I’ve literally just got back from a gorgeous weekend in Italy. I’m exhausted! I didn’t think it’d take that much out of me.. Rome is such a beautiful city I can’t get over how historic and HUGE everything was, and I think I might have a slight creak in my neck from looking up the whole time I was there at all the buildings 😂 I’ve been in Paris earlier this year and I think I prefer Rome, no joke. It’s such a laid back, calm city. Everything flows so well and the people are so friendly. If you’re interested or planning a trip to Rome here’s a couple of things I got up to with pictures.
I booked my trip on Dark Rome – they were great tours so I’d highly recommend booking with them. They do it through City of Wonders and the meeting points are very easy to get to by Metro
If you’re flying into Fiumicino Airport then there’s a direct train called the Leonardo Express into the city. It’s only €14 and it’s a non stop service straight to Termini station which is in the middle of Rome basically. They have connecting Metro lines so it’s simple as pie.
Getting around Rome was a breeze. If you’re gonna be running about place to place quite quickly the Metro will be your savior. It’s only €7 for a 24 hour pass which included unlimited Metros and busses. We didn’t get any busses cause the Metro was just SO handy! There’s only two lines, A and B, and you can switch lines at Termini station. It flies along too so you’ll get around so easily once you get the hang of the lines and trust me it’s so simple!
We stayed in a hotel called Best Western Hotel President, about 10 minutes on a Metro from the city centre and about a 20 minute walk from the Colosseum. The Metro station (Manzoni) was literally on the doorstep of the hotel so it was a perfect location. We booked it on Booking.com so it was handy-dandy and didn’t have to pay until the end of the stay.
This was a 5 1/2 hour tour so I’d be getting the runners on for this one, my feet were crippled after it! It’s mental to be in the Vatican and to be told you’re in a different country, it literally is its own country in itself. It has its own laws, rules and population which I found bizarre. Within the tour you visit Raphael’s Rooms, The Sistine Chapel, St Peters Basilica (which blew me away) and St Peters Square.
Let me start with the Sistine Chapel. I’m sure everyone’s familiar with the photo of Michelangelo touching the finger of God – it’s one of the most famous paintings in the world and it’s on the ceiling. The detail and work that went into every painting and sculpture was fascinating, we literally looked up for the whole tour so my neck was in bits lol.. We weren’t allowed talk or take any pictures/videos once you’re in the Chapel and the guards were very intimidating so I had to be very sly taking pics. The whole story of Michelangelo is explained before you enter the chapel so you know what the paintings are about, it was their way of telling stories.
St Peters Basilica
You’re then brought out to St. Peters Square which was kinda boring, nothing major really to see apart from the famous balcony that the Pope does his occasional speeches on. After that you’re free to go into the St Peters Basilica yourself, if you do anything in the Vatican it has to be visiting this! I was completely gob smacked at how big this church is. Pictures do it no justice whatsoever. There’s two preserved popes in glass coffins and you can see them which I found very strange but also quite interesting too. They’re covered in bronze for some reason, I think it might be a way to keep them preserved I dunno. Like everywhere else in the Vatican, the church was covered in gold, marble, statues and mosaics. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Food and wine
That’s the last part of the tour so you’re free to rome Rome afterwards. Get yourself some pizza and wine! Try avoid the places directly in front of the big attractions though, they’ll charge you a fortune for anything! We ended up getting lunch in a nice little place near the Colosseum and paid €45 for it!! So avoid if possible.
There’s a gorgeous little restaurant about a 10 minute walk from the exit of the Vatican called L’Insalata Rica, the pizza was to DIE for! I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the whole trip.. The wine was so nice too. The average you’d pay for a bottle of house wine would be about €11 which is really good! I can’t even bear the sight of wine after that weekend lol.
This part was one of the highlights of my trip. We turned the corner and it was literally THERE! This is a must if you’re visiting Rome. Like everything else it’s humongous, I don’t know how they managed to build it or where they even started! It was one of those moments where you stand for a good 10 minutes watching the water flow and you wouldn’t get bored whatsoever. Apparently if you throw 3 coins in you’ll get married, you should have seen me rooting for me pennies 😂 All the money goes to charity too.
This was another moment where you just turn around and its THERE. We got straight off the Metro station and came out the door and it was right in front of you. This obviously was an amazing sight but throughout the tour we got a bit bored of listening about what stones were used to build it, and we were fucking freezing too cause most of it is in shade! It’s mainly just ruins so it’s hard to make out what it used to look like but the tour guide helped us with pictures. After the Colosseum you’re brought to the Roman Forum which is the ruins of an old mini city. The fascinating thing about Rome is that it’s a city build over a city. So everywhere you go, you know there’s the remains of a city right underneath you. Even if you go to the toilet in a restaurant, they can only have no more than 2 toilets because the remains of the city underneath restricts how much pipes and waterworks you can build under ground! The metro lines are restricted too because of this, it’s crazy!
I had no idea what this place was before we went. It’s basically the ruins of an old town/village that lies underneath a city. Strange but if you look at the pictures you’ll notice the doors are really high and we were literally standing below where the previous roads and streets used to be. It’s very hard to make out what’s what because it’s literally ruins, but it’s interesting. Also, that rock with the flowers on it is where Julius Caesar got cremated!