“R” in #AtoZChallenge
Our next destination in this challenge is Rome, the land of Gladiators.
Visting Rome is actually a visit to the City of Past. It’s one place where I had no idea when & where to stop the vacation. Every direction you go you see some old architecture, some ruins, some history etc. My excitement will be clearly visible in this post. Sorry, I tried my best to hold myself from posting many pictures, but still, it went north of my usual 10-12 pictures.
So, what are the top 2 things that come to mind when we say ROME !!!
Vatican and Gladiator.
Well, if you ask people staying in Rome, they would say more about it. But from a tourist point of view, if you have seen Vatican & Colosseo, then you have seen Rome. Agreed.
I stayed there for full 5 days but still could not visit all the Museums in there. Now, that’s Rome for you.
Wait, did I miss the Fountain di Trevi? Yes, I did. Why? Because, I know you will visit this place without fail – since you will always love to come back to Rome once again after throwing coins and making your wish in this fountain.
Roma can be reached easily and conveniently by train from Milan. You have both the Trenitalia and Italo companies operating high-speed trains. You also have flights including the low-cost flights to the Rome Fiumicino airport.
Rome city is well connected with public transport – if you know where you are going and what is the bus routes. Else, its a nightmare. But the metros are quite handy. There are 2 lines (A & B) that run across Rome and connects ONLY in one place. Maybe someone in Rome thought that the metro line should also denote a CROSS and hence the pattern.
There are 2 major cards that will be handy for your Rome visits.
1. Roma pass
2. Archeological card
Roma card allows you to use it unlimited times in public transport, costs 36 euro for 3 days. It includes the entry to Colosso, Foro, Palatino and few other museums.
An Archeological card does not allow free unlimited rides in public transport. But it includes similar entrance to Colosso, Foro, Palatino and 4 national museums. And it is valid for 7 days.
Since my wife was a history lover, we decided to go ahead with the Archeological card.
The first stop was Flaminio station. When you are out of the station, you will be greeted with the 4 domes in the Piazza del Popolo. We enjoyed the fountain in there and walked around with clicking pictures everywhere.
We climbed the stairs to reach Piazza Napoleone, where we got a wonderful view of Rome. Then we continued to walk along the garden and reached the famous Spanish steps.
For me, it was not such a nice view. One of the main reason is that the fountain in the front of the stairs was closed for some renovation. Also, we were greeted by a group of hawkers running with their things chased by policemen. Poor hawkers, I was not sure if I should pity them, or appreciate the police for making the steps more suitable for tourists to enjoy the views and surroundings.
More than the steps itself, I was attracted by the painting and painters lined up in there. These painters have wonderful skills to capture you on those canvas with pencils. And even the paintings in there was fantastic. Of course, why else they deny to take a picture of those?
Once done with the clicking of those steps, we moved towards the next destination – one of the famous and in fact most sort after the fountain in Roma. YES – Fountain di Trevi.
I would say, this was the best place we visited in Rome next to Vatican and Colosseo. The horses on the fountain were carved so majestically, and the turquoise blue color water from the fountain gave it a beautiful look.
As with any tourist place, this was also crowded with so many people. But a little patience helped to get chances to capture ourselves with the fountain without other disturbances. After taking numerous pictures, yes really plenty of pictures, we left to have lunch in the nearby street. Once we are done with the lunch, we again returned back to the fountain to continue to enjoy those beautiful fountains.
With no heart to leave the place, we left the fountain after dropping the coins. Belief is, the first coin you put in the fountain will full fill your wish, and the 2nd one will make your next trip to the Roma in affirmative.
Monument of Vittorio Emanuele
After this visit, the plan was to visit the Pantheon. But when we crossed a street, we were attracted to a white gigantic building. Mesmerized due to the building, we started walking towards it to finally identify the building as the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele.
From there we also had a peek of the Colosseum.But since we do not want to detour on our itinerary, we decided to walk back to our initial plan – move ahead to visit the Pantheon.
Way back, we crossed the Temple of Adriano. A series of ancient pillars build centuries ago.
From there we headed to have a view of the Parliament of Italy. Not much to see around, except to take some pictures. We left for Pantheon.
Our luck was not so good, the Pantheon is closed on Mondays, and so we could not enter the Pantheon. Anyway, since we had 4 more days in hand, we were sure that we will re-visit this fellow sooner.
