Originally posted on my blog, click here to see the full gallery and post

Where to start writing about this trip? Rome is, without a doubt on of the birthplaces of modern civilisation, one of the capitals of the world of old, for some, it's also a place of faith and an obligated faith destination as the Vatican City is located in the central area of it. Personally, the fact that there is a piece of history in every corner, and that it homes thousands of paintings, sculptures, buildings form thousands of years and that are still standing, most of them in a remarkably good condition, is the main point of interest of this wonderful metropolis. Well, that and the fact the it's astoundingly beautiful.

On my arrival, I made the mistake of underestimating the distance between the train station and the hotel where I stayed at. So when I got there I checked google maps and realised it was literally on the other side of Rome, and not knowing how to get there by public transport and not having any taxis in sight I decided to walk there, and by the way,driving in an orderly manner is an unknown concept there.
That first evening I was meeting my friend Lilly who was exhibiting her photography work at Interzone Gallery and I had the chance to see the gallery and the exhibition.

Afterwards we found this tiny place in one of the backstreets from the gallery, had dinner and a drink there, and then moved onto a live music bar near that to have the last drink. Small incise, the place where we had dinner actually offered vegan and vegetarian options, without even asking beforehand, however, in mediterranean countries, regardless of the size of the city or town, this is an oddity. I'll make a post about vegetarianism and veganism while travelling soon.
After the first night I woke up early and had breakfast in bed while watching <i>The Nightmare Before Christmas before getting ready and venturing out to face the public transport system and the many wonders the city has to offer.

My first stop was the Vatican City, which was, disappointingly closed (not the country, only the Piazza St. Pietro) and it was hell to walk through the crowd pushing towards the gates that closed the square. I managed to get a decent view and a couple of pictures, but my visit was cut short because of this incident.

My next idea was to just walk around and see what I ran into. In total I spent <i>about 8 hours walking and wandering around the city</i>, and it was never short of something to see and explore. Churches and historical buildings and palaces turned into public institutions were the most prominent.

One of the highlights of my walk was the riverside walk by the edge of the Tiber river, which is found by walking down the steps located on the side of some of the bridges.


The great thing about visiting Rome, is that the city has been built around these arquitectural wonders because they used to be buildings where people carried on their everyday life, which is why the city itself is one big monument. Even if you only want to find an espresso place or a slice of pizza (you know, when in Rome) you'll find something that catches your eye.

My first stop was the Castelo Sant’Angelo and the bridge that comes with the castle. I didn’t get a chance to go inside because the queue ran up to halfway across the bridge and I was not going to wait that long.

Built as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian, it was converted into a papal fortress in the VI century and named after an angelic vision that Pope Gregory the Great had in 590. Nowadays, it houses the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo and its eclectic collection of paintings, sculpture, military memorabilia and medieval firearms.


After crossing the bridge I ventured into the historic side of Rome, and walked over to the Piazza Navona. The Piazza Navona is a brilliant example of baroque architecture in Rome, featuring La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in the centre, or The Fountain of the Four Rivers, overlooked by the Palazzo Pamphili and the church of Sant'Agnese in Agnone. There are two more fountains in this square; La Fontana del Moro, at the south end of the square, and La <strong>Fontana del Nettuno, at the northern side.

With it's intricate craftwork and architectural detailing, la Piazza Navona is really an elegantly designed jewel in the very heart of Rome, that is a must-see for everyone who visits this city.
After walking for quite a while, bumping into familiar buildings and walking into unknown churches, I finally found a familiar site: the Pantheon. And of course, it was full of people.


This is a temple that has been standing here for around 2000 years. It was built over another temple, constructed earlier, and although the exterior looks very worn out, the interior of the temple is absolutely magnificent. Walking through the bronze doors and gazing up into the dome is truly an exhilarating experience.

This was my second time in Rome, and I had already been in the pantheon, and this particular monument for some reason makes me feel very calm and in sync with everything, and I already knew that I wanted to spend more time around here, so I sat down for lunch at the square, while observing the greek-inspired columns. By the way, I had a wonderful insalata caprese here, at a not-too-unreasonable price, which was very surprising.

Next up was the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele and the Piazza Venezia.


Also called Altare Della Patria, this was a monument built in honour if Vittorio Emanuele, the first king of Italy after the country had been unified. It opened in 1925.

This is really a breath taking walk, as you go towards the monument, across the square, and as you get closer, you feel the immensity if the construction and yourself shrink the closer you are to it. Also, there is a little lift at the back of the monument, that takes you right up to the top, and you get a fantastic view of the entire city! If you get a chance do get on it.

My walk then took me to La Fontana di Trevi. I did not remember that it occupied the whole square from the first time I was here. But I’ve got to say, the sculptures and the stonework are magnificent! Also, the legend says that if you stand with your back facing the fountain and throw a coin in like this, you’ll come back to the city. It worked for me so give it a try!
My next important stops were La colonna di Marco Aurelio and. La Piazza di Spagna, both of them full of picture-taking-tourists. Actually I was doing the same thing, but still, they could’ve picked another day to do it and leave the streets all for me!


On the third day my train left really early so I could only explore around the train station, as I did not want to miss my train.
So off I went, rolling my suitcase behind me. Near the Termini Station the best thing you can visit is the Therms of Diocleziano and then walk around a bit more into random squares and official buildings. As I said, the city is littered with ancient architecture.


The security guards were not happy that I was carrying luggage inside the Therms so I decided to leave instead.

As I wandered around I did run into a few ruins that I cannot remember the name right now, and a few more buildings embedded into the landscape of the city. Afterwards I returned to the train station and went on my way back to Venice.

Now, I know I missed the Colliseum and a couple of other important landmarks, but as I said I was only here for the weekend, and there are certain things that I want to visit properly, not just skim through them, so I hope that my coin toss works and that I'll be back quite soon!

Published by Carolina De Lara