Alphabet of Travel Snaps: R is for…

Alphabet of Travel Snaps: R is for…

ROMA!

Following our little adventure in Venice, I’d booked us a train to take us to Rome, as I was determined to play an Audrey Hepburn ‘princess’ in my own version of Roman Holiday!

However, it seemed I hadn’t booked us on the the double-decker speedy rail transport – no, ours trundled up to the platform in more of an Ivor the Engine fashion (just not as quaint!) After a (very) leisurely ride through the Italian countryside, we arrived 6 hours later…

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This was my second trip to Rome and the first time well…let’s just say we didn’t part as friends. Admittedly, I had been on a day trip that began in Sorrento. Hours on a hot coach, only to be jostled around the city at breakneck speed, without even a glimpse of the Colosseum did not put the capital in a good light. But I decided it was time to forgive and forget and I’m extremely glad I did! My top 3 tips for navigating Rome are:

If you’re able, walk EVERYWHERE!

Seriously, there are so many monuments and places of interest crammed into a tiny space that you stumble across them around every corner. Our first day we clocked up nearly 12 miles, spending the entire day out, ambling from one sightseeing opportunity to another. It never felt like we’d walked so far as we took it at out own pace and avoided the crowds when we wanted to.

DO drink the water.

There are water fountains (Nasoni – meaning ‘Big Noses’) every few hundred feet. It’s perfectly safe to drink and saves you loads of money. Just carry your own water bottle around with you and refill as you go!

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Castel Sant’Angelo

Forum first – Gladiators can wait.

Most people visit the Colosseum first and stand for ages in long queues – not something you want in the Italian heat. I read a little tip before going that told us to purchase tickets at the Palatine Hill entrance and work essentially backwards. More shade and an easier route, plus an exit only gate that comes out directly opposite the Colosseum seemed a no-brainer…and it totally worked. Queues, crowds and searing heat avoided! You can read more here.

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As sightseeing goes, I felt places such as the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps were a little ‘meh’ and over-rated. However, by far my favourite place (even pipping the Colosseum) was the Pantheon.

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The present building was commissioned by Hadrian around 126 AD, with the roof being aΒ dome made of concrete, surrounding a central opening called the oculus. Amazingly, it remains the world’s largest, un-reinforced concrete dome some 2000 years later!

I’m not sure what I liked the most about the Pantheon – the quiet (despite the crowds, it’s a church so whispering is encouraged!), the appearance or just comprehending the technical feat of engineering to construct the ceiling.

So that was our three night whirlwind trip to Rome. I may not have jumped on a Vespa with Gregory Peck but our Roman Holiday saw me fall in love with the Eternal City like I should have the first time.

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One last thing…the Calendar Romano (or ‘hot priest’ calendar – Oh, I feel so wrong for even typing that!). These are available for sale all over Rome but they’re in abundance around the Vatican.

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Whilst I can’t deny that it was full of good looking and genuine men of the cloth, isn’t it a little…sinful, given the nature of their role? You know, ‘Thou shaltΒ  not covet a priest’ or something? Hmmm…


Image Credits: All my own so please be sweet and ask before sharing. πŸ™‚

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19 thoughts on “Alphabet of Travel Snaps: R is for…

  1. Glad you had the opportunity to have a better experience the second time around πŸ™‚
    Thank you for the tips ( I hope I’ll remember them if I ever visit again ) and for the memories (it must be close to 40 years I’ve been there …how is that even possible ? πŸ˜‰ )
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surely it can’t be 40 years?! If it is, you must have been a babe in arms and just have an excellent memory!
      You’re welcome for the tips – I think it’s so important to research when you travel and not just go by what the brochures tell you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally with you , specially if you’re short on time or on a budget , research as much as you can before going on a trip , and the best advice comes from those who’ve been there πŸ™‚
        And 40 years it was …just not sure if it was 1976 or 77 …it was June incredibly hot … my mom made a fit because our room was so so impossibly hot and said she would go and sleep in the bathtub if my father didn’t move us pronto to other hotel , which he did (never one to upset her ever πŸ˜‰ ) . And I remember buying a bracelet from a hippie in Spanish steps for my then boyfriend (now husband) and the conversation I had with him . And a never to forget wonderful “tartuffo” we had after an alfresco dinner in Piazza Navona . And …and …and πŸ˜‰
        Sorry , invading your comment box with my memories πŸ™‚
        Turtle Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree — Rome is a city for walking. My friend and I walked for days. (Sleeping at night, of course!) We saw so much more than we would have if we ever figured out the public transportation system… which we never bothered to do. And the Pantheon was also my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Some of the better sights, as in most places, are off the beaten track. Certainly off the tourist touted anyway.
      I honestly could have spent a day at the Pantheon and surrounding piazza – stunning.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I think the year we were there was possibly the first time they created the calendar. Think it’s funny that this year’s has the same priest on the front!

      Like

  3. I’m very jealous! Rome is definitely on my ‘to visit’ list. Thanks for the tour (and the tips – I’ll try to remember those for whenever I do actually manage to get there). Great photos. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, those tips came in very handy – especially the one for the Forum/Colosseum to miss the crowds. Tourists get taken for a ride unless they investigate! Hope you get to go soon. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. How rude, overcharging where people need it most! But if you buy it they will charge… Or something like that. Doesn’t have the same effect as the Field of Dreams quote!
      You should definitely go and walk lots and pretend to be a gladiator – I imagine that would be right up your street!

      Like

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