I booked that night for next evening to colosseum and morning to Vatican through the museum site .
I usually don’t like to start my day early during vacations unless there is a flight to catch.After lazing in bed for a late breakfast,hit out by lunch time for my adventures in Rome .
The Best way to begin catching Rome is from the Colosseum. Since I had a guide it was quick entry. Our guide was good and she explained a lot of historical details .’
The site of many bloody gladiatorial fights, the Colosseum,which was opened in 80 A.D., could then hold about 50,000 spectators. With a circumference of 573 yards and sitting on marshland, experts say the Colosseum is an engineering wonder… not to mention an animal- and human-rights atrocity.
From here you can easily walk into the Roman Forum next .I found this more interesting than the colosseum there . The Roman Forum comprises much of the Ancient Rome’s most important structures, from shrines to government houses to monuments. Although much of the complex is in ruins, you can see the remains and imagine the former glory of the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus and the House of the Vestal Virgins, among other structures.
The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. IThe city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
With so much thoughts in my head I headed for another short walk from here to the ‘ Trevi Fountain’ It cannot be missed if you are in Rome . It’s better to catch it early morning or late evening with the sun adding to its glorious beauty . Finished in the mid-1700s, the Trevi is a powerful example of a baroque design with a distinctly mythological character. The god of the sea, Oceanus, emerges from the pool, flanked by his trusty Tritons. According to Roman lore, throwing one, two or three coins into the Trevi, with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures you’ll return to Rome; you’ll fall in love with an attractive Roman; and you’ll marry that same Roman. I am already married but I still threw that coin hoping one day I will just return to Rome .
Finally the Vatican state . This will take you the whole day . So ensure you keep that day assigned separately. Did you know that ‘ Vatican ‘is the smallest country in the world . Vatican City is governed as an absolute monarchy with the pope at its head. The Vatican mints its own euros, prints its own stamps, issues passports and license plates, operates media outlets and has its own flag and anthem. One government function it lacks: taxation.
The best things to see around the Vatican is the Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica . Getting around early is the key , as you can beat the crowds . I reached around noon and it was a lot of people to manoeuvre. In Italy , they say you cannot complete your trip if you don’t lose your wallet . Thou I was warned a number of times about it , my wallet was stolen in the museum . Luckily it just had my plastic cards and some Indian rupees and my forex card was saved as it was in my jeans pocket.
Remember to abide by the Vatican dress code. Cover your shoulders and avoid shorts and short dresses and skirts. We know that Rome gets hot in the summer, we suggest bringing a light scarf to wrap around yourself when you need to. Hats, food and metal tools like knives and scissors are also not allowed.
The Museum is full of priceless artefacts and paintings . You will definitely strain that neck trying to gaze the walls , ceilings and more. The Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s works are a marvel thou the guards there can be a pain with their shouting to keep cameras away .
From the Vatican Museums we went directly to St. Peter’s Basilica. Its size is beyond our understanding. Everything here is the biggest, the best, enjoys unique history or is sacred.
Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica is free, but there are other barriers to getting inside. If you guessed long lines, you’d be correct. Unless you go in the early morning, you’ll find yourself waiting in a long line.
We didn’t climb up the St. Peter’s Basilica’s dome; something that still we regret. You can climb there or take an elevator .
Post that we took a stroll along streets encountering the ramparts protecting Vatican, Swiss Guards, local inhabitants, and bunches of tourists.So it was our last evening and we took a nice stroll along the Roman Ruins , went for an Indian dinner in a restaurant ( IL Guru ) which I can rave was one of the best one I had International.
It was time to pack our bags and take that flight back to India next morning . With fond memories of Italy , it was Adieu to this Roman land .
There was lot left to see there yet , that’s for my next visit soon .