We totally fell in love with Rome – from the minute we arrived we both knew that we’d be back.
There is SO much to see and do, I feel like we hardly scratched the surface!
We went here a couple of times – our first day was really showery so there were lots of umbrellas up and you couldn’t get a good feel for what it was like. We ventured back on a sunnier day and it looked SO different. I can’t believe the location of this – you walk through some really windy backstreets and wonder where you are going and suddenly it opens up and you see the huge theatrical fountain.
Apparently 3000 Euros are thrown in the fountain every day – the money is collected daily and given to a catholic charity.
Make sure you throw a coin into the fountain to ensure that you’ll one day return to Rome.
We only stopped here briefly as it was really busy. We didn’t make it up to the very top to the church but it reminded me of a much smaller version of the Sacre Coeur.
The Spanish Steps are in an area called the Trident which is where you’ll find all the super posh shops such as Tiffany, Michael Kors, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Prada etc etc etc!
Complesso del Vittoriano
Work on this huge building started in 1838 but it was not completed until 1935. The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, built under the statue of goddess Roma after World War I. We didn’t have time to go inside and it’s only now that we’re home I’ve realised that you could go up to the very top and see panoramic views of the city…how annoying!
Our hotel was just around the corner from here so we stumbled across in on our first afternoon. This is a 2000 year old church that still holds Mass on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. It’s Rome’s best preserved ancient monument that has an oculus (a hole in the centre of the dome) so the best time to go is around midday so that the sunlight streams through and lights up the entire building.
We didn’t book tickets for this and had to queue for around 30 minutes but it was the end of the day so much quieter and less people around. We learnt about what the gladiators had to go through and the punishment that prisoners went through. Animals were transported from around the globe to entertain the crowds aka eating the prisoners. One fact that really stuck in our heads was it was thought that by drinking the blood of a gladiator, it was thought to cure epilepsy!
This was near where our hotel was located – you can read my review here. The Piazza is Rome’s showcase square and has a huge fountain in the middle. There are cafes, bars and restaurants down one side of the Piazza and it was a great place to sit with a glass of Prosecco and people watch for an hour or two!
Pyramid of Cestius
Perhaps one of the lesser known sights in Rome, the Pyramid is located in the suburb Testaccio which we visited during our food tour. The pyramid was built in 12 BC as a tomb for Gaius Cestius – he’d travelled to Egypt and had seen the great pyramids there so on his return to Rome he decided that he quite fancied himself a fancy tomb.
Luckily we’d pre-booked our tickets for this venue – we were allowed in at 10.30am and the queue for not having a ticket was well over an hour long. It’s got SO much to see and do, you could easily spend all day here however we’re not massive history buffs so just wandered around taking it all in. We finally made it into the Sistine Chapel but it was so busy and overcrowded it really took the magic away from where you actually are. I’m really pleased I went but I don’t think I’ll be going back.
Unfortunately we didn’t make it into St Peters Basilica as the Pope was filming something on the Saturday afternoon and it’s closed for service on Sunday morning so we just ran out of time.
We also didn’t do the Roman Forum, Villa Borghese, Palatino, Castel Sant’Angelo or venture over the river to Trastevere which is where it’s the place to be seen (apparently!) I’d also like to see some of the sights at night as they are supposed to be completely different again.
As you can see, there’s plenty to do and we’ll definitely be back!
We stayed at the Navona Palace Hotel.
You can also read about our Food Tour – YUMMY!!
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