Known as the Eternal City, Rome lives up to its name by boasting grandiose monuments, beautiful buildings , some of the worlds most famous sights and a truly romanticized ambiance throughout the city.
The world famous saying noted that “Rome was not built in a day” and trust me its even harder to see it all in just 4 days, but I managed t emerge myself in the rich history, beauty and tradition the city is known for.
After our first day of exploring at leisure and becoming familiar with our surroundings, we quickly fell in line with the public’s traditions. On Christmas day, Romans are accompanied by thousands of people from around the world as they flock to the Vatican City for the Pope’ Christmas blessing. One can also enter St. Peter’s Basilica and ponder at the overwhelming ornateness of the cathedral and all it’s marvelous artworks. Its astounding to think that its inception dates back to years BC. – that’s over 2000 years ago that such advanced architectural masterpieces were being created without modern tools or technology.
There were a number of instances where we would refer to ourselves as “Accidental Tourists”, Christmas day was to be the first of those instances, as after receiving the Popes blessing – as one does when in Rome, we were unaware of the public transport routes closing early that day – as they do on Public holidays. After a good amount of walking and tourist-like photo-taking along the way, we accidentality found ourselves at Piazza del Popolo and further down the line, the famous and equally romantic Spanish Steps. This was by far one of my favorite areas in Rome. You could feel the exclusivity as the cobble stone roads wear surrounded by the world’s top designer brands. From Versace, to Cartier and not to mention two Chanel stores on one street, you really started to feel the influence of fashion on the country as a whole – not just its fashion capital, Milan.
Boxing day in South Africa usually means spending the day at the beach, but this time around it meant suiting up in layers of warm clothes for a long day of sightseeing! In addition to a number of breathtaking Basilicas, we visited the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and Capitoline Hill. Its seemed as though every corner you turn, brings a fascinating monument, dripping in history too vast to grasp with in the few moments you hold in it’s presence.
By our final day in the city, we had started to get accustomed to the lifestyle and people. The day was spent as leisure, shopping, eating and even visiting a Leonardo Di Vinci exhibition. Our hotel was located in a really lovely area called Ludovisi and the Villa Borghese Gardens are located just a few minutes walk away, it was nice to spend some time winding down and reflecting before leaving the city and taking on another.
Rome is a truly exceptional city, that is so easy to fall in love with. You can feel age of the the city, and through this understand its strength and confidence. One feels almost privileged to walk on streets created and maintained for centuries by one of the strongest empires of the ancient world – so strong, that millions of people still today visit it yearly in hopes of experiencing the magic of Rome.