We’d arrived in Rome following our two hour journey from Umbria and with only 24 hours in the city we were eager to ditch the backpacks and get out and explore this intriguing city.
When we checked into our cosy little room at Hip Suites in the Trastevere area, our host Tomaso asked what we’d like to see in Rome. Explaining we had only allowed an evening and the following morning we listed what we wanted to see the most.
“Wait there a second” he said before disappearing out the door, returning a minute later with a pen and a map and proceeded to mark a walking route through the city for our evening and then how to get from the Colosseum to the Vatican City the next day.
He even went as far as to give us directions to his favourite nearby pizza restaurant, Dar Poeta, which seemed to be one of the most popular restaurants in Rome. We managed to grab the last table and on leaving the queue was up to sixteen – if you go, get there early!
Fed and watered it was time to see the city and follow Tomaso’s advice.
The sheer size of the Pantheon blew me away. I’m not sure what I expected but when we walked around the corner onto Piazza della Rotunda it took me by surprise.
Originally built as a temple to the gods of Ancient Rome the Pantheon is today open to the public and used as a church.
When we arrived the doors had been closed for the day but seeing pictures of the stunning dome and the oculus at its centre I’m desperate to go back and discover the interior of this remarkable building that has stood in Rome since 27BC.
We had been warned that tourists flock to the Trevi Fountain and boy were they right. But there is a reason why; the Trevi Fountain is stunning.
We managed to battle our way to the front of the pool and stood and admired the architecture for what felt like a few hours but was just a few minutes before someone snuck in front of us to grab their photo in front of it.
Be warned as there are opportunists that will offer to take your photo and then charge you for it but we managed to evade their grasp.
It was 9pm and apparently we’d arrived at peak hour so next time I think we’ll head over bright and early and get a front row seat to sit and listen to the water cascade from the feet of the statue of Ocean.
For me, The Colosseum was a little bit of a disappointment. There is no doubt that the ancient Roman structure is a great piece of architecture and I got a true sense of history trying to imagine the sound of 50,000 Roman spectators cheering on the gladiators that fought for their life.
However with a busy road snaking its way around the Colosseum as well as the incredibly long queue of visitors waiting to pay their €15.50 entrance fee some of the magic was lost.
We’d love to see the interior but guess it would have been a few hours before we reached the end of that queue.
Crossing Rome on the Metro from the Colosseum to Ottaviano, a short walk from the Vatican, cost us €1 each and was a bargain.
As with the Colosseum, there was a long line of tourists biding their time before entering the basilica. With them waiting St Peters Square was relatively empty and it was enough to take in the immense scene that surrounded us.
Rome, We Promise to Return
Though we had little time we never felt rushed to get around and see everywhere and Tomaso’s advice was invaluable. Everything is within walking distance and there just seems to be something interesting around every corner which I loved.
One thing to remember is that everywhere is popular and if you want to see the inside of the Colosseum or the Vatican then get there early.
Seeing Rome in 24 hours was just the taster we needed and we’ve promised ourselves that we’ll return one day, only this time we might stay for a while longer.