Best things to do in Roma and sightseeing in Roma
Rome - Roma
40 of us on the bus from Rome reached SBT late afternoon on the 29th, the 4 hour drive from coast to coast on the motorway passing picturesque towns and snow capped mountains. Accommodation arrangements were made at two locations – friends at a chic HOTEL on the broad walk by the beach and family in a villa 15 minutes away in the country with superior vistas of the rolling landscape and the gleaming Adriatic in the distance. 10th Grade Geography was the last time the Adriatic Sea was of any importance to me, when we were instructed to name and shade it in blue on an outlined map of the world and now here it was. Surreal. The same evening was the 'meet the families’ dinner at the HOTEL. At 7.30 pm Eugenio’s (Jai’s) dad, mum and sister (accompanied by her boyfriend) arrived at the villa and were formally introduced to our large contingent. Dinner was an informal sit down affair (with nothing informal about the four course meal) during which Jai’s dad gave us a touching welcome speech and lots of wine was consumed. The after party that followed (for those under 36) was at one of the rooms at the hotel that only stopped when a resident of the town slammed it shut by threatening to call the police. The rowdy bunch moved the party to one of the nightclubs on the beach and I can only imagine what went down because by then I was well spent and shut down for the night.
As I walk by the meandering lanes wonderfully interspersed with numerous cafes and souvenir shops, I knew that I am in for a delectable treat. After scanning various café options, I settled for one which seemed less pretentious and pocket friendly. As I settle artfully into the table on the alley, saving myself from getting pushed by the deluge of tourist, I finally decided what to eat. After wonderful treats in Rome, I head to Venice for more delectable delights. The cafés and restaurants near all tourist attractions are very pricey. So if you are looking to save money you can always opt for the snacks van for a cheap grab. These vans are well stocked with grilled sandwiches, gelatos, chips and drinks and costs approx 5 euros/person.
I spent my last day alone in Rome, and it was one of the most amazing experiences. So liberating, and seeing the sights at night was unlike anything I've done before.
San Francesco a Ripa - Roma
This 17th century church houses various delightful sculptures of 17th century Renaissance artists. Situated on the edge of river Tiber, it is dedicated to Francis of Assisi. This church is pretty old and has been renovated and reconstructed several time, the last time being somewhere in the 1680's. The church houses the very controversial and popular sculpture of Bernini- Beata Ludovica Albertoni (Blessed Ludovica Albertoni) Along with this there are various paintings by Gaulli, Salviati etc.
Circus Maximus - Roma
Circus Maximus is where the ancient sport lovers would go to seek some entertainment. It was the largest and the first stadium of Ancient Rome. Since Chariot Racing was the most popular sport back then, loved by all Romans, this stadium held chariot races and entertained the Roman Crowd. It could house almost 1/4th of the Roman population. The first king of Rome, Romulus, is said to have held Chariot races here. This huge stadium today signifies the glory of Roman kings as well as the lifestyle of its people. A very significant monument to understand the public life of Rome.
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere - Roma
This 5th century church is dedicated to Cecilia, the patron saint of Music. The church is lined with beautiful frescoes and late Renaissance architecture. One of the major highlights inside is the sculpture of St. Cecilia by the late-Renaissance sculptor Stefano Maderno. This sculpture seeeks to emulate the dead body of the saint. It also includes Pietro Cavallini's beautiful fresco in the nun's choir. You can also visit the excavations of the ancient Roman homes that are underway nearby.
Colosseum - Roma
I began my travel through this iconic city with on the most iconic places, not only in Rome, but also in the rest of the world. The Colosseum is right in the center of the city, which itself speaks greatly of its importance. Also known as the Flavius Amphitheater, it is the largest of its kind in the world. This monument is hailed as the epitome of Roman Architecture and engineering. This UNESCO World Heritage site, housed around 50,000 to 80,000 people in its time and was used for entertainment purposes in the early medieval era (remember Gladiator?) The monument is gigantic with four floors and each floor having around 80 arches each. Due to earthquakes much of the monument has been destroyed, but it still spills splendor and awe. If you think the Colosseum looks magnificent during the day, be ready to be blown away by its night view. The monument lights up the cityscape of Rome and looks like a jewel on the street!
Piazza del Colosseo - Roma
Campo De' Fiori - Roma
Literally translated into the "Field of Flowers" this place was once a meadow. In the Ancient Rome context it lay between the famous theater of Pompey and the Tiber river. It was mainly deserted due to the overflowing of the river. The region populated only a few centuries back though, and now a lively market exists there. There is a huge statue of Giordano Bruno, a philosopher who was burned at stake during the Roman Inquisition. This place has a historical significance and is at the same time a great opportunity to interact with the locals.
Trajan Forum - Roma
Built by Emperor Trajan, this was the largest Imperial hall and was once a center of political and government center of Rome. At that time this forum was an architectural wonder for the world unrivaled by almost no other structure. The entire complex consists of a Basilica, Two grand libraries a temple and a market place. The was one of the last forums built and was an important center of public life. Much of Rome's ancient style of living can be seen here along with some splendid examples of architectural and antithetical beauty.
Piazza Venezia - Roma
Piazza Venezia situated in the heart of Rome is a public square with much chaos and traffic. This square engulfs the everyday life of the Romans. Two important monuments are located here. Palazzo Venezia from which the place gets it's name is a palace dedicated to Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice.( This place was a former embassy of Venice in Rome.) Another one is Vittoriano, dedicated to King Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.
Pantheon - Roma
Pantheon is one of the iconic buildings of Rome. It was built under the reign of Augustus as a temple to all the Gods of Ancient Rome. It is one of the oldest and best preserved structures of Rome. It is one such place that has been in use for the longest time in Roman history. A classic example of Ancient Roman architecture mixed with tradition.
Piazza Navona - Roma
Another open space where the ancient Romans assimilated to watch games and get some entertainment. Today holding three magnificent fountains and a beautiful church, this square is considered to be one of the best in Rome. A major highlight here is the Fountain of Four Rivers (mentioned in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons) designed by Bernini. This fountain has a statue signifying the four major rivers, Danube, Ganges, Nile and Rio De La Plata.
Piazza S. Pietro - Roma
Designed by the extremely popular Baroque artist Bernini, the iconic St. Peter's Square is where the Pope greets and blesses the crowd every Sunday noon. A bird's-eye view of the Piazza San Pietro will remind you of a giant keyhole and its Obelisk, its pair of colonnades and St. Peter's Basilica as a matter of course, will remain conspicuous. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to visit and the entry is obviously free of charge. Click a lot of pictures and listen to the locals being severely critical of the otherwise 'cool' Pope Francis. Also remember that you are literally in the heart of Jesus. Getting there: 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. St. Peter's Square is 800 metres from the station and noon is the best time to visit.