The Land of Remus And Romulus : Rome (Part 1)

Tripoto
4th May 2015

Colosseum

Photo of Colosseum by Sumedha Bharpilania

Colosseum, Rome

Photo of Colosseum, Rome by Sumedha Bharpilania

Temple Of Saturn, Roman Forum

Photo of Temple Of Saturn, Roman Forum by Sumedha Bharpilania

Inside the Colosseum

Photo of Inside the Colosseum by Sumedha Bharpilania

Site of Mark Antony's speech from Julius Caesar

Photo of Site of Mark Antony's speech from Julius Caesar by Sumedha Bharpilania

Arch of Constantine

Photo of Arch of Constantine by Sumedha Bharpilania

Palatine Hill

Photo of Palatine Hill by Sumedha Bharpilania

Palatine Hill

Photo of Palatine Hill by Sumedha Bharpilania

Trevi Fountain (under repairs)

Photo of Trevi Fountain (under repairs) by Sumedha Bharpilania

Colosseum

Photo of Colosseum by Sumedha Bharpilania

The path leading to Palatine Hill

Photo of The path leading to Palatine Hill by Sumedha Bharpilania

Roman Forum

Photo of Roman Forum by Sumedha Bharpilania

The Rostrum, where Mark Antony gave his speech

Photo of The Rostrum, where Mark Antony gave his speech by Sumedha Bharpilania

Roman Forum

Photo of Roman Forum by Sumedha Bharpilania

Inside the Colosseum

Photo of Inside the Colosseum by Sumedha Bharpilania

Inside the Colosseum

Photo of Inside the Colosseum by Sumedha Bharpilania

Arch of Constantine

Photo of Arch of Constantine by Sumedha Bharpilania

Spanish Steps

Photo of Spanish Steps by Sumedha Bharpilania

Spanish Steps

Photo of Spanish Steps by Sumedha Bharpilania

If there is one city that is capable of overwhelming you in ways you can't possibly imagine, it's Rome. If Rome was a human body, history would be its heart and art would be the blood running through its veins. Founded on the Palatine Hill by Romulus, the city exhibits an excellent amalgamation of postmodernity and ancient culture that other metropolitans haven't really been able to achieve. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Fancy lazing in one of the many cafes lining the historical piazzas strewn around town, sampling a glass of wine or maybe a cappuccino, wondering how time seems to stop in this city. Think about walking around the many streets, passing sharply dressed women and men, all glued to their smartphones while you're gazing at the intricate carvings on the exterior of the museum ahead of you. Imagine getting lost in the tunes belted out by the accordion bearing musicians inside a fast moving box of metal that takes you from one part of the eternal city to another. That is Rome for you. It is a city of contrasts, of ruins, paintings and sculptures and of fancy cars, minimalist structures and immigrants selling selfie sticks.

It is exceedingly difficult to plan out your sightseeing in Rome because the list will really never end. It is a treat for History majors, Art enthusiasts, nature lovers, fashionistas, gluttons, you name it. The locals might be cold and indifferent, but holding your breath while circling the Colosseum and the forums, while watching little kids running around the steps at Piazza di Spagna and while admiring every painting and sculpture in the museums you visit, will certainly warm your heart. So will the dozen glasses of wine. Gulping down mouthfuls of delectable Spaghetti Carbonara and deciphering a map of the metropolis, trying to figure out my next sojourn, only one thought was all pervading: There is so much to Rome and so much more, how could it possibly have been built in a day?

