Saturday, 18 July 2015

TRAVEL | A Roman Adventure

Well, that's Rome ticked off the bucket list….
After kicking off our Italian adventure by the sea (Click to read about paradise here) we headed inland to explore Rome and pretend we were in Angels & Demons for the rest of the week.

Now there's being relatively close to the local tourist attractions and then there's waking up every morning to the Colosseum. After hours of searching online I stumbled across No.9 Colosseo, an apartment split into several small individual bedrooms, your breakfast is delivered straight to your room every morning and apart from that, you were kind of left to your own devices. I love the feeling of belonging in a new city, just letting yourself into an apartment block rather than a hotel, I always look at Air B&B or rental websites before hotels. Be sure to check them out if you're heading to Rome at….
I literally had 3 things on my 'To Do' list when arriving in Rome
1. Explore Vatican City
2. See the Colosseum at night
3. Replicate a photograph I have of a family member at the Trevi Fountain

I managed to tick 2/3 things off of my list, which means that I've got a perfectly good excuse to go back to Rome sometime soon…obviously. So back to this trip, waking up to our first full day in Rome we jumped straight in a taxi to Vatican City, paid roughly €50 for a tour that skipped the queues and took us through the Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. We were fortunate enough to be landed with the most amazing, full on, hilarious tour guide going….making the experience undeniably perfect, the only downside was sticking with the tour guide I guess as it meant that we were kinda rushed around the Museum at his pace rather than our own.

I'm not going to go into detail of the interiors of the Vatican City as I kind of find them indescribable to be honest, it's something that you truly can't appreciate until you see it in person. All I will say is having studied art and design for coming up to 9 years it was unforgettable seeing the works of artists such as Michelangelo in person and the way in which they have been maintained. 
I tried to book the night tour of the Colosseum back in the UK for a pretty hefty price tag, all the reviews said how amazing it was and that it wasn't as hectic at the daytime tours but it was annoyingly already sold out way before we were due to fly out. Even when we arrived, the guy that owned our apartment said that he was totally unaware that they even offered after hours tours. After a bit of googling we actually managed to snatch two spots that became available on a tour on our first night for a steal of around €25 so less than £20? More than half what I was originally going to pay. 

Literally the experience was totally mind blowing and definitely one that I will remember forever, being escorted around the incredible structure in groups no bigger than 25 gave such an eerie feeling, almost as if we shouldn't have been in there. At times there was complete silence, a stark contrast to the intensity of voices bouncing off of one another during the day time. Our guide, an archaeologist at the Colosseum even took us down onto the lower ground where the dungeons were and talked about how animals were kept down there for days prior to a fight whilst hundreds of people worked around them. The lack of people allowed inside the Colosseum at this time meant that we didn't have to queue to get in either, literally we avoided all touristy queues this trip. 
Having crammed the focus of our trip into our first day day we spent the rest of the week exploring what the city had to offer, unfortunately the Trevi Fountain was undergoing some maintenance and was completely dry and surrounded by scaffolding meaning that my photograph was unachievable. We decided to take on the Roman Forum in the heat of the day and almost died from sweating so much, not to mention finding the best, biggest Zara ever. We also got ushered into a Louis Vuitton Exhibition which turned out to be amazing, I got snap happy so I posted about that in more detail here 

Despite thinking a week would have been too long in Rome, it wasn't long enough. I've already priced up another visit as I know that my sister would absolutely love it. Italy has well and truly become my favourite city this year and I've been fortunate enough to have just returned from a second trip, this time to Tuscany and it\s safe to say that I have fallen in love with it even more. 

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