The wanderlust instincts in me finally took me to Europe. Italy was definitely the first choice; for one thing I’m undoubtedly a big foodie and having heard so much about the food in Italy all through the years, it would have been a shame to skip it. The other thing was the rich history behind the great nation of Italy. Rome, being the capital city was the first stop. It is said that the name Roma (so called in Italy), is named after the founder and the first king, Romulus. The city is over 14,000 years old and that’s the best part about it. Although now a populated, cosmopolitan city, it lives and breathes it’s past in every way. The old Rome is beautifully restored with huge amounts spent on restoration activities and the ruins of the Roman Empire guarded and framed with much glory and pride for the world to see. The architecture is awe-inspiring, even the new apartments built in the most wonderful manner! Of course, the area per apartment isn’t too much due to lack of space, but each and every building is a beauty from outside.
If you’re planning a trip to Rome anytime in the future, this would be a helpful guide. And believe me, it’s a place that you must not miss!
Visit Rome between April and June
Compared to India, Roman summers are pleasant and short. April would be the best time when it’s just a little cold and not too crowded. May would be pleasant and June would be slightly warm. Which nothing if you’re planning to beat the Delhi summers that rage like fire. Plan your trip in advance so that you can get a good deal in terms of flight tickets, hotels etc. as they keep getting expensive during the peak season.
Take the Hop On Hop Off Bus
A number of sightseeing companies have their hop on hop of bus services for which tickets can be purchased there itself. Your hotel staff might be able to guide you as to which one would be the nearest ticket point. Rome isn’t such a small city and hence travelling on foot isn’t an option. Taking a cab everywhere will prove to be expensive. Hence this is the best way too see all of Rome.
Visit the Colosseum
Quite clichéd yet most important, visiting the Colosseum, one of the wonders of the world is a must do. There are huge queues usually to buy the ticket to the Colosseum, especially in the summer months. And then another queue to get into the Colosseum. So either you can stand in the line or reserve your ticket in advance so that you don’t have to follow the crowd. Reserving a ticket will cost about 4 Euros extra but might be worth it. The ticket also includes the entry to the Roman Forum right next to it.
Visit the Trevi Fountain
Featured in a lot of Hollywood and Bollywood movies, the Trevi fountain is always hustling and bustling with large crowds, clicking pictures but most importantly making wishes and throwing coins into the fountain. It’s a majestic and grand fountain, which cannot be missed. And to top it all, there are various gelato, pastry places as well as cafes in the vicinity. It’s quite near to the main shopping district.
Eat the Tiramisu at Don Nino
Located right next to the Trevi fountain, this patisserie is a delight! There are a number of gorgeous pastries showcased in all their glory, making it hard to pick one. But when in Rome, the tiramisu wins with wonders. They have a variety of gelatos as well, just in case you have an appetite for that.
Treat yourself at a Gelato shop
Almost each and every gelato shop is good and with so many options to choose from, it’s hard to pick one out. So go into a gelato shop which you think would be good and have a gelato. My favourite is the Tiramisu gelato at a gelato and pizza place near Trevi Fountain.
Take a trip to the Vatican City
I should have probably put this up as the first point. But the reason why I’ve put it at the end is because the Vatican City, although surrounded by Rome has been an Independent State since 1929. It is in fact the smallest country in the World both in terms of area and population. The Vatican itself will take one full day if you want to cover the major points. I’d suggest taking a conducted tour to the Vatican that also could be done from one of the sight seeing companies.
Visit the Saint Peter’s Basilica
The Saint Peter’s Basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and is one of the largest churches in the world. It is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic Shrines and holds a unique position in the Christian World. Many renowned artists, including Michelangelo spent years on building the Saint Peter’s Basilica, which stands in all its glory even today.
Spend a couple of hours in the Vatican Museum
Museums might seem like a waste of time until you’ve visited this piece of art. Be it the life-life sculptures or the 3 dimensional roof paintings, this museum is a true inspiration of art. The museum ends into the Sistine Chapel, which is still considered as a place of worship.
For daily needs, visit “Coop” supermarket
Since there is no MRP system in most countries, it’s very important to find a good supermarket. You can get all your daily needs from Coop, which is located at small distances. So find the one nearest to your hotel as soon as you check-in.
Hope it was a good read and more importantly a worthwhile read!