Rome is like Paris, you can drive yourself crazy trying to see everything. And just like Paris, you may get that craze where you want to fit everything into one visit. However, that can be really challenging as I previously mentioned. So, if you are going to pick and choose what you want to see, here is a pretty good list to start with:
: If you only have a few hours in Rome, you must go to the Colosseum, there really is no debate. I'll always remember the first time I laid eyes on this historic landmark as it truly is remarkable architectural feat. The Colosseum, which is typically noted as a seven wonder of the world, was built in 79AD and may have held up to 80,000 people. Admission was typically free for Roman citizens as they watched gladiators fight to the death for their own amusement. Walking around the Colosseum is one thing but I would also recommend taking a tour inside with a private guide.
|The Colosseum at sunrise. |
|The inside of the Colosseum. |
|At the lowest level of the colosseum. The cross is placed|
where the emperor would have sat.
There is plenty to see in this tiny "country" in the middle of Rome. Yet take note, there are swarms of people. I was most interested in seeing The Sistine Chapel given it is one of Michelangelo's most renowned works of art. Ahead of time, I bought tickets to see the Sistine Chapel as well as the Vatican museum (this was included). This is highly recommended as we skipped a line that was at least an hour (the line to get into St. Peters was at least a few hours). Weaving in and out of the hoards of tourists is a small price to pay to be stare up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Also note, try to exit on the right as this will lead you into St. Peters (typically only used for the tour groups) unless you buy a ticket ahead of time for St. Peters as well.
|My 'illegal' selfie in the Sistine Chapel. |
|The halls of the Vatican museum may be filled with tourists|
but they are also so ornate.
The Roman Forum:
|Inside St. Peters. Remember exit to the right|
in the Sistine Chapel.
For centuries, The Roman Forum was the center of life in Rome. However, excavation did not take place until the 1800's which finally led us to what we see today. A number of historic buildings were built in the forum throughout the ages of time yet you have to leave it to your imagination to picture exactly what it looked as most of the Rome''s former city center was destroyed. We had a tour guide walk us through the forum (and the colosseum) highlighting specific buildings which is something I would recommend or else you may have no idea what you are looking at.
|Overlooking a part of the Roman Forum. |
|Our group at the end of the Forum. |
|A lone pillar in the Forum. |
Home to the world's largest unreinforced dome, the Pantheon was built almost 2,000 years ago. It was originally built as a Pagan temple but then converted into a Catholic Church in the 600's. While you don't need to spend as much time in the Pantheon as the previous sights, gazing up at the dome is something that should not be missed while in Rome. The nice thing about the Pantheon is that it also won't take as much time as some of the other sights as you can easily walk in for a short visit.
|The Pantheon located in the center of a Piazza. |
|The top of the dome in the Pantheon. A small hole lets light shine|
down on worshipers below.
The Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain:
|Looking up at the Pantheon. |
These two sites are two of the more popular places in Rome to take a selfie. However, I didn't have the chance to see either in their fullest extent given the renovations that were taking place. Actually, many of the Roman sites have been under renovation lately given their poor conditions. However, titans of the Italian fashion industry have come to the rescue of these historic monuments to restore them to a more suitable condition.
|The top of the Trevi Fountain, the bottom was being completely|
|Samantha and I in front of the Spanish Steps. |
|The Spanish Steps at night. |
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