Want to find out what unmissable things you need to see whilst on a weekend in Rome? Read on but first find out why Rome was on my hit list.
The weekend was finally within reach which meant that our trip to Italy’s capital city of Rome was upon us. I have to admit Italy has never really stood out to me. Truthfully, this is because my love of all things Spanish, has kept my heart hostage for a very long time! However, my opinions and desires started to change when I started to learn Italian at work. Our teacher is lovely and comes from Genoa. Her passion and enthusiasm for her home country made me rethink. Soon I began craving the need to visit this country that I have never stepped foot onto.
So when a long weekend break in mid November was mentioned this was my opportunity to begin discovering Italy. Where best to start than the heart of the country itself. Rome was our chosen destination as it was likely to be at least a few degree’s warmer than the UK!
1. The Colosseum
This is an awe-inspiring structure from the outside let alone the inside. Whilst standing inside you can imagine what went on here thousands of years ago. Three sides of the Colosseum are surrounding by the road but the 4th side is pedestrianised and you can get some great photos here. Get there early to avoid huge queues and your ticket will gain you entrance to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and if you are lucky enough to still be under 25 you can get all this for 7.50euros, otherwise it is 13.00euros entrance.
2. The Roman Forum
This is a huge area with various ancient structures and columns. Remember if the queues for the Colosseum are huge then head to the Roman Forum first as you can still buy your ticket here and visit the Colosseum after. There are some great view points in this section of the grounds as well.
3. The Pantheon
A huge Roman church, which was a former Roman Temple, situated in the Piazza della Rotanda in the center of the Centro Storico, the historic center. The church is free to enter if you wish to see the domed church. The middle part of the dome has no roof and there are drainage holes in the ground below to dispose of the water when it rains.
4. Piazza Novona
This huge square also located in the Centro Storico offers beautiful architecture and fountains. With a lot of bars and restaurants conveniently placed here, a lot of tourists flock here, especially in the evening. The square was an important location in Ancient Rome as it was formerly the spot where a stadium was built where Romans went to watch games.
5. Trevi Fountain
Everyone has heard of this famous fountain and it is a beautiful structure, even more so without the hundreds of people who flock there to throw money into the water or to propose to their loved ones, We saw three proposals in half an hour on a Sunday afternoon! It is one of the largest Baroque style fountains in the city and reminds me fondly of The Cascada fountain in Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona. Coincidently when I researched the fountain in Barcelona it is said that the architect/builder aimed to loosely make it bear a resemblence to the Trevi Fountain of Rome!
6. Spanish Steps
This is again a famous and well-known attraction in Rome, the steps were made famous as it was the location where the film Roman Holiday was filmed starring Audrey Hepburn in 1953. The steps lead from Piazza di Spagna to Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top of the steps. Hundreds of people will probably be sitting on the steps when you arrive and local police patrol the steps to stop eating, drinking or vandalising the steps, especially seeing as they have only just been restored!
7. Villa BorgheseGardens
The park is located in the North East of Rome and is a great place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. Here you can enjoy walking or even cycling around the park. The city zoo is also located within the park grounds. Try and find the Piazza di Siena where equestrian dressage and other events took place during the 1960 Summer Olympics.
8. Altare della Patria
Also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or II Vittoriano. This huge white columned building is a monument built in honour or Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. This building and its magnificent staircases are open to the public and offer amazing views of the city. If you wish to take in the best views of the city then you can take a ride up in the glass elevator to the very top of the building for 7.00 euros per person. The elevator is located at the back of the building so if you walk up the entrance stairs, head right and go inside the building, climb a few more staircases and you should reach a door that leads you outside again, just walk around the back of the building to find the elevator or just follow the signs.
9. Vatican City
The heart of Christianity and the smallest sovereign state in the world both in area and population. Within the Vatican City there are serval religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Capel and the Vatican Museums which feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. The Sistine Chapel is located within the Vatican Museums so you need to pay to get into them both. You can visit St Peter’s Basilica free of charge but everything else you will be charged to enter. The city is also a Unesco World Heritage Site and it is quite a large area in total so be prepared to walk around a fair bit.
10. There is so much more to see in Rome, so go out and explore!
The Centro Storico is especially filled with things to see and visit such as Campo di Fiori!