I’m so glad I’ve got Rome checked off of my Bucket List – it’s an absolutely stunning city (although, it doesn’t hold a candle next to Venice, sorry!). This is a list of the Top 10 Things (in my opinion) that anyone visiting Rome needs to do.
10. The Spanish Steps
The main reason The Spanish Steps are at the bottom of my list is because I didn’t actually get to see them – there was a bunch of construction work going on, so they were all barrier-ed off. But they are usually on people’s lists of things to see when in Rome, and I’m definitely going to go back and see them next time I’m in Rome!!
9. The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain was lovely – but wow! I’ve never seen so many people in one place before!! I had to elbow my way down to the water, practically, just to throw my coin in the fountain – but I’ve thrown the coin in, so I’m definitely going back to Rome one day!
8. Capuchin Bone Church
The hotel I was staying at was literally just across the road from the Capuchin Bone Church – I could even see it from my window! This church was fascinating – I went through a museum that told me about the history of the church (and there were a lot of religious paintings) and then into the main part of the museum – the Bone Church. These rooms are completely decorated with the bones of the Capuchin Monks who had been buried there. Fair warning to anyone wanting to visit: they are totally against people taking photos and will make you delete them while they watch – not that I know about this from personal experience, though…
7. Sistine Chapel/ Vatican Museums
I know, I know, the Sistine Chapel should be higher up on the list, but, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t that taken with it. Sure, the ceiling is incredible but the chapel itself was really dark and the atmosphere was kinda ruined by the guards at the front of the room shouting ‘No photo! Sshh!!’, which I thought was a little ironic. I was more taken with the Gallery of Maps – some of the maps have been painted with North pointing down the way, which I thought was interesting.
6. Castel Sant’Angelo
Originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian (yes, the Hadrian’s Wall Hadrian!) it is now a museum and a really interesting one at that! There are original floors, which are really awkward to walk on, and an amazing view from the top, among other interesting tidbits. The geeky gamer in me got really excited when I saw the main courtyard and recognised it from Assassin’s Creed 2 (because I’m cool).
5. St Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s is beautiful – there is detail everywhere. Unlike the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s is free to enter – but be prepared to wait in a long queue! Fortunately, there was a nice Australian couple in front of me that I chatted away to, so the time passed a bit quicker. Also, the Pope was not there so the queues weren’t as long – I’ve heard they’re insanely long when he’s there!
4. The Pantheon
The Pantheon is impressive – it’s one of the best preserved Ancient Roman buildings in the world – and it’s incredible! You step inside and everything is hushed – people just seem to respect the building and keep their voices lowered. The oculus at the top is also interesting – I originally thought that they would have put a window or something in it to protect the inside of the Pantheon when it rains but nope! It’s still open to the elements. That would have been interesting to see.
3. The Colosseum
My first Wonder of the World! And I loved it! I arrived at 8.30 and picked up my tickets from the Forum ticket office – and I’m glad I did! By the time I exited the Colosseum, the queue was massive! I kinda wish now that I’d paid the extra money to get the guided tour underground – and maybe the Colosseum would be higher up in my list!
2. Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill is supposedly where Romulus (where Rome got its name) and Remus were found by Lupa. It is one of the oldest areas of Rome and I loved wandering through the ruins. Later, the more affluent members of Rome built their palaces here and there are a good many ruins of them! I got there just after 9.30am and it was still pretty quiet, which was really nice, compared to the rest of Rome!
1. The Roman Forum
The centre of ancient Roman life, I loved this. I’m fascinated by ruins and how people used to live and there was history everywhere here! I could have wandered around here for hours but I had stupidly forgotten to take a bottle of water with me and was getting seriously dehydrated, so, unfortunately, I had to leave. But, despite my looming dehydration, I made sure to wander round everything at least once!