#TBT | Rome & The Vatican City

Another Thursday, another throwback

This week we explore my "interesting" experience in Rome and The Vatican City.

Things to do:

- the Colosseum is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions, and probably one of Europes most iconic buildings and so it should be - it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and is an impressive work of architecture. I really liked visiting and worth paying to go inside and imagine the view the spectators would have had all those years ago. Its crazy to think of lions & gladiators battling it out to survive whilst thousands of people sat and watched them being ripped to shreds. The Colosseum is right next to the Roman Forum and for €12 you can get a combined entry ticket which lasts 2 days. The Roman Forum is plaza surrounding by a site of several ruins. We never got time to do the Roman Forum too, but for the price of the combined ticket you may aswell! Its a lot harder than I thought to write about something so well known because, well, you probably already know about the Colosseum and don't need persuading to visit it if you go to Rome. So I hope you appreciate that in order to understand whats its like you just have to visit, words are no use to me here. 

Trevi Fountain
- So you all know the Trevi Fountain, really beautiful statues and colours filled with shimmering water and thousands of coins that people throw in each day. Im yet to see that Trevi Fountain ... the fountain I saw was empty and covered in scaffolding with signs asking not to throw in coins (I'm pretty sure everyone was anyway). It was one of the spots I was most looking forward to seeing in Rome and typical that it was covered in scaffolding. Ive read since coming back that you're supposed to throw in 3 coins based on the film "Three Coins in the Trevi Fountain" ... the first to guarantee your return to Rome, the second ensures a new romance and the third to ensure marriage. This explains why I am without the latter two, and I will have to return to Rome to a. throw in my other 2 coins, and b. to hopefully see the fountain with water this time! The one thing I found with the Trevi Fountain is that its actually hard to find (or not, maybe just us) so try to have a detailed road map of Rome or an App i've found so useful when abroad is the "CityMaps2Go" - you can download maps to your phone and then can use them offline and it shows you where you are and directions of how to get to wherever you need to be. 

Spanish Steps
- Spanish steps in Italy, seems legit? The Spanish Steps are in a really nice area in Rome and lead down to the Piazza di Spagna, a famous square in Rome with fountains, museums, cafes, and shops. But if you fancy walking up the 135 steps you can find yourself not too far from Piazza del Puopolo, a large square filled with churches, fountains and a beautiful Egyptian Obelisk. Branding off from this square you can find and explore the massive Villa Borghese, an area of beautiful gardens and 17th Century houses (if thats what you're into). I would advise talking the route down though because its quite a hill & trek.  

Castel Sant Angelo
- All I think of when I see or think about Castel Sant Angelo is Angels & Demons (Dan Brown book, if you've not read it - do so. Now) - the way he describes the castle is incredible and it made me so excited to get the chance to see it. Naturally when we went it was pissing it down with rain, lightning, foggy, could barely see a thing. Not ideal. What we could make out was impressive and you could just see the angel on the top which did make me happy because its mentioned in the book. The castle is across the Ponte Sant Angelo across the River Tiber. If you want to go inside you can at a cost of €7 and you can see the extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, medieval firearms and military memorabilia that are on show there. 

Just a short distance from Castel Sant Angelo down 'via della Conciliazone' you will enter a whole new country, thats right, you can head to Rome in Italy, quick stop to the Vatican City & you'll be able to tick two countries off you list! The Vatican City is of course home to the Pope and everything Pope-like.

The Vatican City
- home to the what is said to be largest church in the world, St Peters Basilica. This iconic building towers over the other buildings facing down into St Peters Square and the rest of the city and its most recognisable feature at 448 ft high? The tallest dome in the world; Michelangelo dome. I always thought the pope lived in this basilica, I was wrong. The pope actually lives in the Apostolic Palace just next door, which to be honest isn't quite as exciting to look at. The Apostolic is not only home to the Pope, but also different government office of the Catholic Church, Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms. The most famous of which is probably the Sistine Chapel; the site of Papal conclave, the process by which a new Pope is selected (seriously read Angels & Demons its fab!). Here you will find what may be the most famous ceiling painting in the world? "The Last Judgement" by Michelangelo. We unfortunately never got the chance to go into the Sistine Chapel as the queue for tickets was about 3 hours long and meant waiting in the rain .. for 3 hours. Ive had to do my research for this one because I've not been myself but for roughly €44 you can visit the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel & St Peters Basilica. I would love love love to visit and next time I will make sure I get tickets in advance!! I think the Vatican City is very impressive looking and I can see why thousands of people are drawn to it to visit. Plus you can't beat all the adorable Pope Francis souvenirs.  

Im not sure why but Rome was a very underwhelming experience for me. Maybe because it rained the whole time, and because everything had scaffolding or the queues were too long to go into things, who knows. I would like to revisit (got no choice really if I want to have a new romance & get married) and hopefully I will see Rome differently in better weather!

Let me know about your trips to Rome!
Ciao bella 

Check back to read my next #TBT .... Ljubljana & Bled

♡ G

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