The eternal city; a cobbled mesh of picturesque streets opening up to beautiful piazzas and street side-cafes. Once the capital of the world, this ancient city is steeped in heritage, but for me Rome has everything. From gorgeous food to bars, ancient moments and ample places to set up for some people watching, it really is the ultimate city break and the perfect opportunity to bring my undergraduate degree to life!We stayed in a boutique hotel at the Piazza Venezia (conveniently named Hotel Piazza Venezia!) and we couldn’t have picked a better spot! The Piazza Venezia is essentially the central hub of Rome where all of Rome’s main roads intersect. Given that Rome’s sites are fairly spread across the capital, it’s an ideal base for those intending to walk to each destination.For a bit of down time after our flight, we walked to Piazza Navona, passing the Pantheon as we went. Piazza Navona is picturesque square with three elegant fountains to gaze at. My favourite being the Fontana del Nettuno depicting Neptune fighting a sea monster. Definitely worth a visit, if not just to sit and have a drink in one of the piazza cafes, relaxing against the sound of the water.For a slightly more memorable fountain experience, head to none other than the Trevi Fountain! Most likely to be packed with tourists and the security guards are ferociously guarding the fountain rim, making sure no one sits down, or tries to jump in (very tempting in 35 degree heat I must say!). For a magical experience, head to the fountain before dinner, where the water looks even more blue and the lights make the sculpture come to life.We also paid a visit to the Spanish Steps, another must see in Rome and offers some fantastic views of the city.
As we were only in Rome for 2 days, we really had to pick our sites wisely. But a trip to Rome really isn’t complete without a visit to the Colosseum! On our final day, like the keen tourists we are, our alarms were set for a nice early start. After a quick breakfast we headed straight to the Colosseum, ensuring we could get in as soon as doors were opened! And what a fabulous idea it was to get there early. With only a few people ahead of us, we had full views of the Colosseum and the leisure to prance around as we pleased. There was no need to worry about the crowds or tip toe over fifty people just to read a plaque! Perfect.
We spent a good couple of hours here, taking in that incredible feeling that overwhelms you when you step into something steeped in so much history. By 11am we called it quits, the temperature had gone up from 26 to 36 degrees and it was time to move on to the Roman Forum.
Walking through the ruins of the Forum was just as spectacular, you’re surrounded by ruins and completely transported from cosmopolitan Rome; at times you forget you’re actually in the centre of a busy city. In the heat we naturally had to stop for shade breaks, but it only lets you appreciate the site more.In the afternoon, we made a rather awesome discovery. During a nice afternoon stroll, we headed towards the embankment and stumbled upon a riverside pop up festival. Having done some research, what we had discovered was the Lungo Il Tevere di Roma, an annual festival that draws people to the lifeblood of Rome i.e the river! There were multiple pop-up tents lining the banks of the Tevere, consisting of cute decked bars, cafes and eateries – attracting both the locals and visitors like us who were lucky enough to find it. With so many cute places to sit in the sunshine; deckchairs, outdoor sofas and gorgeous riverside views, we easily spent the rest of our last afternoon sipping on Aperol and relaxing in the riverside breeze.
Rome, you really are a piece of me!