Rome had always been one of those places I've longed to see. The history and the Romance of the city is something I've wanted to experience first hand since I first learned about the ancient structures in school. So for my first birthday living abroad, it was an easy choice for a place to visit. So Dani and I spent four days there in this past July. In retrospect, I would advice against going in the middle of summer. It was HOT. I think most days we saw highs in the upper 30s.
It's funny when you go to a place like Rome. You have all these ideas in your head what it would be like. And then when you get there, it's pretty much not anything like you pictured in your mind. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful place to visit. But I wasn't fully expected the levels of congestion and really for how dirty the city was. I think maybe I'm a bit spoiled living in Amsterdam where the city keeps things very tidy and takes care of its homeless.
We saw a bunch of cool stuff during our time there, so I'll share some pictures I took as we toured around the city.
Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda
One of the most famous buildings in Rome (I think). We visited the Pantheon on our first day. It's very well preserved as it contains the church of St. Mary and the Martyrs. We learned that the reason why some of the ancient buildings are still around and others are not, is because the ones that are still standing were converted to churches.
Fontana di Trevi
One of the most beautiful monuments in Rome. It's mobbed with people... from early morning till late at night, so it's not great for those with crowd anxiety. Still worth a visit though, especially after sun down.
Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli
We sort of just happened upon this basilica and I'm so glad we did. Turns out that it houses Michelangelo’s "Illumination of Moses" sculpture which houses the tomb of Pope Julius II and the relic of Saint Peter's chains from when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. Also, that skeleton reaper angel sculpture is super interesting as well.
Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
This church was around the corner from our hotel. We stopped by on our last day before heading to the airport. I'm glad we did. The frescos in this church are breathtaking.
Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre)
We took an amazing tour of the Colosseum that took us down below the floor as well as around the normal bits. It's truly an amazing thing to see. It still makes me sad that over time the different civilizations scavenged it for materials. So you can only imagine what it would have been like when it was whole.
Arco di Costantino
Just outside the colosseum. Covered in beautiful sculpture.
It's a huge area chocked full of layers of history, including the area where Marc Antony gave his famous speech about Julius Ceasar.
The Vatican and Vatican Museum
Other Sights Around the City
There's literally history and art all over the city.