A Trip to Rome

Rome was everything I thought it would be… ancient art, history, ice cream, shoe shops, and it’s really cool to!  The sights and monuments are abundant and whilst it is a bit like an open air museum there’s a great atmophere here.  We arrived in the heart of ancient rome to our beautiful hotel The Albergo Del Santo with the fabulolus Pantheon right out side our window.  I’m sure there’s loads of great locations in Rome but this surely is one of them in the core of the historic Baroque district and the lively Piazza della Rotonda. The Pantheon was awsome (I hate saying awsome but it was) built by Agrippa in 27 BC in dedication to the ancient Roman Gods. Later destroyed by a fire, it was then rebuilt during the reign of someone called Emperor Hadrian.  It was just incredible given how completely it’s survived. We ventured out the next day and started to realise that Rome is packed full of wonderful architectural structures.

The place is just full of old stuff and the plan is to see as much as possible including Pope Francis but we needed some wine, so took a trip to the Frascati region for the afternoon.  Our tour guide whisked us out of the City on the tour bus with about 15 other tourists including a Biff look alike (from Back to the Future) who even made the tour guide feel slightly uncomfortable!  Great wine and even ended up with one of the young girls throwing up at the end of the bus journey back.  Poor thing.So next morning we’re off to the Vatican situated on the west bank of the Tiber.  It’s Easter weekend so there’s lots of activity here as the Romans are preparing for Pope Francis’s Easter Sunday Mass.  The Basilica di San Pietro (St Peter’s) is an architectual delight and our guide tells us that some of the greatest Italian architects of the 16th and 17th centuries worked to create this.  When we go inside, it gets better with the breathtaking dome and further into the Vatican it’s just vast and filled with the most incredible works of art and sculptures.  We pass through the Raphael Rooms and then to the Sistine Chapel where silence is expected, although this is not difficult and we are silenced by the ceiling frescoes. These were completed by Michelangelo single handedly over a period of four years and are incredible.

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This is a wonderful historic place but there is more to Rome than the Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican and St Peter’s.  The City has reinvented itself over the years with its culture, food and lovely people and it’s truly a contemporary European Capital. It’s unique!

We will have to come again…