Meletso has always had a love affair with Italy, one of Tc’s all time favourite movies is the Godfather, I love pasta and we both enjoy wine so it was a no brainer deciding where to go for our honeymoon. The only problem was the decision of what to see for first time visitors in this spectacular country.
Our 1st stop was the ancient city of Rome.
Please be advised, this is not only the home of gladiators, emperors or the spectacular Colosseum “Colosseo” but also crowds, a lot of crowds. Rome attracts more than 7 million visitors every year and this number is set to increase by 10% each year.
We are familiar with City Sightseeing as we used them during our trip in Cape Town last year so we purchased a two day bus ticket to get around Rome and see the popular sites.
We visited the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Trevi Fountain.
The Colosseum can accommodate up to 50 000 visitors, was built between 70–80 AD and still stands today. An interesting fact if that the Colosseum isn’t round but actually oval shaped.
Following our tour at the Colosseum we visited Palatine Hill.
Palatine Hill is one of the oldest parts of Rome, you can see the Roman Forum and Cicus Maximus from on top of the hill. Palatine Hill was the home of Emperor Augustus palace, when visiting the area you can also view the ruins of the ancient city.
To save time, we purchased skip the line tickets online prior to our trip.
PLEASE NOTE: skip the line does not include a tour guide, which means you just enter sites but for a more thorough experience, its recommended you pay extra for the navigator. The guides provide interesting facts about sites and what’s better is that you can also ask questions such as where the best local food is, remember the quote: “When In Rome”
On our second day in Rome we visited the Vatican City which I must admit was the most crowded.
70 000 tourists go through the Vatican Museum and St Peter’s Basilica daily.
To view the iconic Sistine Chapel you have to go through the museum, it is one large prayer hall that houses the famous frescoes of Michelangelo. He finished the art work at the age of 72 which was commissioned by the Pope – no pictures are allowed in the Sistine Chapel and visitors are requested to remain silent during their visit.
St Peter’s Basilica is the biggest church in the world! I don’t think we have never seen a more beautiful church. The art work is spectacular and you can see the painstaking work up close, you’ll notice below that quite a number of the artworks are actually mosaics and not paintings.
After our guided tour of St Peter’s Basilica we decided to climb to the top of the dome, we were so tired of waking we took the elevator to the 1st level (at an additional cost) and only had to do another 320 narrow steps on the corkscrew staircase to see the beautiful panoramic views of the Vatican City.
Remember when visiting churches always cover your shoulders (a scarf should suffice during the Summer months) and dresses/pants should cover your knees. Visiting the Vatican will take 3-5 hours depending on how big the crowd is and we advise that you make sure you eat a hearty breakfast and/or lunch before you go on your tours as there is no time to stop in between.
We had the best pizza and gelato before we went on our tour and believe you me you will have ALOT of gelato in Italy, you might as well enjoy yourself because you will walk it off, we managed to walk an average of 15 000 steps a day.
While visiting Trevi Fountain it was drained and therefore barricaded, so we could not get as close as one would like but it was amazing to see the detail of the sculptures without the water.
A guide recommended that we dine at L’archetto Spaghetteria and Pizzeria which was close to the Trevi Fountain but hidden in the many narrow roads between buildings.
We decided to have the special of 3 of the their famous pastas.
There is still so much to see in Rome but the best advice we can give is don’t try to do everything but pick one or two activities and do them well!
Have you been to Rome, what was your favourite memory or activity?
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