Buongiorno Italia! Bella Roma Part I
All roads lead to Rome, right?
Well, I'm pretty sure you can imagine, that during my semester abroad in Italy, I frequently went to Rome, not only because it's a beautiful city and I have never been there before, but also because one of my best friends was doing her semester abroad there. When brainstorming on what places I should recommend you, my first thought was 'Everything?!' and therefore, this will only be part one of my series about the beautiful Italian capital.
I was struggling with how to order the monuments and places to see, so I decided to simply start by telling you what I did on my first day ever in Rome. Rome has a pretty affordable and convenient public transport system. After my arrival, I dropped my bags at my friend's apartment and then we went on to the city.
Our first stop were the famous Spanish Steps, the Piazza di Spagna. I definitely recommend taking the subway there and then continue walking, as the monuments I mention today are quite close together. The Spanish Steps are actually just steps with a church at the top. No matter the weather or what time of the day, you can always expect tons of tourists to be there. I mean, it's Rome! On a sunny day, it feels as if millions of people were sitting on the steps, but keep in mind – eating is strictly forbidden on the steps (yes, even ice cream) and so shouting policemen are often the background noise.
If you continue your way, just after a few minutes you'll arrive at the even more famous Fontana Di Trevi. If you thought there were many people at the Spanish Steps, you'd get surprised that there are even more there. It is said that throwing coins over your left shoulder into the fountain brings luck, so I was hoping for good exam results. As you can imagine, many people throwing in their money leads to the fountain being filled with cash, which is the reason why the fountain is emptied a few times a week. The money is used for various kinds of charity.
Our next stop was the Pantheon, a former Roman temple, that is now a church. If you made it until here, you have definitely deserved a little rest, and what kind of break is better than an ice cream break? My secret tip, just around the corner, is one of the best Gelateria's I've ever been to, called Punto Gelato. The orange and kiwi ice cream was just outstanding!
If you don't want to eat that ice cream at the Pantheon, just a few metres on you'll find Piazza Navona, with the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, the Fountain of Four Rivers. You might have realised by now that in Rome you can't walk more than 5 metres without finding a new monument, famous church or other kinds of sightseeing attraction. And isn't that beautiful?
Rome's main attraction might be the Colosseo, but on the way there I suggest you make a quick stop at Piazza Venezia, named after the Palace next to it. The white building is definitely impressive and should not be missing on your list of places to go. But now on to the Colosseo. I know we've all seen pictures of it, but standing in front of it is definitely a difference. Knowing it's been here for centuries and still standing strong is just incredible. There are various points from where you can take your picture, but sadly due to constructions of a new subway line, I was constrained. Also, going inside should be on your list, but unfortunately the queue was always so long, we opted not to go in. Next to it, there's also the Foro Romano, remains of old Roman houses, but as we knew we would be heading to Naples and Pompeii soon after, we decided a look from above should be enough.
Another beautiful place in the city that fits perfectly in this schedule is the Piazza del Popolo, where one of the main shopping streets of the cities stars, and also the Villa Borghese, a beautiful park in the city centre, are located, but I will tell you more about that park in the next part of this Rome-Guide. The place is famous for its two twin churches and the obelisk in the middle of the place. You will always find someone making music there, and it's always packed with tourists.
Attention on the rose-scam: People will try hand you a rose, and as soon as you grab it they will claim you have to pay for it, our way of avoiding it? Always saying you're allergic. It's the easiest way to avoid these people.
Honestly, writing this blog post has brought back so many great memories, and looking at these pictures, remembering how I was dying at 40 degrees makes me wish for summer so bad. I can't wait to tell you more about this beautiful city and all the other places I've been to during my 6 months in Italy, definitely one of my favourite countries.