The walled city of Rome is a labyrinth of winding streets and ally’s that lead to historical squares or impressive empowering statues, world famous fountains and decaying monuments. The hustle and bustle of tourists trying to fit in as much as possible make this city a fast paced one. For those that enjoy being on their feet pretty much all the major sights are within walking distance. Part of the joy of Rome is to walk around the corner and realise that you have stumbled upon yet another area of historical significance. This is Rome, a city bursting with culture and history. Unless you have been on the ‘Tombs and Catacombs’ tour underground for the whole duration it is pretty much impossible not to soak up some of the impressive history.
For those that would like to save their legs there is the metro link that is so cheap, quick and easy to use you can get from the Vatican to the Coliseum in no time at all. Navigational skills are a bonus here as one street often looks like the next, which do not connect as one might expect them to. My sense of direction definitely took a hit when wandering around the monument where warriors and slaves battled it out amongst the emperors. While trying to rush back in preparation for the evenings meal we found ourselves at a loss, three hours later to my friends utter dismay and my amusement we found ourselves stood on a very familiar corner looking out to the same monument we had left hours ago.
One way to easily spend a day is to visit the Vatican and St Peters Basilica. Purchasing tickets beforehand will save you from endless queues. By doing this you will also be supplied with a informative guide who will explain the city of the Vatican. Wandering through the rooms of endless paintings of wondrous colours and rich textures makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. The utter awe that comes from seeing the Sistine Chapel with the famous ceiling, passes shimmers down the spine. The hushed silence that spreads through the room like a canon of whispers makes it a unique collective appreciation of such a work of art.
One of the most difficult things in Rome is deciding where to eat. With so many bistros and cafes tucked within the stone walls some may find it a task on its own. A lot of restaurants around the centre of Rome have fabulous authentic menus to sample the local dishes. However don’t be afraid to venture away from the hub of tourists and try the quieter streets as these restaurants tend to offer the same great tasting food but for half the cost. Eating pizza here is almost a quilt free pleasure as it is cooked the Italian way, thin, crispy and not swimming in grease. If you have time its always fun to taste the pizza from its origin with a day trip to Naples. Those that want to stretch their legs could always take a hike up Mount Vesuvius. On a clear day the bay of Naples from the top of the mountain is a sight to behold.
On the return into Rome one of the best ways to relax and unwind after a hard days events is to eat in a candlelit restaurant with a glass of wine or two. Walk past the street entertainers, pick up a painting or souvenir and see the City of Rome lit up in lights. Take a stroll past the Trevi Fountain as the evening lights cast shadows on the statued faces. Pick up a coin, give it a rub close your eyes and toss it in the water. Watch as it joins the other glistening metals at the bottom of the fountain , a collection of international wishes all waiting to come true.
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