To Rome with Love

Dear Friends, Dear Family, Dear colleagues,

I am writing from Rome. I do not remember anything more gracious and more impressive than the City of Rome. It is been said from ancient times if you have seen Rome, you have seen everything. And it is true, because even nowadays, after centuries of salvages and destruction, Rome is still magnificent. However Rome is not about the buildings, fashion, good style, or food, it is all about history. The Roman Empire, one of the biggest on Earth, with its ~70 emperors, lasted more than 15 centuries. They were the founders of Modern Christianism and the founders of the Renaissance, the base for all schools of art, philosophy, and literature. Thanks to Romans, we have everything we know nowadays: economy, military strategy, government structures, religion, and culture. I remember the movie The Emperor’s Club and now understand why professor William Hundert insisted on studying ancient Rome: “The end depends upon the beginning“.

Rome Attractions in 4 Days

Day 1 – I wanted to visit the most well-known Colosseum and Roman Forum. Colosseum was built on the terrain where Nero Emperor’s house was. Nero builds this edifice to entertain people. It is said at the opening of the Colosseum that the last few days sacrificed 10000 animals in the arena. Colosseum represents one of the darkest pages of Rome.

Colosseum Metro Station
Colosseum in 2022
This image is the reconstruction of Nero Circus, however, at Colosseum, it is not well documented if martyrdom took place or not

Just Imagine the roars of gladiators and lions, the applause and boos of the crazy crowd. Being a victim in this arena was hell on earth. It is said also first Christians were burned or crucified here for public delight.

Very close to Colosseum are The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, one of the most luxurious places in the past. Here all the politicians or influential people from Rome had villas with beautiful gardens and views.

Day 2 was dedicated to Vatican Museums. Considering the half-kilometer queue at the entrance I am glad I bought a Skip the line Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Ticket. What is remarkable inside is that every wall contains at least a masterpiece of art. There are hundreds of long corridors with the finest art, and collections gathered by all the Popes of the Vatican.

Michelangelo was 33 years old when he painted Sistine Chappel and he was paid in gold, the equivalent of 600000 Eur in 2022. Although Michelangelo never worked for money but for Glory of The God and Art, nowadays his work is estimated at 15 billion dollars (only for Sistine Chapel)…

Fontana di Trevi and Piazza di Spania, a place for lovers

Day 3 of my visit was Fontana di Trevi, where I meet the most beautiful girl in my life. She was from a group of tourists, she asked me to take a picture and later we talked for about 15 minutes, but it was eternal for me. Who knows if I will ever see her again…

What I found interesting about Fontana di Trevi was that people throw coins in the water to bring luck. I found that local authorities collect about 1 mil Eur yearly from Fontana di Trevi, money used for charities. The water from Fontana di Trevi is brought into the city from the mountains, 20 km away, via Roman aqueducts. I almost forgot to mention, but you can find natural water everywhere in Rome, for free! Thank you Romans!

Very close to Fontana di Trevi is Piazza di Spanga and Spanish Steps where was filmed The Talented Mr Rippley. All day long those places are full of young couples. Probably here they are making wishes, covenants, or trying to find their soul’s heart.

Third-Day I tried to visit St Peter Basilica, but the queue of waiting was so long (1 km) I left and come back later on the same day…

So when is the best time to visit St Peter Basilica?

The best time to visit St Peter Basicila is after 16:30. All the groups are left and most of the guided tours are booked for 7:00-10:00 and 12:00-15:30). After 16:00 or 17:00 Saint Peter Square takes approximately 15 minutes to pass the security check. Keep in mind there is no Skip the Line Tickets for St Peter Basilica, so no matter how you pay you still need to wait in the queue. The only things you need to pay for are: Guides to Papal Tomb and/or Climb the Dome Tour.

How much cost St Peter Basilica Tickets?

Visiting St Peter Basilica is free. Everyone has the right to see it free and it always is free. Even the monks have to wait in a queue, everyone waits humbly. But the waiting was worth it. I was in the most magnificent construction on Earth: with over 15000 sqm, over 130 meters in height, all the walls including ceilings painted by master architects like Michelangelo and Bernini. Michelangelo refused to be paid for this basilica as he couldn’t charge God for its work :). St Peter Basilica is Michelangelo’s last work and, although Michelangelo never considered himself an architect, I have no doubt Michelangelo helped the building of the greatest architecture I have ever seen. Inside of the church is St. Peter’s Baldachin (altar over St Peter Tomb – here it is said St Peter was buried together with early Christians after they were crucified by Nero Emperor – I remember Quo Vadis movie and Quo Vadis book a remarkable page of history). This place got me goosebumps. For every man, woman, or child, no matter your religion this is a must-see place for you: Vatican underground grottoes and St Peter Tomb with a guided tour.

St Peter Dome the highest point of view in Rome

View from St Peter Basilica Dome and Vatican Square
Circus Nero is the foundation of the current Vatican and St Peter Basilica today.

While climbing St Peter Dome, I was amused by a young lady scared of heights, that grabbed his boyfriend and dragged him outside when she saw how small were the people seen from the first floor of the dome. But please note climbing St Peter Basilica is 100% safe. Now imagine how artists painted that ceiling, a few hundred year ago, without the safety measures we have today, staying 130 meters above the ground…

Circus Maximus was a place that could gather 200000 spectators. This type of Circus was presented in Ben Hur movie, where Ben defeated his roman friend in a chariot race. Unfortunately, today is a ruin because was devastated and used as a stone quarry. In 2007, Genesis and Phil Collins band perform a concert with 500,000 fans at Rome’s Circo Massimo.

Circus Maximo in 2022
Circus Maximo in the past

Day 4. Borghese Gallery is probably one of the less-known places in Rome. Located in a beautiful park near De Medici Villa and it is outside the crowds. You need to buy weeks in advance Skip the like or Guided Tours at Borghese Gallery Tickets because they sell just a limited number of tickets.


At the end of my journey in Rome, I fell in love

Love for friends… Love for family… Love for young couples… for artists, for the poor, for righteous ones… In the end, I left like this fountain:

To Rome with Love,

Adrian

Hints for Traveling in Rome

What is the best place to stay in Rome?

Near Colosseum and Termini metro station because you can easily go anywhere from there. Avoid the line Jonio because the metro has delays. If you want to pay less, try to book 1 month in advance using Rome City Center Booking.

What are the TOP 5 Visiting places in Rome?

TOP 1 & 2: Vatican Museum and St Peter Basilica you can do them in just one day (Vatican in the first hour and St Peter later after 16:00 on your own). If you want to save money, get a package for All in one guided tour of Vatican and St Peter.

TOP 3: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Vittoriano Palace (known also as Altare Della Patria or Tomb of Unkown Soldier). These 4 places are near to each other and can be made in one day and you can buy Skip the line tickets for Colosseum. Vittoriano Museum has free entrance, but if you want to go by elevator on the roof you must pay 10 Eur for adults and it is free for children.

TOP 4: Pantheon, Fontana de Trevi, Piazza di Spania. These 3 free tourist attractions are close to the Colosseum metro station and can be made easily on the same day by foot.

TOP 5: Borghese Gallery Skip the line Tour.

Here are also some other stores that might have deals, coupons, or promo codes for the TOP 5 Rome attractions: Rome Vatican Pass, Get Your Guide, The Tour Guy, Headout.