From Venice, we boarded a late evening high speed train (tren italia) to Rome and arrived there at around 12 am. Again, we had booked the hotel quite close to the train station and took a taxi to get there. Our stay was at this hotel called Villa San Lorenzo Maria. It turned out to be a really nice place giving you the old world feeling. I kind of felt like I’m staying with my wealthy friend, Lorenzo instead of a hotel 😛
Next morning after a good breakfast at the hotel, we headed straight for the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Palantine Hill all of which are in the same area. It helped that we had booked in advance online as there was long queue for the tickets. We had in fact purchased a combined ticket for all the three sites. It just makes sense to cover the three on the same day. There are some restaurants nearby, so you can take a break between visiting the sites if it gets too tiring or if it’s close to lunch time.
A look inside the Colosseum
is just enthralling! Its huge and it’s so old (construction began in 70 AD), it’s hard to imagine how it survived all this while. For 10,000 people to build the structure in 10 years is quite remarkable for those times I’d say.
Views of the Roman Forum from Palantine Hill
I got the same feeling at the Forum
. It’s even older and development of the area began sometime around 7th
century BC. Construction of such massive well planned structures was just incredible. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most important archaeological sites in the world! And then of course the Palantine Hill
where Romulus, the first king of Rome supposedly founded the city in 753 BC. I thought it was just amazing to stand there and imagine that we actually have an idea of what happened at this site thousands of years ago and that it is still is here for people to come and revisit history.
The 2nd half of the first day and some part of the 2nd day, we took a tour on the hop-on-hop-off bus and visited other places such as the Trevi Fountain and Spanish steps etc. Also, quite enjoyed the beautiful buildings, facades, palazzos and all the city sites along the way.
We got off at Vatican City and headed straight for the Vatican museums. It helped a little that we had pre-booked tickets but even then, the place was very crowded. We somehow made our way to the Sistine Chapel as well but there were just too many people that day. But there is no doubt that the artwork inside is just excellent – the murals, frescos, paintings and sculptures by some of the most renowned artists, most notably Michelangelo are considered masterpieces and I think you can’t even put a value to them.
Intricate work at Vatican Museums
We made our way to St. Peter’s Basilica
next. The entry inside is free and that meant a long wait in the queue (for security check). We started at the end of the queue but 10 mins or so later, there was a long trail behind us. It wasn’t as bad as we had imagined though. We must have waited for about 45 mins and then we were inside the Basilica. The wait was worth it for the structure is magnificent. It’s not only enormous but also really beautiful – extremely ornamental and decorative from within.
So beautiful inside St. Peter’s Bascilica
At the end of our trip and exhausted from all the touring around that day, we dropped the idea of climbing to the top. I do wanted to so and observe St. Mark’s square
from up there but we just couldn’t push ourselves that day. We came back out, bought some postcards and stamps and I sent one back home to India as well ❤
Already late evening by now it was nearing the end of our day and the conclusion of our maiden euro trip. We celebrated the moment with some delicious Italian gelato and then made our way to the hotel to pick up our bags and head to the airport.
I’d say this was a really really great trip! We all know that we can’t experience everything a place has to offer in just one visit but we were very happy with what we did cover. And it just means that we will be back!
So long Europe. You were awesome! 😀
The map for Rome to help you plan. Also pinned is one amazing local tratorria. We had the best vegetarian lasagna here and the hosts are the friendliest.