After spending a couple of hours getting awed by all the history that lay before us, we exited the Forum and walked towards the Pantheon. It was huge but a plain structure. After that we walked to the Trevi Fountain. We were really looking forward to see it but as luck would have it, the fountain was under renovation. Well it just took two double scoop Gelatos to lift our mood and end our first day in Rome on a happy note.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Standing tall beside the Duomo without getting overshadowed by it, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the oldest shopping arcade in the world. The octagonal structure with its characteristic glass dome is a sight to see and houses all major fashion brands - think of Prada, Valentino, Versace, Moschino among others, you have them all. Owing to the many end of season sales, I came back home with several fancy shirts and dresses and I certainly was one happy girl. If you are a bigger shopaholic than I am, the Quadrilatero d'oro, or the Golden Quadrilateral, which is about 850 metres from the Galleria, is just the right place for you because it is possibly the most celebrated shopping district in the world, reflecting the true essence of Milan. Getting there: Buses, trams and the metro connect all major spots in and around Milan and the tickets come for nominal amounts. The closest station to the Galleria is 'Duomo' (about 50 metres) which serves Line 1 and 3 of the Milan metro and one can buy tickets at the station itself for 1.5 Euros.
Campanile di San Marco
Belfry of St. Brand - Campanile di San Marco - the highest building of Venice, 99 meters high. Initially it was a watchtower and a lighthouse. Later, she served as the bell tower, lighthouse, tower and weather vane of gun. Also added and belfry loggetta meeting place for the elite of Venice. Loggetta also served the function of the guard booth and was the site of public lottery drawing. An interesting fact Is That in 1,609 years, Galileo and the telescope installed on it and presented its action doge.
The site where the Papal Conclave meets in order to elect the Pope, this 15th Century Chapel is probably the most popular attraction in Vatican City. Home to Michelangelo's masterpiece 'The Last Judgement' and several ceiling frescoes, you get into this house of wonder after a long walk through the galleries of the museums and a dozen security guards will work hard to keep you from clicking any pictures. The nine frescoes depict God's Creation, the tale of Adam and Eve, the Fall and the plight of Noah. The Last Judgement (Giudizio Universale) on the west wall illustrating Christ passing his sentence over dead souls stands out in every way possible. And no, Michelangelo did not paint the ceiling while lying on his back. That is merely a myth. Interestingly, there are stories about how Michelangelo was an artist who refused to conform to the norms of his time. When the Papal officials complained about the existence of nudity in the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo painted the Gates of Hell behind the pulpit where the Pope delivers his Mass and portrayed several saints as foolish and in compromising positions. Now that's some form of revenge. Getting there: The Sistine Chapel is located inside the Vatican Museums and the entry comes for about 16 Euros. They are open from 9am to 6pm with 4pm being the last admission. Additionally, entry is free on the last Sunday of the month. The queues can be long so book your tickets online if you are in a bit of a hurry. There are several galleries to see in the museums with the Chapel being the final stop, after which you proceed to St. Peter's Basilica. Photography, as mentioned above, is prohibited, but nobody can stop you from gazing at the ceiling in amazement for as long as you like, although the crowd could be a bit of a deterrent. You could take the Metro to 'Ottaviano-San Pietro' which is on the A Line of the Rome Metropolitan and your journey to the Vatican and back should cost you 3 Euros. Beware of pickpockets. The museums are located 900 metres from the station and noon is the best time to visit.
Trinita' dei Monti
We climb up the Spanish steps to meet this magnificent structure. This church is a later Renaissance structure and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. This church was originally constructed to commemorate France's victory over Naples and was later re-constructed. It was built in the Gothic style, but the facade is neo-classical. It was raided of its richness during the Neapolitan Invasion.