3 Days in Rome

The city of Rome is best known for its astoundingly beautiful architecture, fascinating history and of course, the delicious Italian cuisine. My mum, sister and I jetted off to spend 3 days soaking up the wonders of Rome and eating as much gelato as we could get our hands on.

I had never been to Italy before, let alone Rome, so you can understand my extreme excitement for exploring somewhere new. I studied Italian GCSE over my A-Levels so I was also looking forward to finally putting that into practise. Our hotel, Albergo del Senato, was situated in Piazza della Rotonda, which is the square in which the beautiful Pantheon is located. Treated so well by wonderful staff, our stay was superb and the rooftop bar that overlooked the whole piazza definitely gave it some brownie points.

Our first day was dedicated to locating and exploring the Colosseum. Venturing off in the sweltering heat, we finally stumbled across the beautiful, historic building and we were all shocked by its vastness. The history of the place is just overwhelming and we enjoyed reading up on the information that was offered to us. I discovered that the Colosseum, in the Roman era, was used for gladiatorial contests or animal hunts, which used predominantly African imported animals such as lions and rhinos. To be stood in the exact place where these such events took place all those years ago was a humbling and mystifying experience (I have never been one to get my head around History) and I was amazed at the longevity of the building.

On our second day, we woke up at silly o'clock to see the Trevi fountain in all its glory, but without the bustling crowds. Although I may have been half asleep, it was definitely worth going at an early hour as the tranquility of watching the fountain with only a few others around was something I could have enjoyed for hours. The carvings into the great white marble structure were mind-bogglingly beautiful and intricate, leaving me to wonder how one can make hard stone seem so soft by carving out the details of the fabric of a dress. We spent a while watching the water cascade down the fountain and throwing coins over our left shoulders, whilst making a wish (I hope mine comes true). After seeing the Trevi fountain, we grabbed a spot of breakfast and jumped on a hop-on-hop-off bus to be taken past all of the sights of Rome.

That evening, my mum took us to watch Carmen the Opera in an open-air opera theatre. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the experience, but once the performers opened their mouths I was hooked. The storyline was modern, ahead of its time and extraordinary and accompanied by the most beautiful music and phenomenal voices. Although the performance was very long (3. Hours. Long.), every minute was fantastic and, although the ending wasn't as dramatic as we had expected (there was only 1 death, would you believe!?), we left feeling mesmerised and extremely inspired.

Day three was spent in the Vatican City, where we attended a Papal Audience (big up Pope Francesco, what a guy) and visited St Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the world. The papal audience was humbling and very spiritual, but the crowds were immense, meaning we had to queue for a long while before we got into the building. However, once we were inside, listening to the Pope address the audience and numerous translators translating his words into many different languages was interesting and uplifting. As for the Basilica, well, it was probably the most beautiful building I have ever laid my eyes on. The interiors were just exquisite, with golden carvings, murals, paintings and altars, all with the most ornate detail. I thoroughly enjoyed meandering around the church and I certainly enjoyed rummaging through the gift shop, too.

Our fourth and final day involved finally venturing into the Pantheon just opposite our hotel and soaking up it's beauty, doing a little bit of shopping on the Oxford Street of Rome, or Via del Corso as the Italians call it and enjoying some cocktails and cheese boards at a little hidden gem of a restaurant near our hotel. The Pantheon was glorious, again, with beautiful murals and wall carvings, which made the building appear much bigger on the inside. Although signs asked otherwise, there was quite a bit of noise as people were talking, however, I didn't find that it detracted much from my awe. The shopping was successful, with some wonderful gelato being consumed (nutella flavour for me, per favore!) and a pandora charm bought for my bracelet. Once we returned back to our hotel, we wondered where we could grab our last bite, and our hotel receptionist recommended Il Collegio, a charming little restaurant that serves tantalisingly tasty cocktails and numerous cheese boards, which we enjoyed sampling.

All in all, Rome did not disappoint. It stunned me with its rich history and beautiful architecture and of course, the numerous Vespas that dotted the streets (oh, what I'd do to ride one). I loved visiting the city and I also thoroughly enjoyed the hotel that we stayed at. Then highlight of the trip was, for me, the Opera or the Basilica Church, because both were experiences I had never witnessed before and are both things that I could happily do again and again. I hope this little summary of my time in Rome will inspire you to grow your Italian wings and fly over there for a little while.

Ciao bellas.


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