Rome

Last September, James & I went to Rome for a week and I since I didn't start blogging until recently, I never even thought to write a post on our trip.

We stayed in a lovely little 'B&B' called Dreams of Rome in Aurelio which is known as the Vatican's neighbour so it wasn't too far to walk each day. We also used a Roma Pass which allows you to use Rome's underground system as well as grant you access to a couple of their museums or attractions without paying extra.

The Vatican was one of the most mind-blowing sights I have ever seen in my life and looking back I think it took me a while to fully understand and appreciate where I was. We accidentally walked straight into one of the Pope's speeches which he apparently does every Wednesday so the place was absolutely heaving, but we stopped for a short while to take in our surroundings then ventured on to the Vatican Museum. 



If you're ever visiting Rome and want to do the Vatican Museum or the Sistine Chapel, its important to understand that you can't get to the Sistine Chapel without going through the Vatican Museum. It may sound stupid or even confusing, but when a shed load of tour guides are waving their clipboards and tickets in your face in several different languages, some trying to guide you one way then another guiding you somewhere else, it can get extremely overwhelming. Luckily James managed to drag us both through the crowds and honestly, we just followed a big group of people who were obviously tourists. 

The museum was stunning and full of incredible pieces of artwork, sculptures and all sorts of ancient history. Its a long journey and way too much to take in but as long as you at least have a bottle of water - you'll survive! Upon arriving at the Sistine Chapel, we were ushered in and everyone in the politest way possible were told to shut up. No cameras, no phones out, no exposed knees or shoulders, no talking. Looking back I wish we had done this day later in the week as I was still tired from travelling the day before and still adjusting to the heat so I was feeling ready to go home and sleep. I don't even remember seeing the Creation Of Adam painting, I just wanted to get out. 


The following day we ventured further into Rome and straight on past the Vatican is the Castle D'Angelo which we went into for a mooch around, then we went onto the Piazza Navona which we both decided was one of our favourite places. It's pretty much just a big square full of restaurants, the odd market stall, some beautiful fountains, street artists and bars but there were locals playing music and the atmosphere here was really lovely. We came back here on our last day just to chill out, draw and eat ice cream. 



Just down the road from Piazza Navona is the Pantheon, another beautiful place well worth seeing. The architecture is absolutely incredible and so perfectly designed - the ceiling was unlike anything I have ever seen before.


One of the most memorable days - for the worst reasons - was when we visited the Colosseum. This day taught me that I have many mixed views on this piece of history and the world as a whole. At first sight, the Colosseum is without a doubt spectacular. It is absolutely enormous and again, extremely well designed and built. The downside to it being so popular for tourists is that the queues just aren't efficient enough for the amount of people visiting. We queued for 40 minutes to get in because we were in a line that was meant for the Roma Pass but ended up merging with the standard public queue. As we were trying to work out which queue to join, a horse attached to a cart lunged out and bite me on the back fat which resulted in a rash all over my arm and because James then touched my arm, he came out far worse. His eyes were streaming, his neck flared up and with the heat as well, it pretty much wrote the day off for us. When we eventually got in and climbed the bulky stairs to the stands where people would have sat, I all of a sudden felt really sad and disappointed in the Colosseum. When you put aside its sheer size and magnificent structure, this place was built for entertainment. Entertainment in the form of animals and human beings fighting to their deaths in front of thousands of people. Overhearing a tour guide educating his group, I learnt that sometimes the events would go on and on until the floors of the Colosseum were covered in blood. I was disturbed that tourists were so focussed on taking selfies within the Colosseum that I doubted very much that they stopped to think about what when on here hundreds of years ago. 


My photo from the Trevi fountain is somewhat disappointing but this is because it was all boarded up when we visited. One rather memorable moment was when a lady tried to toss a penny over her shoulder, supposedly meaning one day you will return to Rome, but due to the boarding around the fountain, it bounced off and hit someone on the head!




Overall, Rome was amazing and we're so pleased we managed to visit most of the famous landmarks and still have time to do plenty of chilling. We decided perhaps a week was a little too long for a city holiday but we had loads of fun and it was nice to get away.

I'm hoping to become more relaxed about travelling the more I do it. Rome was the first time I have been on a plane without my parents who lets face, take the reigns and make sure everything is planned down to a T. We'll be going to Ireland in March this year which I'm hoping will also provide me with some blogging material!

Have you ever been to Rome? If you have, what was your favourite part?

Ellis x










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