Crowds at the Trevi Fountain

Rome Rome Rome…somewhere I had been told to go from many a person for years now. ‘Oh i cant believe you haven’t been to Rome!’ they would say, well I cant believe you haven’t been to Lauterbrunnen. Each to their own. But this trip I have quite a bit of time so a trip to Rome was always going to be on the cards. I opted for the quick one hour Eurostar from Naples and arrived early afternoon then made the rather easy walk straight down the street then one left and the Yellow Hostel was right there. Very good location. Check in and was assigned my bed number in the room, walked up to the room and it was a top bunk again. God damn it. Luckily in this hostel you can actually switch the numbers around on the beds and there was a free bottom bunk so I quickly snaked that before anyone else checked in to that room.

When you first look at a map of Rome, along with everything you hear from people, it seems like you would need 34 years to see everything. But thats not true. Rome is actually quite easy to walk around, and the better option to do so as well. The metro doesn’t really cover the city very well, and the buses are ridiculously packed all the time. There is so much of Rome that isn’t marked on any map either, walking around every corner there will be another ruin of something, another monstrous church, another interesting piazza etc. I spent quite a bit of time at the main ruin sites, being the Colosseum and the Forum, and also in Vatican City, which ill cover in separate blogs.

On my other days I just wandered around the whole city, trying to cover as much as possible. One of the first stops was to Trevi Fountains, which are pretty amazing, and pretty damn busy. I visited the place quite a few times, and at different hours each time, and it was always packed full of people. All of them taking the photo of themselves throwing a coin in to the fountain. Sounds like a pretty good made up scheme by the government to bag a few thousand euros a day. However I still did as tourists do and threw a coin in myself, even though im not even sure I care about coming back to Rome. From there it was a very quick walk to the Pantheon. It is completely different to what I thought it was, for some reason I thought it was like a museum, not a dome style church. Inside is amazing though, the dome, which I *think* is the biggest free standing dome in the world, is monstrous, with a huge hole right in the middle. Around all the walls is your typical catholic stuff that I have no idea about, statues and paintings of various people with Italian explanations.

Then it was off to one of the most famous piazzas in Rome, Piazza Navona. There is a huge obelisk water fountain thingo, and fountains either side of it at the ends of the piazza. After a while you started to wonder how much the water bill for Rome is, because there is thousands of water fountains and drinking fountains everywhere its just ridiculous. The weather was actually clearing up this day so it was quite good for photos luckily. From here it was only a short walk to Campo de’ Fiori, which hold markets in the morning and early afternoon of mostly fruit and veggies but also your typical nick knack type of tourist crap. I bought a fruit salad cup which was absolutely awesome and really cheap, and also some other fruit such as peaches and plums for next to nothing. Stopped at a sandwich type of shop nearby and got a salami and mozzarella on turkish style bread sandwich which was also delicious. I don’t think ive ever just had mozzarella apart from shredded and on pizza, and im wondering why now because it tastes great. No doubt this is probably some of the best mozzarella in the world though.

Apart from those few things I actually remember by name, I visited countless churches that after a while all started to blend in and I now looking back at photos I cant even tell which photos are of which church. I should carry a notebook around so I can write down photo number with description but thats, like, effort and stuff. Walked past ruins of many ancient things, one of which was like the cat sanctuary of the city. There was about 20 cats just chilling around in these ruins, and they’re looked after by the locals who leave food out for them. At one stage I stumbled upon what I later found out to be the ‘Spanish Steps’, and only just now writing this did I just realise its Italy and not Spain and now im confused as to why they call them that. I really don’t take much notice of some things when travelling it seems. I had lunch that day at the McDonalds there because it was convenient, and now ive just read that it was actually the first McDonalds to open in Italy.

I had five full days in Rome and it was probably enough. After the first couple of days I found myself going back to quite a lot of the same places again, mainly just because they were on the way to other places I was going to. Im sure ive come no where near seeing ‘everything’ in Rome, and I think its one of those cities that you simply just cant cant see everything even in a lifetime. I did however see everything I wanted to, and even more. I was very lucky on my last day that the weather was perfect so I could quickly run around the city and take some sunny photos of things I had missed out on the previous days. Im not sure its somewhere I would come back to, definitely not on my own, maybe with mates later down the track as the nightlife is supposed to be quite good. I think ive been spoiled too much with Swiss and Austrian scenery that coming to a city where the main attractions are ruins, its a little different. This is also probably the worst blog ive written on a major European city but hopefully the photos make up for it.