How we spent two perfect days in Rome

Tripoto
13th Apr 2015

ROME: I don’t think there is any word as synonymous with history and ancient civilization as this single four lettered word. There is no city in the world which connects you to the past as Rome does. With its magnificently preserved architecture, huge piazzas bustling with activity and the stunning Vatican art, Rome absolutely lives up to its hype.

Day 1

We decided to start the first day of our trip, a Sunday, by visiting the Papal Archbasilica of St. John in the Lateran. The basilica was a beautiful white structure with Latin inscriptions and statues of saints adorning its front facade. Its significance is derived from the fact that it is the oldest of Rome’s four major basilicas and also ranks above all the other Roman Catholic Churches – even St. Peter’s Basilica. It is the official seat of the Bishop of Rome i.e. the Pope and holds the title of ‘Mother church of the whole world’ among Catholics.

Basilica of St. John Lateran

Photo of Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

Basilica of St. John Lateran

Photo of Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

Our next stop was the most famous Roman monument of all. And as soon as we stepped out of the metro station we saw it. The largest amphitheater ever built. The arena of legendary gladiator fights. The icon of Rome. The Colosseum. The first thought that crossed our minds was that – IT IS HUGE! And these are only the ruins of it. It must have been a truly colossus structure in its prime.

The Colosseum

Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

After that we entered the heart of the ancient city of Rome – The Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. It felt like someone had put us in a time machine and transported us 2000 years back. We were surrounded by arches, ruins of basilicas, temples and other buildings of the capital of the Roman Empire. Another thing which stuck us was that the ruins were spread over a huge area and took us a lot more time to cover than we had thought.

Photo of Roman Forum, Via della Salara Vecchia, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

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.

Photo of Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda, Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil
Day 2

Our next day started with the visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Let me just say it outright – Vatican is mind-blowing. It is a visual treat. It takes hold of the part of the brain that processes the feeling of ‘awe’ and enthralls it with frescoes, paintings, sculptures and tapestries that are so majestic, gorgeous and grand that in the end the brain is simply overwhelmed. It took us more than three hours just to complete the tour of the museums.

Belvedere Courtyard

Photo of Vatican City by Mansi Patil

The Ceiling – Apollo and the Muses in the Hall of Muses

Photo of Vatican City by Mansi Patil

The Ceiling – The Room of Maps

Photo of Vatican City by Mansi Patil

From Vatican we walked a short distance to Castel Sant’Angelo. This building located next to river Tiber has a unique cylindrical design. It was originally built as a mausoleum for a Roman emperor but was later used as a castle. Since it was a Monday the building was closed but the atmosphere outside it was very romantic. Musicians were playing soft music and a man was blowing soap bubbles in the air with children playing around it. We spent some time sitting in front of the Castle with the river behind us.

Castel Sant'Angelo

Photo of Castel Sant'Angelo, Lungotevere Castello, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

Next we visited the 2 beautiful and famous squares of Rome – Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo. These piazzas, especially Piazza Navona, were bustling with tourists and filled with artists and performers showcasing different kinds of work.

Piazza Navona

Photo of Piazza Navona, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

Piazza del Popolo

Photo of Piazza del Popolo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Mansi Patil

We ended our stay in Rome with one last glimpse of the magnificent Colosseum under the lights. It indeed was the perfect farewell to this glorious ancient city.

The Colosseum

Photo of How we spent two perfect days in Rome by Mansi Patil
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