We spent a week in Rome – our final destination of our 3-month journey which started this blog. I have not had the time to write about Rome until now that I have arrived back into Australia. I hope to enrich this blog with more tales of Rome and of Europe as I have time to reflect on it all. However, today I will just do a recap of our favourite things about Rome.
1) Cemetery of Non-Catholic Foreigners, Piramide.
We stayed near Piramide during our stay and on our first day, we discovered this gem. Housing an enormous piramid structure, this cemetery is honestly the most beautiful I have ever seen. You are greeted with beautiful well-maintained gardens, an inclusivity of diverse backgrounds and religions, and a calm, loving atmosphere. It is the final resting place of one of my favourite poets, John Keats. Oh, and did I mention it houses a cat sanctuary? Yes, while roaming through the old cemetery, be on the look-out for rescued cats, safe and well-fed by the good staff. You can even visit the cat residency in the afternoon if you so desire!
2) Capuchin Crypt.
Some of you may have read my blog on Kutná Hora, Czech Republic and its amazing bone chapel. Well, if you are interested in that, you’ll love this. The Capuchin Crypt houses an informative museum on the Capuchin friars around Europe and the world, from the beginning to modern times. At the end, marvel at the crypt, a decorative laying of various friars’ bones…
3) Vatican City.
What’s a trip to Rome without going to the Vatican City? It is always busy there but we were lucky – travelling in winter does have the advantage of fewer crowds and shorter lines. One can easily access the Vatican City by bus or metro for €1.50.
St Peter’s Basilica is a definite must-see. I’ve never felt so small and so in awe as I was in this basilica. Vast, immense, intense, passionate, wonderful, and just out of this world. Step into this intricate piece of art and be astonished.
The Vatican Museums is the other major attraction there. It’s suggested you book online well in advance, however, again, we were lucky. We showed up early in the morning when the doors opened and only had to wait in line for 15 minutes. Enjoy a vast and quite frankly obscene amount of objects and artwork on display here. We particularly enjoyed the large ancient Eygptian exhibition, the galleries of scuplture, the modern religious paintings (including some by Dali), and of course the Sistine Chapel.
4) The Colosseum and the Roman Ruins.
Heading into the Forum area, pick up a combination ticket for €12 for access to the Colosseum, Palatine hill, and the Forum. Dedicate a day to the ruins of ancient Rome!
The Colosseum is a must-see, of course. You can pick up an audio guide and map for €5 (it gives a good introductory history), but there are also information panels throughout the structure.
Afterwards, wander through Palatine hill and the Forum (one entry). Be sure to bring a good travel guide that maps out the area so as to give you some context. Included on the entry ticket is an odd little museum in the middle of the site.
5) The city centre of Rome.
Leave aside a day to wander Rome’s centre. Find the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin over your shoulder. Seek out the various ruins that remain throughout the city. Visit the multiple historical churches and chapels. Step into Piazza Navona for a lively atmosphere and great gelato. There are lots of things to see and do in the city centre – just have fun with a map and discover the treasured delights of Rome!