Written by Lynsey Oxton
When in Rome….
…..Take your camera! Every twist, turn and street will impress you with its grand architecture – even if (like me) history is not necessarily your ‘thing’.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Rome twice now over the past ten years and both visits were in the month of December (something to do with it being my Birthday). I guess you could say I only know ‘Winter Rome’ – but even in the coldest of conditions, it was ‘bellissimo!’ – made even better with a warm welcome at ‘Suites Tritone’ (a great apartment, two minutes from the Trevi Fountain).
When you think of Rome, the usual sights spring to mind: the Colosseum, St Peters Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum and of course, the Vatican.
We headed straight for the Colosseum – a huge amphitheater – biggest in the world at over 180 metres long and 150 metres wide (I did listen to the guide). When we last visited in 2016, it cost the equivalent of about £10 each – money well spent.
The Basilica: Religious or not, you’d fail to be impressed by this – and the entrance is free (meaning you’d be daft to miss it). I passed up the opportunity to make a confession – I’d probably be in there all day if I did. What a gorgeous church with amazing painted walls and ceiling. I didn’t visit the Sistine Chapel (third visit), but I’d bet this would give it a run for its money.
Minutes from our apartment was the magnificent Trevi Fountain – the largest fountain in the city and possibly the most famous in the world. As with the old tradition, I threw a Euro in for luck. It’s a tourist trap during the day, but having the benefit of it only around the corner, its a must-see at night, lit up in all its glory!
The Roman Forum, not too far on foot from the Colosseum, hosts a sprawl of ruins and home to the tomb of Romulus. For all those historians out there, a trip to Rome is not complete without a visit.
If you’re lucky like us, you might catch the Pope giving mass on a Sunday morning. I was quite surprised by the crowds, screaming ‘fans’ and the large video screens. I could have easily been at a concert rather than the Vatican (minus the music).
Another symbolic feature of Rome is the statues that adorn the City. Some more interesting than others….
Even if a little cold in December, it is still a great time of year to travel, if only to witness the city of Rome in full Christmas mode. From the Santa’s on the balconies, to the twinkly lights and Christmas trees.
Now to food and drink – one of my favourite things about travelling. It goes without saying that Rome is famed for its pizza and pasta; carb central but who cares when on holiday? They also do a mean charcuterie board if you’re willing to share (or even if you’re not). We tried all of the local beers, but I always came back to one of my favourites – Hoegaarden – which came in the biggest glass I have ever seen!
Before you head home, make sure you grab a souvenir for your friends – there’s something for everyone.