Rome, Italy

The gelato, the pasta, the pizza, the panini’s…oh it has been a life long dream of mine to visit Rome, forever I have been dreaming about the Trevi Fountain. And this past week. I finally made it.

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Colosseum at Sunset on Valentine’s Day

We spent quite a long time in Rome, from the 10-16th of February which gave us plenty of time to see it all. Figuring out where to stay in Rome was quite the head ache. Since everything is so spread out compared to the smaller towns we were use to, like Prague. We finally settled on a B&B 10 minutes from the Colosseum nestled in spectacular, cozy restaurants.

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Inside the Colosseum

Even in low season, the Colosseum was busy, which we knew and therefore started our days early. We were lucky and didn’t have to stand in line for the Colosseum. Prior to the trip, we tried to book a tour of the place which brought you to all the levels, but everything was sold out, so we went on our own. We were able to the stage floor and one above it. We couldn’t see the ground floor where they kept the animals, and couldn’t see the very top. But we still had spectacular views. I think seeing the Colosseum was the best part of our trip, something that we were very impressed with.

With the Colosseum ticket, you also get into Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. The commercial, political and religious center of ancient Rome, which features the Arch of Septimus Severus, Temple of Saturn, Arch of Titus and the House of the Vestals. However when walking through, it’s hard to see exactly what everything looked like before. Yeah sure, the Colosseum is in great shape and you can see exactly what it would have been like, but here, oh no. It’s just building parts all over the place and never hard to imagine what it would have been like.

Like all of our trips, we try and do some free walking tours to get a feel of the city and the history. During this trip, I found it really hard to understand the tour guides and their accents, so I didn’t take too much away from it, but they did show us just about everything there was to see.

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Pantheon

One of the most impressive building in Rome, and the oldest, is the Pantheon. Dedicated to the seven planetary divinities and featuring an interior of gorgeous marble, the Pantheon is one of the most impressive monuments of Augustan Rome. And it’s completely free to enter. The inside is completely spectacular, the high perfectly round dome, and the ray of sunlight coming through. Breathtaking.

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Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps however, were undergoing restoration. The best thing to do here would be to people watch. And believe it or not, the stairs are actually more extensive than you think. But still a beautiful area and water fountain in front.

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Piazza Navona

I surprisingly enjoy Piazza Navona, it was very quite, everywhere else you could hear cars and people being loud, but here everything was very quiet, it had a very relaxing feel to it, and not overly crowded. It also features the Fountain of the Four Rivers. The four giant men that form the statue are the personification of the principal rivers of the continents known at the time: the Nile represents Africa, the Ganges: Asia, the Danube: Europe and Rio de la Plata, the Americas.

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Trevi Fountain

And then my dream came true, seeing the Trevi Fountain, which was the most crowded spot in all of Rome that we saw. Mainly because there is absolutely no room around it. I was almost a little disappointed with it.. in my mind I had this idea where there were a bunch of different statues on it… instead it’s just 3 men and 2 horses and a lot of natural rock. Oh well, it was still amazing to see. We were very lucky too, because the fountain had been undergoing restoration for at least the past year and they just opened it about a month ago. It also had the best Gelato we’ve had in Rome right next to it… which we went back to several times.

One thing that was a huge let down, was St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, I expected it to be more grand than it was, we kind of stood in it, and was like “yeah? this is it? are you sure?” It was very underwhelming. However, the Vatican Museum did not disappoint, which also features the Sistine Chapel. The line up to get in was torture. Book Online!!! If we booked online, we wouldn’t have had to wait in line at all! But once inside, the art was spectacular, but there were so many tour groups that you were shoved all the time and couldn’t get a proper view.

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Inside St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica. WOW. The interior is amazing. So much gold, such high arches, and a huge dome in the middle. Line up wasn’t too bad to get in and so worth it.

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View from Pincian Hill

Pincian Hill was recommended to us twice and was such a cute place to stroll around and to see panoramic views of Rome. It’s also home to the Villa Borghese and the Borghese Gallery.

Once again, saved the best for last: FOOD

We spent Valentines Day in Rome and as tradition, spent a nice night out at a wonderful restaurant. You really can’t go wrong when picking a place to eat here. We went to many restaurants and all the pasta, tiramisu, pizza, panini’s were amazing. We generally stayed around the Colosseum area because that’s where our hotel was and every night was a hit.

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