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ITALY | Wednesday, 12 December 2007 | Views [660]

Rome deserves a story to itself as it was one of our favourite cities in all of Europe! It's just amazing, this place has so much history. Everywhere you go there is evidence of ruins or a beautiful monument. Our hotel was in a fantastic spot, just around the corner from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum! As we were feeling a little plump after spending a few weeks eating 3 course lunches and dinners, we decided to tour Rome on foot! Everyday we set off for a couple of hours and explored a different corner of the city. This was a fantastic way to do it and by the end of our 4 days we really felt like we knew Rome so well! We walked along the river from Piazza Venezia to Piazza de Popolo. We wished at the Fontana di Trevi and climbed the Spanish steps. We poked our heads inside Antico Caffe Greco (the oldest bar in Rome), window shopped along Via Condotti (with the likes of Prada, Gucci, Dolce e Gabbana & Bulgari), strolled within the walls of Piazza Navona and admired Il Pantheon, which is said to be the greatest achievement of Roman architecture of it's time.

No visit to Rome is complete of course without a visit to Vatican City and San Pietro is really something else. Never before have we seen a church (well I guess it's a Cathedral) so massive and so decorated inside! But underneath it's beauty, you can't help thinking about the message that the church really is sending. How can they spend so much money on a place of worship when so many millions of people are dying and starving to death around the world? One can't help thinking that helping others should be where the money of the church goes, not to building places like this. Nonetheless, it is a very beautiful place and it is also home to La Pieta, one of the most beautiful statues ever made. It really depicts emotion and feeling, which must be incredibly difficult to do with marble. It's quite hard to explain. Many say this is one of Michelangelo's finest works. The cupola of San Pietro is also one of Michelangelo's many achievements and we climbed the massive dome for a fantastic 360 degree view over Rome!

However, perhaps the most beautiful part of Rome and the place we spent a lot of time is Trastevere. It is the oldest part of the city and it has lovely little laneways, washing hanging between colourful buildings and is home to some lovely bars and restaurants. Here we found a bar that we ended up frequenting every night for the rest of our stay in Rome! It was called Antico Caffe del Moro and it is the second oldest bar in Rome. We made friends with the 3 guys who owned the bar. Luigi was the chef (and he put on a fantastic sushi buffet every night that was free I might add when you drank there). Sandro was the cocktail maker and barista and when you taste a drink made by someone like that, you realise that cocktail making really is a fine art. Gian-Luca was the manager I suppose, but all 3 owned it together. Over our 3 nights that we spent there we became quite the locals and our Italian improved dramatically! Apart from befriending the people that owned the bar, there were a number of fun customers along the way, including the "Elton John"-like restraunteur and maitre d', Jim and John from New York and a group of English lawyers who we later referred to as "tab and cab", but we'll let you try and work that one out! Marts even managed to persuade someone to give her a scooter ride around the laneways of Trastevere one night!

So as you can see Rome was packed full of sights, fun and people and we were sorry to leave this beautiful city! We shall return that is for sure! But from Rome we flew to Spain so stay tuned for tales of tapas, flamenco and sangria!

Tags: Culture


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