Roman holiday. Part one

My first post I would like to dedicate to the city that rocked my world. Rome! Even though I’ve traveled to many cities before that trip, Rome was the first place that gave me an inspiration boost. And only after that holiday I decided to start writing photo reports – stories about the places I’ve been to with lots and lots of photos.

We were very lucky to find very good offer on ebookers.com – got a hotel and flight tickets at reasonable price. Our hotel «Beau Site – Antica Residenza» was located in a very good spot, – 10 minutes’ walk to Villa Borghese (where is situated famous Galleria Borghese), 10 minutes’ walk to Piazza Barberini and alsmost same distance to Spanish steps. It was quite small yet very cousy family run hotel with friendly and helpful staff. Recommend!

And now a little bit of everything…

Sightseeing. I think that is the main reason to go to Rome. This city has a great history, culture, enormous amount of historical sights and monuments and most of them are the “must see”. I will not bore you with the historical facts – all that information you can easily find in the Internet or travel guides. I’ll just give you some basic information and most importantly – tips, which I hope will be useful.

Spanish steps:

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* be careful! Those steps are quite slippery – one wrong step and you can easily greet them with your face.

Fountain “Barcaccia”:

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This is the work of Pietro Bernini (he was the father of famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini). They say that the prototype of the fountain was a boat that was found right on this square after the waters of the Tiber returned to their channel after the end of the flood.

Biggest fountain in Rome – Fontana di Trevi:

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Epic! But always very crowded.

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And some people are making business out of it. A guy can come to you and offer to make a photo of you and after that he starts asking money from “the services”. So if you want to have a photo taken of you beside this marvelous fountain, then better to ask other tourists to do it – they won’t charge you for that.

You will also meet many annoying “salespersons”, who will follow you around offering flowers and other unnecessary things, saying that they are for free. Don’t take anything! Otherwise they will continue following you but this time trying to get money from you “for a good luck” as they say. And in that situation it is very hard to get rid of them. But if you learn to ignore them, they’ll stop bothering you.

There is a belief that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you’ll come back to Rome once again. I wasn’t really a believer at that point and threw a coin just for fun and maybe a little bit out of curiosity… and it worked! Two years later I came here again – to celebrate my 30th birthday. Amazing, right? So now I’m a believer!

Il Vittoriano monument is located between Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill; built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.

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Wide stairs lead to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is built under the statue of goddess Roma.

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Closer we got to the Colosseum, more gladiators we saw on our way. Well not actual gladiators, just men dressed as ones. Few years ago there were plenty of them, they were milking tourists like cows – offering to have a photo with them and after the shot was made they asked 20 to 40 euro from it! Luckily after some scandal (as I heard) they are not allowed to come close to Colosseum. But if you really want to have a photo with an irresistible fighter of Ancient Rome, then ask the price first. It should be somewhere between 5-10 euros.

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The Arch of Constantine (under reconstruction in 2013):

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Colosseum. If you were in Rome and haven’t seen Colosseum… well you haven’t been in Rome! I think that’s an absolute must-see! It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world; millions of people are visiting it every year. That is why it’s better to order a tour in advance, – then you won’t have to stay in the queue under the hot sun (if you come in summer) for hours. We reserved an excursion in the internet few weeks before our holiday. I also advise you to take a guide because only then you’ll be able to visit underground facilities (where they were holding gladiators and animals) and the top level where you can enjoy stunning view of the city.

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Palatine Hill… You can easily spend here whole day just wandering around.

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Roman Forum (entrance fee to Palatine Hill and Roman Forum was included in our ticket when we ordered Colosseum tour).

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To be continued…

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