This summer, after much deliberation … ok maybe procrastination, we decided to go and see the sights of Rome. Family and friends highly recommended it, but also recently, i’ve been getting into history again, so it all made sense.
We visited all the major sights, and took a small trip out to the nearby beach town Anzio. Unlike other city trips, we actually didn’t use any metro, underground or buses to get around, we instead just opted for walking, since there’s so much to see on the streets.
My dad recommended Mammo street food, so we decided to go over on our first morning to check it out, we’re so glad we did. Really good food and a perfect starter for the day. We returned a few days later and ordered the exact same thing it was that good!
I thought The Pantheon was probably the most impressive sight we visited, an ancient temple built in 125 AD, dedicated to all of the Roman gods at the time.
At nearly 2000 years old, it still holds the largest unsupported concrete dome in the world, which is an amazing feat considering it’s age. It’s also the resting place of the famous High Renaissance artist Raphael.
We ended up going back to The Pantheon multiple times, we enjoyed it that much!
A few days later at The Pantheon again, this time armed with my fish-eye lens! That dome though… 😵
We decided to look inside a church nearby The Pantheon, and by chance, and it happened to have three famous Caravaggio paintings inside.
We spent a while just looking at the paintings, it’s hard to explain how epic they are in person.
The majestic Sant’Agnese in Agone, facing the Piazza Navona.
Cool little VW Bug spotted 📯
🍕 P I Z Z A .
Colosseum, Forum & Palatine
We walked around the Colosseum while reading about it’s violent history. Not much is left intact, but what is there gives you enough to imagine what it may have been like.
Just across from the Colosseum, we walked up to Palatine Hill, where the famous Emperors of rome would have lived. Although it’s all ruins now, it’s still really cool to see how it would have been laid out.
We also looked out over the huge Circus Maximus, which would have been a chariot racing stadium.
Down the hill is the Roman Forum, the city centre of ancient Rome. Again walking around, you sort of got a feel for what it might have been like, many of the buildings were still intact.
The Altare della Patria at the edge of the forum was also a pretty impressive structure to behold.
“Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II” is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.
We revisited the Colosseum in the evening one night to see it illuminated from the inside.
The Tiber river at sunset over the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge.
In the middle of the week, we took a trip out to the beach town of Anzio. It was a welcome break from all the antics in Rome 😄
A huge bronze statue of Hercules inside the Vatican museum.
The Vatican museum also has an entire corridor of painted maps, most of which seem very inaccurate!
Inside the museum, we also saw the Frescos by Raphael and the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, both of which were very impressive.
No photos were allowed inside the Sistine Chapel, which was made very clear. We even saw a grumpy American guy being escorted out by a very angry Italian guard! 😱
Tucked away at the back of the paintings gallery in the Vatican is the famous Raphael painting: The Transfiguration. This was surprisingly not busy at all, which I was glad about, since we were able to sit at look in relatively peaceful surroundings.
The colours and details were amazing, and the size of the canvas was also something I didn’t expect.
We returned to St. Peter’s Basilica a few days later, around 30mins before it was due to close, to find there was no queue at all! This was crazy, because just the day before, the queue had stretched right across the square.
Inside was the most extravagant and enormous church interior i’ve ever seen. I don’t think my eyes could quite comprehend the scale until we walked around for a bit.
Street art around Rome is fairly prevalent, similar to Paris. They even cover the street cleaner cars in graffiti. I think it looks pretty cool though, and it proves the city is actually still alive 🎨
You can’t go to Italy without getting some Gelato!
Castel Sant’Angelo aka Mausoleum of Hadrian - Basically a huge fortress right near the Vatican. We walked around inside and learned about it’s many uses over the years.
The view from the top was pretty amazing too, and since it’s centrally located, you can pick out the main sights amongst all the buildings.
We walked over to the famous Trevi fountain, but is was so busy and cramped we didn’t spend very long there.
We moved on, but not before sitting at the edge and tossing a coin with our right hand over our left shoulder. Wikipedia tells me they collect about €1.4 million a year from the coins thrown in… 💶 💶 💶
Thanks for reading, until next time, ciao! 👋 🇮🇹