The Two Faces of Rome

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to go to Rome with my boyfriend and his family. We went for four days (although two of them were filled with travelling, so we only really spent two days there). We stayed in a lovely hotel that was near to the hustle and bustle of the city centre (and typical tourist traps) but not too close that it was ridiculously busy.

The first full day centred around Ancient Rome. I think it must be an unwritten rule that if you visit Rome you have to include a visit to the Colosseum. It’s huge and very impressive –  to think it was built so long ago and still stands today! (Mostly…) We then visited the other Roman ruins, including those in the ‘Roman Forum’ and the site where ‘Circus Maximus’ once stood. (This was, apparently, a huge Roman stadium much bigger than the Colosseum, but now is just a line of dirt indicating what was once the race track.) Again, I found it very interesting, although in my honest opinion the Colosseum and my time in Greece were more so.

The Colosseum

Our second full day was dedicated to the later period of Rome’s history and culture: religion. A visit to the Vatican also seems a compulsory component of any trip to Rome (along with eating pizza, pasta and plenty of ice cream – all of which I also did gladly). We had a guided tour around the Vatican museum (which was so busy!). Our guide was engaging and obviously very knowledgeable and passionate – something that I was grateful for; it makes the experience much more interesting. Following this, we went to the Sistine Chapel  which has some very beautiful paintings on the roof by Michelangelo (they were stunning and were far more detailed than can be seen when standing on the floor), followed by a look around St. Peter’s Basilica – the largest church in the world.

A gorgeous church near ‘Piazza Venezia’
The Pantheon at night
The Pantheon at night

Walking around Rome, it was fascinating to see the difference between Ancient Roman architecture and the traditional religious buildings. When we walked through the museum we kept going from Roman statues to Renaissance paintings, which was  actually quite confusing, and in the Pantheon – once a Roman temple for their gods that was turned into a Catholic church after the fall of the Roman Empire – the ancient Roman influences are still very visible among the religious statues.

Such an educational yet fun holiday with the much-needed time for relaxation too!

I would like to apologise for the awful quality photos – I didn’t take my camera with me! How stupid!


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