The first glimpse of the Colosseum - a stony, imposing structure and the most important symbol of Rome - is capable of taking anybody's breath away. And once inside, you start to wonder if you are trapped in a time-turner only to have your reverie broken by the plethora of tourists brandishing their selfie sticks and fancy DSLRs. Fleeting images from the movie 'Gladiator' come to mind because this was the arena where gladiators engaged in mortal combat while the sadistic crowds watched with bated breath. Sentenced prisoners were torn off by murderous wild beasts making the Colosseum an epitome of barbarism. Games that lasted months altogether were staged here and animals were massacred as a recreational activity. Although the Circo Massimo is a bigger Roman amphitheatre, the Colosseum with its massive outer walls, trapdoors, podiums and cavea exudes fear like no other and is obviously more popular. A lot of walking is involved and there are numerous almost vertical stairs to be ascended yet nothing should deter you from visiting this monument. Getting There: Taking the metropolitan (metro) in Rome is the best idea because you reach your destination faster and it is cheaper. Tickets are for 1.5 Euros per person and can be bought from the several machines or the ticketing counters at the station. The Rome metro system is very intricate and trains run every few minutes from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm, so do make sure you follow the map and your station 'Colosseo', which is directly opposite the monument, lies on Line B. Beware of pickpockets. The tickets for Colosseum include the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and come for 12 Euros. It is advisable to buy the tickets from the Palatine Hill (Palatino) entrance because you will find no queues unlike the ticket counters at Colosseum and Roman Forum. See the Palatino first, followed by the Roman Forum and save Colosseum for the end.
Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
If History fascinates you, the Roman Forum is where you should be. What was once the hub of public life in Rome, the Roman Forum is now a cluster of ruins spread across an extensive area. This is where grand temples once stood and still do in bits and pieces, where the most prolific of speeches were made (Mark Antony's speech from Julius Caesar by Shakespeare), where a thriving market place drew people from all over town and where tombs now lie. The Temple of Saturn which was also once a treasury, the Rostrum or the public forum where Mark Antony displayed his oratory skills, The Temple of Julius Caesar which was built on the site of his cremation, the Arco Di Tito which reminds one of the Arc De Triomphe in Paris and eerily resembles the Arch of Constantine and the Lapis Niger which is supposed to be the tomb of Romulus, the founder of Rome are all sites that must not be missed. Getting There: The Roman Forum is a short walk from the Colosseo metro station which is on Line B of the Rome metro system and the tickets for the train which runs every few minutes come for 1.5 Euros. They can be bought from the several machines or the ticketing counters at the station. Make sure you have a map of the otherwise complicated underground transport system which runs from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm with you and watch out for the pickpockets. The tickets for Colosseum include the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and will cost you 12 Euros. It is advisable to buy the tickets from the Palatine Hill (Palatino) entrance because you will find no queues unlike the ticket counters at Colosseum and Roman Forum. See the Palatino first, followed by the Roman Forum and save Colosseum for the end.
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Roman Forum, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Rome was built on seven hills and Palatino or the Palatine Hill happens to lie in the centre. Legend has it that the founder of Rome, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were saved by a wolf right here and it probably is the presence of such tales that make Palatino all the more interesting. With impressive ruins and the greenest of trees and bushes, Palatino leaves you with majestic views. It once used to be a posh Roman neighbourhood, home to emperors and wealthy families. Palatino is now majorly covered by ruins which once formed Emperor Domitian's Imperial Palace. The walk is long and beautiful and for those interested, there is also a museum (Museo Palatino) the admission to which is included in your ticket. Getting There: The Palatine Hill is a 2 minute walk from the Colosseo metro station which is on Line B of the Rome metro system and the tickets for the train which runs every few minutes come for 1.5 Euros. They can be bought from the several machines or the ticketing counters at the station. Make sure you have a map of the otherwise complicated underground transport system which runs from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm with you and watch out for the pickpockets. The tickets for Colosseum include the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and will cost you 12 Euros. It is advisable to buy the tickets from the Palatine Hill entrance on Via Di San Gregorio (From the metro station, walk south past the Arch of Constantine and continue down the aforementioned street) because you will find no queues unlike the ticket counters at Colosseum and Roman Forum. See the Palatino first, followed by the Roman Forum and save Colosseum for the end. Visit before noon so that you are done with everything by evening.
Photo of Palatino / Palatine Hill, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Palatino / Palatine Hill, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Palatino / Palatine Hill, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Who would have thought that a mere flight of steps could be turned into an extremely popular (and absolutely free) tourist attraction? Possibly the most famous marble steps in the world, the Spanish steps form a heaven for people watchers, bookworms and those looking to spend time with friends and a few bottles of beer. The fuchsia flowers scattered all around the staircase provide an even prettier background to the Piazza Di Spagna and the 'Sinking Boat Fountain' at the foot of the steps. The multitude of branded stores and gelaterias dotting the piazza stand in stark contrast to this 18th Century beauty. Go early in the evening and spend a few good hours there. Getting there: If in case you are not living near the Tridente/Trevi area which is walking distance from the steps, taking the underground metro is the best idea because it is faster and cheaper. The tickets come for about 1.5 Euros and can be bought from the several machines or ticketing counters at the station. Your stop is 'Spagna' along the A Line and the Piazza is less than 200 metres from the station. Beware of pickpockets on the train.
Photo of Spanish Steps, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
Photo of Spanish Steps, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania
The world might not be a wish granting factory but if legends and a million other travellers are to be believed, the Trevi Fountain definitely is. A brilliant example of the Baroque style of architecture, the mythical figures on the fountain are magnificent. The name 'Trevi' indicates the three roads that meet at the fountain which has found place in dozens of popular films. As much as I wanted to throw a coin into the water in order to ensure a second trip to Rome, the restoration work initiated by the fashion house Fendi prevented me from doing so and all that I got to see were scaffolds and glass barriers. Therefore, find out the status well in advance, the evening is the best time to visit and there is no ticket that you need to purchase. Getting there: If in case you are not living near the Tridente area which is walking distance (albeit long) from the fountain, taking the underground metro is the best idea because it is faster and cheaper. The tickets come for about 1.5 Euros and can be bought from the several machines or ticketing counters at the station. Your stop is 'Barberini' along the A Line and Trevi is about 600 metres from the metro station. Beware of pickpockets on the train.
Photo of Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy by Sumedha Bharpilania