Beautiful Roma: a few days in the eternal city

March 14, 2017

Ever since I watched the Lizzie McGuire Movie all those years ago I have dreamed of going to Italy. I have had visions of meeting an Italian pop star, enjoying romantic escapades and then outing him as the phoney and snake that he is since I was a little girl.

While none of the latter happened, I did spend a few days exploring the stunning city of Rome. We booked our trip two weeks before going because flights were cheap. We found an affordable guesthouse just outside the centre, up near Vatican City, and went on our merry way with little research or planning involved.

I had heard stories of crazy taxi drivers so arriving there late on a Tuesday evening made me all kinds of anxious. We had arranged to take a bus shuttle from Ciampino airport into the city centre and then get the Metro to our guesthouse. Something went wrong with the Metro, we couldn't translate if it was closed or if there was a strike. Either way, we got in a taxi and made it safely to our guesthouse without being scammed or robbed.

We walked everywhere else in Rome. Nowhere was more than a 45 minute walk from where we were staying and it never felt that long. There's so much to look at; even just the ordinary buildings are works of art.

On our first day we decided to go to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. I bought a travel guide (which I left at home) and luckily remembered that you can get tickets from the Forum for the Colosseum as well, skipping the queues when you visit the latter. It cost us around €15 each for tickets into the Forum and the Colosseum.

The Forum is mind blowing. To be stood in a place that has been there for so long and with so much history was astounding. I almost wished we had bought audio guides so we could hear the full story but we did read all the plaques and signs so we knew what each part used to be.

It all looks like a big pile of rocks but walking around and imagining the hustle and bustle of the past was so much fun.There's a path with a lot of stairs that takes you to the top of the hill and it's well worth the climb. The view from there is amazing and spans across the whole of Rome.

We spent a good half an hour up here just admiring the view and pointing out things we could see.

Then we headed over to the Colosseum, which is a short walk from the Forum and it was probably my favourite part of the trip.

It was huge. It was awe-inspiring. I could have wandered around it for hours and hours.

I've never been in a place with such a feeling and it's hard to describe. Everything that happened there is still so prevalent within every rock.

It was so interesting to see scratches in the seats where spectators engraved the names of their favourite gladiators. Imagine how long that has been there! If there's anything you see in Rome, let it be the Colosseum.

Our second day took us to the Vatican City Museums. We booked tickets online and skipped a huge queue of people. We just took them to a desk inside and swapped the print-out for real tickets.

The museums are huge and we spent about four hours going around them. There was just room upon room of tapestries, artwork, statues, rugs, furniture; all relating in some way to Rome's epic history.

One of my favourite parts was St. Mary's Chapel.You can't take pictures inside so I can't show you but the decor was so intricate. I'm not religious at all but sitting in there made me see why people are. There was such a sense of tranquility and peace, I could quite easily have spent longer just sitting there, thinking. It was truly beautiful.

On our final day, we decided to have a little walk around Rome city centre. We didn't really aim to go anywhere in particular but did get to see the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. These were all completely free to have a look around and each was equally as beautiful as the rest of the city.

Rome is simply stunning. The only thing I would say is to be careful of people on the street who try and sell you things. There was one guy who tied a rope bracelet onto my boyfriend's wrist without asking and then wanted money for it. Usually if you repeatedly say no, they will cut it off. I've read about this numerous times and if you kick up a bit of a fuss, they do back off.

Otherwise, we felt very safe and the city itself wasn't overly expensive. I would say meals and souvenirs are probably priced akin to what you would find in any major city in the UK. As with anywhere, it's important to be vigilant and luckily we didn't run into any issues with pickpockets or dodgy taxis. And if you ever get the chance to go to Rome, jump at it!

There's no where else quite like it.

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  1. Such a cute post! I'm obsessed with that movie. I've visited Rome, it's a really nice place.