Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s only fair to say that it can’t be seen in a day either…or even 3 days for that matter. This awe-inspiring city was in my list of places to visit before I go to the other plane but it wasn’t tops for some reason. Perhaps the months spent learning Julius Caesar in school had something to do with it! And of course the numerous documentaries, movies & books as well…I didn’t expect to be stunned the way I did when we finally got there and I’m still reeling under the awesomeness of it all. That’s the word – awesomeness!!!
The weeks running upto the trip were manic to put it mildly. In fact the night before we left, I had a late evening class till 9pm, got home by 10:30, packed the best I could till 1am & the next morning we were up by 4am rushing off to the airport! And of course we had a full intinerary waiting for us. That was the day allotted to visiting the holy grounds of the Vatican city. I recommend letting your senses be bazooka-ed into humility by the awesomeness of the Vatican city! The square, rather the semicircle grounds were meant to inspire awe and they do the job pretty well. Trust me it’s far more stunning when you see it for real rather than on reruns of Angels & Demons. Take a guided tour if you can; you’ll need it and don’t ever do the mistake of picking up an audio-guide…BIG mistake!!!!!! Will explain later.
Every ancient & dated structure in Rome seems to have been specifically designed to make your jaw drop either by design or by sheer scale and mostly both! The Pantheon, the monument of Victory, the many splendid churches, the innumerable piazzas… All of them!!!! I could easily imagine every citizen of Rome during the ancient eras dedicating their lives to creating even more immense and intricate structures.
Oh yes the audio guides… don’t rent them as it’s an utter waste of money. We picked up audio guides for the Roman Forum and regretted it. It doesn’t tally with the maps that are handed out to you either. It’s haphazard and misleading to say the least. If you invest in a guided tour, you’ll learn loads more about the locations, the history and the mystery behind them! We did have a guided walk earlier and it was the best – worth every cent we paid for it. And go walk through the streets around the Piazza del Popolo to discover what it must have been like to have lived there a century and more ago… you’ll find hidden treasures everywhere and sometimes even weird combinations of the old and the new and each one of them will have you enchanted. Of course the people there will amuse you to no end… they take great pride in and love their food, their language, their history and their heritage! It’s an experience just watching the Italians in conversation – you can get swayed by it easily 🙂
I feel fortunate to have been able to see the city even of it was somewhat rushed! This city will wrap you in its magical and ancient charms and it’s best if you give in to the calling otherwise you’ll land up seeing everything but without feeling!! And we did throw coins into the Trevi Fountain wishing & hoping that we shall return here again in the near future and relive the magic of the city.
p.s. Photos link: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/tamphagupta/RomanHoliday?feat=directlink