Welcome to part two of my Rome travel guide (if you didn´t read Part 1, here is the link). Our first day in Rome was more or less a religious experience, the second day we focused more on ancient ruins and other interesting parts of Rome. There is no doubt, that the Eternal City is a full of the world´s most beautiful and timeless sights, so join me and follow my guide.
We started our second day by visiting the Colosseum, which is the largest amphitheater in the world and served as an arena for gladiatorial games. This gigantic three-story building with an oval layout was built in the 1st-century AD during the reign of emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty (whose name I don´t have to remind to the lovers of Lindsey Davis´s books :))
If you don´t buy the tickets (combined for the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum) on-line in advance, be prepare to queue.
The Arch of Constantine
You can´t miss this one of the largest of Rome´s ancient triumphal arches since it´s standing right next to the Colosseum.
The Palatine Hill
Just a short distance from the Colosseum, on the Palatine Hill you can find the ruins of several large villas which were inhabited by rich Roman patrician families, as well as caesars. In my mind, I projected my favorite literary character Marcus Didius Falco who had to climb the Palatine Hill during his adventures.
Enjoy the walk through the beautiful gardens that can take you easily to the Roman Forum.
The Roman Forum
Beautiful area to explore, so take your time and spend some time walking among the ruins. During the ancient Roman Empire, this was the political, legal and religious center.
This is a unique complex of ancient ruins of then significant buildings, like temples (The Romulus Temple, The Temple of Julius Caesar, Castor & Pollux etc.), arches (Arch of Titus, Arch of Augustus or Arch of Septimus Severus) and also Curia, which was the place where the gatherings of the Roman Senate were held.
The Capitoline Hill
On our walk towards the Capitoline Hill, we passed the Altare della Patria (or the Vittoriano), that was built in honor the first king of the united Italy – Victor Emmanuel. Since it was midday, we could watch the changing of the guards in front of this national monument.
But back to the Capitoline Hill, that is another of Roman hills. Btw. did you know that there are 7 of them that form the heart of the city of Rome? Besides the Capitoline, there are also: Palatine (mentioned above), Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Quirinal and Viminal.
On the top of this hill, you can find The Capitoline museums, but we only took a cup of cappuccino here on the back terrace with the view of Rome.
|A copy of bronze statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius|
The Pantheon is the only building from the Graeco-Roman world which has remained almost intact, thanks to the fact that it has been transformed into a Christian church (and therefore there is no entrance fee there :)). But from the front side, there is no doubt it once was a Roman building – see the triangular front and pillars.
The round diameter of the building is the same as its height. On the top of the perfectly designed cupola (there are no props) is a hole through which comes sunshine that enlightens the interior.
Inside you can find several tombs of once significant people (e.g. king Umberto or the famous renaissance artist Raphael Santi).
Only 10 minutes walk from the Pantheon you can find the Trevi fountain. The legend says that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you´ll certainly come back to Rome again.
Piazza del Popolo
From the Trevi fountain, we took a short walk through the vivid street Via del Corso to Piazza del Popolo. In this big square, you can find the second biggest obelisk in Rome. We wanted to peek inside the S. Maria del Popolo church to see the Chigi Chapel designed by Raphael (hello Angels and Demons again :)), but unfortunately, it was under reconstruction.
The Spanish Steps
This place (as well as the piazza where the Trevi fountain is situated) is a bit overcrowded, so if you want to sit down and relax your sore feet, better consider finding another place.
On the top of the Steps, there is a magnificent church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti and in front of it, you can see another obelisk (this city is full of obelisks, have you noticed?).
San Giovanni in Laterano
This was our last place of interest in Rome. Since it´s situated a bit further from the city center, we took a subway (Line A) to get to this church, which is the highest-ranking church of the Catholic Church.
Inside you can admire beautiful frescoes, reliefs, ceiling or the gothic papal altar with baldachin.
Where to eat
Pizza, pasta, gelato…you can repeat this mantra in whole Italy 🙂 During our stay we had our own breakfast, but during our walks through the city, we bought pieces of pizza here and there, once we went for lunch nearby Piazza Navona, where almost every restaurant offers tourist menu and we also treated ourselves to a dinner in a fancy (for us :)) restaurant :). And of course had plenty of ice – also in this Fassi Gelateria near the Termini station, from where you can get a bus to take you to the airport.
And what about you? Have you been to Rome? Are you planning to go there? Do you think my guide will be useful for the city tour? Would you add any place to my guide? Let me know!
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What is not to love about Rome – one of our fave cities! Looks like you had a great trip!