I’ve just come back from a few days spent in Rome with a group of friends. We stayed just outside of Rome in a place called Flaminio, at a lovely little holiday park called Flaminio village. The holiday park was complete with a swimming pool (which we didn’t use but it was nice to know it was there), a bar and a restaurant. Staying here was great because it got us away from the hustle and bustle of the city after long days of exploring, plus we saved a lot of money by staying outside of the city, and just got a 15/20 minute train in to Rome every day. It cost about €18 for a 3 day train pass, which seemed like a very fair price.
On our first day we decided to hit up Vatican City. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, with a population of 842 and area of 110 acres, and is walled off within Rome. We were told that we should dress conservatively as a sign of respect, so you should wear long trousers and a top that covers your shoulders. On entrance, we found that a fair amount of people were in shorts and vest tops however, so I’m not sure how important this rule is. Walking into The Vatican, the first thing we saw was St Peter’s Basilica- the most renowned piece of Renaissance architecture. It really was a beautiful building, and it could be seen from many viewpoints in Rome as its dome shaped roof dominated much of the skyline.
We wandered around St Peter’s square for a bit and then walked over to a ticket office to buy tickets for The Vatican museums- we were advised to purchase an advance ticket rather than showing up to the museums as the queue can be several hours long. The queue to buy a ticket was about 20 minutes and then we followed a guy with a sign to the entrance of the museums. We were herded along like cattle as it was so busy, but we got instant access and spent a good few hours admiring the art and architecture of the museums. I won’t lie: the museums were packed. And when I say packed, I mean it was a brick wall of people moving at .001 miles per hour. This did make the experience a little tiring, but it was all very beautiful nonetheless and I highly recommend visiting.
After exploring Vatican City, we headed back into Rome and wandered the streets to look for a cute gelato parlour. Rome is lined with lots of gelato parlours so it wasn’t difficult, and the variety of flavours got us very excited. We spent a lot of time in Rome just wandering and searching for places to try Italian gelato, coffee, pizza and pasta, and I have to say we were not disappointed by the food.
On day 2, we went to visit the Roman Colosseum. We took a bus from the train station, and navigated our way to the Colosseum, which was quite easy as the buses clearly marked all the stops, with “Colosseo” being the one we needed. This iconic landmark was built out of sand and concrete and completed in 80 AD, and is estimated to have been able to hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators. Quite remarkable really, given the immaculate precision of the structure against how long ago it was built.
We then went on to visit some more of Rome’s famous attractions; the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and the River Tiber. Rome’s architecture was seriously beautiful and wandering around The Eternal City taking in these sights was really lovely.
To sum, Rome is a beautiful city, and I can see why it is known as “The Eternal City.” The food was amazing, the coffee was amazing and the whole feel of the place was amazing. We found it was fairly easy to navigate around and it was never difficult to find a cute little cafe or restaurant when we wanted one, which meant trying Italian cuisine was easy. My favourite part of the trip has to be Vatican City- it was so immaculately kept and the gardens and museums were stunning, even if it was very busy. 10/10 would recommend.