Sunday, November 19, 2017

Europe 14/17 - Italy : When in Rome and Vatican City (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain)

"Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow."
Anita Desai
Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy
Day 15 - Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Today we are going to explore city center in Rome, I also got another travelmate where I met before in Yogyakarta so glad I can say to have a friend who knows better than us for Rome. So, finally 4 of us are going to explore this city.

From Rome Termini, we took the metro to Colosseum, you won't missed Colosseum because it's the famous site in Rome, another one of 7 wonders. Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome which built in 70-80 AD, originally known as the Amphitheatrum Flavium. The South part of Colosseum was collapsed due to massive earthquake in 847. The Colosseum was used for gladiators contest and public spectacles like animal hunt or wild animal fights.

When we reached this site, there were some people trying to offer entrance ticket which more expensive by telling us, no need to queuing. There were so many people at Colosseum and the line was very long. They offered around 30 euro/person for the ticket without queuing. But we didn't take it and we queued instead, the ticket price is actually 12 euro. It's almost 3 times more expensive if you take the previous offering.

We entered the site and it's just old buildings where some part already ruined but it's on of 7 wonders. Wander around the Coloseum where so packed with people. The weather at that time was not really friendly, rain was coming on-off-on-off. We bring our raincoat already.
Rom Termini Metro Station
Queuing for Colosseum
inside Colosseum
the center of Colosseum
wonder where the gladiator arena was
Colosseum that we know :)
Arch of Constantine
it's just too sweet, well, Dad, now you know who's the boss? :p
so many people selling those kind of Colosseum raincoat
We walked through this street Via dei Fori Imperiali where we could see some of main things to see at Rome gather in this street. Roman Forum was the main center in Roman city, it's a rectangular forum surrounded by ruins of several important ancient buildings located in the center of Rome. It's an unique view to see some ruins still there in the center of the city, I guess they still want to keep that way to commemorate what happened.
passing Roman Forum
I couldn't imagine how chaos 
some performance on the street
On our right side, we found Trajan's column, a Roman triumphal column in Rome that commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Daclan Wars. There is also Basilica Ulpia, an ancient Roman civic building located in the Forum of Trajan. And on our left side, Altar of Fatherland or Altare della Patria, also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or Il Vittoriano, is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy
Trajan's column
Basilica Ulpia
Basilica Ulpia, closer
Altar of Fatherland
We continued to walk to Pantheon but before we go there, we found a church called San Marcello al Corso along our way and stopped by there to look around, it was indeed beautiful, I wonder why all the churches in Europe are so beautiful like that, the interior, architectures, everything look so great. We had our lunch with of course pasta, sitting on the terrace, enjoying blue sky with pasta, so yummy. I paid 9.6 euro for lunch, so for your information, eating in a restaurant will cost around 8 - 15 euro per meal.

nice interior :D

time to have lunch! Pasta!
sooo yummy~~~
After that we visited Pantheon, a former Roman temple, built as a temple to all gods, now a church, you shouldn't missed this place, this building is spectacular with the design, elegance and how old this building really made me amazed even Michaelangelo said it looks more like the work of angels, not humans. It is a bit of mystery how Pantheon managed to survive when all the rest or Roman monuments had been shattered. 

The most fascinating part is the giant dome with famous hole in the top. The Dome was the largest in the world for 1300 years. The Pantheon was the first pagan temple to be transformed into a church in the year 609, therefore it was saved from being destroyed during middle Ages. It's definitely a worth site to visit in Rome. Anyway it's free to enter this Pantheon.
Pantheon~~ don't missed it if you visit Rome
the giant dome of Pantheon with the famous hole
it's rain before so it's kinda wet at some part
Walking again from Pantheon to Vatican City and we passed this nice building  called Castel Sant'Angelothe bridge kind of remind me with Charles Bridge at Prague, named St. Angelo Bridge. Then we walked again to Vatican City, a country located with the city of Rome, Italy. I just found out Vatican is actually a country because I thought it's just another interesting place to see in Rome. 

St. Angelo Bridge

Vatican City State is the smallest state in the world approximately 44 hectares and a population of 1,000. Once I stepped in Vatican from Rome, there was a bit sensation and unbelievable moment because I wonder how come there is a another country within the city and the ambience was totally different with Rome. 

Vatican City also called Holy See, gained independence from Italy on 11 February 1929. Vatican City is the seat of the Catholic religion and home of the Pope since 1378. Once we stepped in Vatican City, we will be in Saint Peter's Square where there is Saint Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world, was built to cover Peter's tomb. It's free to enter this church but in order to do that you need to dress properly. When I was there, I couldn't enter the church because there was an event at that time so the church was closed. It was so hot at that time.
we about to enter Vatican City area
welcome to Vatican City State
too bad it's closed
this fountain was so refreshing during the heat
Because it's closed we decided to return again tomorrow, then we went to Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) by walking and passing Pantheon again. When we arrived at Pantheon we saw a street musician playing his instrument which very nice to see, he also has some CD's of his music and you can pay as you wants to get his CD's.
such a nice music on the street in front of Pantheon
I feel like I could stay there longer to watch his performance, continue to walk to Trevi Fountain, one of stunning fountains in the world. It was built in 1732 and finished in 1762 which very old. So many people doing traditions where throwing  coins  over their shoulders and taking pictures. It said  if you doing it, you will go back to Rome, 2nd coin if you seeking for love and 3rd coin for wedding bells. It's also said there  are 3,000 euro collected each day and those coins will go for  charity. It is sooooo crowded, the fountains looks beautiful and refreshing to sit around there but you need to squeeze there. There are also some people selling things or souvenirs or showing off talents around the way to Trevi Fountain.
start packed with people
or souvenirs?
it's so cool!
such a good drawings
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)
the water looks refreshing
Then from fountain, we were heading to Piazza di Spagna, one of the most popular meeting sites in Rome, there is also Spanish Steps where there are so many events or fashion show held there. There are also so many shops or well-known brands around it. We spent some time there then we were heading to the nearest McDonalds to have our dinner.
Piazza di Spagna area
Spanish Steps
I wonder why it looks familiar, apparently sometimes they used this place for events or fashion show
had a cheesecake at McD but need to wait soooo long
We took Metro Spagna Station to our hotel, get off at Rome Termini (1.5 Euro). Going back to our hotel, had a chit chat then I moved to another hostel, Hostel Carlito for that night. That day was such a looong walk for sure but it was so fun and I can't believe because I went to so many places during one day in Rome. Thank you so much for my friends, Tommy, an Italian guy who knows Rome better than all of us, also Efni, my travelmate since last night at Florence and her friend, Kezia. We surely had a lot of fun walking around Rome. Grazie!
Efni, me, Tommy and Kezia
Thank you so much for reading my travel diaries and I'll see you soon.

Have a fabulous weekend!
MJ  

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