Rome - the city of love
To celebrate our 15 years of marriage, we decided to do a romantic getaway, without the kids to Rome – Italy. There are plenty of choices in terms of accommodation on AirBnB, but we opted for an apartment in the center of the old city (Old Rome) to be close to all of the attractions, to be able we can walk the narrow streets, as we love getting lost in a new city.
Rome is definitely one of those cities that no matter where you turn, you somehow manage to find an attraction, monument, or a piece of history. It was fun to get lost in the small cobbled streets with so much going on around you.
Seven days we walked around and I still wasn’t able to get to get back to our our apartment. The twisted narrow streets are confusing, no matter how many times you walk to the same place. Thats why is always good to have an offline map of the city you are visiting.
Things to see:
Depending on the time you have dedicated, you may see more than what’s in the below list, but what we recommend seeing, and we managed to see in a few days:
- Spanish steps – Nice view from the top of the stairs.
- Piazza Navona – Nice piazza with lot of restaurants and interesting fountains in the middle.
- Fontana Di Trevi – Beautiful fountain if you manage to see it from the crowd.
- Pantheon – No entry fee but you have to wait in line to enter
- Altare della Patria – No entry fee, nice views of Rome and the Colosseum.
- Colosseum – A lot of scammers around, selling you jewelry and other things
- Castel Sant’Angelo – nice castle with view from the top
- Vatican city – a must see, at least the front square.
- St. Peter’s Basilica – free of charge, but you need to wait in long lines to pass the security scanner. It is a sacred place so no arms or knees uncovered.
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
Largo Romolo e Remo
Altar of the Fatherland
Rome is full of tourists, there are lines almost everywhere. It’s almost impossible to get close to any of the fountains from the swarm of people surrounding them. Misbehaving tourists have forced Italian’s to place policemen around all of the monuments in order to prevent tourists from going in to the water, seat / stand on these monuments and destroy the thousand year old relics.
When we wanted to go a bit further in town, we used the public buses. The cost is 1,5 € for a single ticket, and you can buy in certain kiosks / news stands. Just ask the clerk working there and he’ll direct you to the closest one actually selling tickets. We used google maps to calculate the route and to find the nearest bus stop. Buses are frequent and in good condition.
The second magical thing in Rome – the food
The second thing that makes the trip to Italy magical is the food. Not that you have not tried Italian food before, but you haven’t tried Italian the way Italians do it. Whether it’s the presentation, or some extra ingredient you’ve not tried, they make the most plain dish seem like a work of art. The menu in the restaurants is never long, and you’ll find each restaurant makes something different you did not see in the previous restaurant. So it is good to change restaurants and absorb the variety.
The restaurant setting is also a thing to experience. Due to the lack of space the tables are standing so close to each other that sometimes you have a feeling that you are dining with the people next to you. We made friends with a young couple that way, and we started chatting, as it is practically impossible not to overhear what people around you are saying.
Although the tables may be small, the plates are enormous. Don’t order to much, we found that one dish was plenty for us, even though by Italian standards, it’s just the appetizer.
The Gelato is a must try. Especially during the hot summer days, it will make the heat bearable, and give you a sugar boost.
There are small fountains with drinking water around the city. It is perfectly safe to drink it, and you can save some money buying water. We had no stomach problems while in Rome.
The general feeling in Rome was like we you are living in a historical movie. Costumed gladiators walking around, carriages passing by, a Catholic monk in old attire cuts your way. Everything is so old that you can feel the way people lived here hundreds of years ago.
The Vatican seemed so unrealistic. We all know the stories about things going inside these walls, but standing there watching the young boys of the Swiss guard at the gates, and the catholic priests walking the procession awakens deep feelings. You are standing on a holy ground!
Also the great art pieces from the biggest artists in the world are clearly on display for everyone to enjoy.
Rome is especially romantic at night, with candles, romantic dinners, tranquille music from street musicians with the sounds of seagulls in the background.
It was the ideal place to celebrate anniversary.