With those in minds, we reached the famous French church. This church is full of wonderful paintings, but unfortunately, due to lack of information, we could not appreciate that history as we did the paintings. But still, it was worth to visit those paintings.
On the way, I noticed this wonderful scene – pillar with cement peeled off from it. Although not a good thing, this actually looked more artistic to me. More like a painting. So, that was also captured into my lens.
The next destination we had in mind was the Piazza Navona. This square has a couple of museums, fountains, and Churches. The fountain is called Fountain of four rivers which includes the Ganges & Nile river too.
The muscular statue was the handwork of Bernini. After a short visit to the Church, we went to the Museum of Altemps. It’s in here where we took the Archeological card.
After enjoying those artworks in the museum, we left to reach the Angel bridge. We spend some time in the bank of the Tevere river. The evening sun did not allow us to have a good view of the reflection of the bridge and Vatican on the river.
On the way, got a glimpse of the Vatican Basilica.
Forum of Caeser
If you love history, then the visit to the Foro is a must. You can find the Augustus & Ceasars house and museums. Here is a view of his Garden.
Being a fanboy of Michelangelo, I do not want to miss his works on the Sistine Chapel. So, I already made an online booking for the visit to the museum. It costs 4 euro extra per ticket if you book it online but in my opinion, its worth it since you can skip the lines entirely in Museum.
The museum is so enormous you will struggle to complete it in a day. It has multiple paths – regular and also a short path – that will help to get a quick glance of important artifacts. Do you know that the halls and corridors amount to almost 7km inside the museum? Yes, its such long walk inside.
But, make sure you plan to spend at least a day in here. Otherwise, you do no justice to the marvel present in here. You name any artist from the medieval ages, and you will find their work here for sure. There are more than 50 rooms or galleries in the Museum.
The most famous is the Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel.
Hint: Before entering this room, make sure you spend some quick time in the garden where they have the detailed description of each of these sections on the wall with photos. Having a glance into this will help you appreciate once you are inside. Else, it will just be paints of different colors.
The open space between the different galleries of the museum is also interesting. You can also find some contemporary art displayed here. Two of my Hercules helping the “Sphere Within Sphere” by Arnoldo Pomodoro (Famous sculpture from Italy)to rotate!
Vatican Sistine Chapel.
The central part of the ceiling shows nine stories of the Genesis, divided into groups of three, relative to the origin of the universe, of man and of evil. Since it’s not allowed inside to take pictures, I have provided one from the official site of the Vatican museum.
Starting from the creation of Sun, Moon, and planets to the fall of mankind, all painted in sequence on the ceiling.
Have you been searching for the famous staircase in the Vatican? Do not lose hope, it’s not yet missed. And you can never miss it. For, that is the exit you need to take from Museum.
Here is the spiral staircase of the Vatican museum which was designed by Giuseppe Momo. It’s nearly 100 years old.
After the museum, we went to the St. Peter Basilica. The entry to the church is free, just need to take care of proper attire. Also, make sure you make a visit to the top of the doom. There are usually long queues and the entry is paid – little less than 10 euro, depending on the entry you prefer.
Either you can climb all the 551 steps by foot or take the lift and then climb the rest on foot – around 320 steps. The more you reach the top, more narrow the passage would be.
But, believe me, the view from the top is well worth it. Just to give a preview, here is the picture.
Do not miss the guards of the Vatican.
What a visit to Rome, if you did not peep into the Gladiators world? Yes, the Colosseum.
Hint: Most of the tourist crowds will be queuing up in front of the Colosseum to get the entry ticket. But they do not know that they can actually buy the ticket from Foro just opposite to it. And it will be mostly less crowded. So, make use of it.
This is majestic, whichever side you view it. Inside, or outside no question.
I absolutely believe the Colosseum deserves a post by itself. And so I am going to stop here. And get back with more details in an individual post target this marvel of Rome.
My theme for the April 2018 #AtoZChallenge is blogging about the places I have been to. Let me see if I can make it through all alphabets. You can find all my #AtoZChallenge posts here. Interested to know my next destination starting with letter S?
Try commenting your guess, let’s see.
Are you participating too? Comment your themes here. Good luck.