Italy - Rome

by David Sutcliffe

     

I hadn't realised that Rome was quite so compact.  If you can get a centrally located hotel everything is within relatively easy walking distance - Vatican City, the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and what seems like an archaeological site round every corner.

After a rather hair-raising 25 minute taxi ride into the city centre from Fiumicino Airport we dropped our bags off at the hotel and set out to ‘do' Rome in 48 hours.

First stop the Vatican.  Crossing the River Tiber, past the castle and into the smallest nation state in the world (that's another one to tick off the list!).  One thing that was very welcome was the fact that almost every site of interest in Rome had free entry, so we wandered in to St Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the Christian world.  My wife and I seem to be drawn to churches whenever we go on a city break, and this was as impressive as any.

Back across the river and an early dinner - they seem to be able to do pasta rather well here!  We had been advised that it's best to visit the Trevi Fountain in the evening after the bulk of tourists had left.  Well, it was still very busy, but what a stunningly beautiful sight - particularly as it's about 250 years old.

The following day we travelled back in time a little further and visited the Pantheon, the Forum and the Colosseum - back to the glory days of the Roman Empire.  The Forum and the Colosseum give you a real sense of what it would have been like 2000 years ago.  The Pantheon, after a couple of facelifts, feels a lot younger but is still a very worthwhile visit.

If you have read any other of my reports you will know that I have a soft spot for St Petersburg in Russia, but I'm torn now.........is Rome more beautiful?  Perhaps I need to go back and check again............

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