Thursday, September 6, 2018

Rome and Vatican City Traventures : 3 Days Itinerary

Rome is the capital city with 3,000 years of influential art, history and architecture. I have always wanted to go Rome since I was 9 years old because I watched my favourite actress, Hilary Duff in the Lizzie Mcguire movie. Finally this year, I made my way there and finally got it tick off my bucket list. The place that I was really excited to visit was the Trevi Fountain where you have to flip a coin into the fountain and make wish. This was in the place I spend really long time planning what to do there and eat, how do we get around and the route.

The one thing I didn't expect was the queue that I would have to go through into all of these famous landmarks like the Vatican city and Colosseum. Things I would definitely advise to note on would be:

  • Do buy your tickets in advance to avoid the queue when you are travelling around Italy. 
  • Do your research on the places you want to visit.
  • Please validate your train ticket and bus. If you are checked and your reason being a tourist and not knowing the rules will not save you from the fine. 
  • Make sure to get ready coins when you are heading over to Trevi Fountain

DAY 1

STROLLING THE CITY OF ROME

When we first arrive, we decided to take a walk around the city and heading to the colloseum. The funny thing was when we were taking photos, a playful bird decided to shit on my camera. I swear it went for the lens. It tried twice and the second time it was right on the lens spot. This is not funny little birdy. Clean the camera and head on walking and exploring the city, that's what we could do.




COLLOSSEUM

Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, oval shaped which so much history in it. Built in the 80AD, it was used to spectate gladiator fights, animal fights, executions, exhibition of exotic animals which has kept the Romans entertained for years. The function change due to the wold war where there were lootings, earthquakes and even bombings, it became a storehouse, church and cemetery. This building has gone through so much and the marking on the walls where people would steal the steal inside to sell it. This was only 1/3 of what's left of the original building.

Entrance Fee : 12 EUR (full fee) 
Only drawback is that you have to go through a long queue which would take you about 2 hours.




We took the tour on the spot because we wanted to avoid the queue for 30EUR. There would people offering this packages and initially we were charge for 40EUR but we negotiated up till 30EUR. Its for the entrance to the collosseum, palatine hill and roman forum. They will give you a whole history overview of each place and the history of the Romans. I really love the tour despite it being pricy but we know more of the place. There was so much fightings in the olden days which result in these places. 

PALATINE HILL AND ROMAN FORUM

Palatine hill is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome and the most ancient parts of the city. Its about 40 metre above the Roman Forum where you can have a view of it which was really nice. If you would have just bought tickets without the tour, you would know nothing about the place. The tour guide gave us an overview of each building, what was the purpose and the story behind it. Each  building had its very own story and the reason it was build. 

Entrance fee : 12 EUR (Full fee)




I would definitely RECOMMEND to get the tour. The total entrance fee would have been 24 euro. An extra 6 euro and you get to learn about the Roman history so why not. 

PANTHEON

After our collosseum tour around that area, we head over to the central city to do some sightseeing as it was still early. Took the bus. Each bus ride cost about 1.50euro per way. We first stop at Pantheon which was a former Roman temple but now a church. It use to be a shelter for people back in the olden days. Its a really huge building with a hole in the middle.

Entrance Fee : FREE




DAY 2 - VATICAN CITY & ROME CITY

FUN FACT ABOUT VATICAN CITY
It's the smallest country in the world. It surrounded by Rome and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The home to the Pope, with iconic landmark and another place of detailed and beautiful architecture. 

VATICAN MUSEUM & SISTINE CHAPEL

A Christian and art museums located within the city boundaries of the Vatican City. The first museum that I found it to be super big and would never be able to see everything in a day before I met the Louvre Museum. We spent 3 - 4 hours there exploring the museum.

When you are in the sistine chapel, you are not allowed to take photo but this chapel containing famous painting of Life of Moses and the Life of Christ. One of the reason for no photography was that the flash would damage the painting and also some rights to Nippon or something like that. I respected the rule so I did not try to sneak any painting. This was the most crowded area of all and everyone was just amazed by the paintings.

Entrance Fee : 17.50 Euro (Full fee), 8 Euro (Reduced Fee)




If you are into museum, you can spend the whole day in this area. Trust me, it's so huge and I was so tired after 2 hours. Also, we went there really early at 10.30 am and yet we had to queue 1.5 hours. The tour packages for the museum were about 40 eur which was much more expensive and museum have the small signs to read so you don't really need a tour. 

ST PETER'S BASILICA

The world largest basilica of Christianity and if you climbed up you get a really good and amazing view of Vatican city. When we were there, the line was far too long so we didn't bother to waste time queuing anymore and move on. I would go back to Rome again and this time be more prepared to get the ticket. However, we just walk around the area to get some photos and explore the mini country. We even met a friend there. What are the odds.. meeting a friend in the smallest country in the world. 




We ended our tour in Vatican city here and decided to head back to Rome which was just a 5 minutes walk and we were back in Rome. There are many other interesting places in Vatican City. I wish I had spend more time exploring it and also prepared for the long lines. Here's more information about the highlights of Vatican City and great tips on skipping lines and crowds.

CASTEL SANT'ANGELO

A towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano which was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. This is also where you can get a whole view of the city of Rome but there is also another place which you can go for free for the Rome view. I didn't go into the castle but I pass by and there was a mini market around there which we were doing window shopping.

Entrance Fee: 18.50EUR (Full ticket) , 11.50 EUR (Reduced ticket for European)
TIP: First Sunday of every month is free


TERRAZZA DEL PINCIO (PINCIAN HILL)

A hill in northeast quadrant of the historical center of Rome and right beside Villa Borghese. This is one of the most romantic and picturesque place and you don't have to even pay for it. It's overlooking the St Peter Basilica and Piazza Popolo. 

Entrance Fee: Free



SPANISH STEPS

A set steps between the Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinita dei Monti. The reason for it being famous because it links the Trinita dei Monti church with the spanish square below. If you look at the pictures online, it does look majestic and pretty but as a tourist, I am going to tell you that you will not get that view. Everyone is resting on the steps and hence what you will get will be the picture below unless you decide to be there sunrise then you can good photo.


We decided to walk around the area and grab dinner before heading home for a rest. Our style of travelling might be different from others. We start about 10.00am after breakfast and head home about 10pm. We spend 1-2 hours in each landmark, admiring the beauty and explore all the area around it, taking our sweet time. Hence, there is only a few things we visit a day. 

DAY 3

As we already visit more of the sites we need to, the last day was hunting down good tiramisu and gelato. I always planned a range of things to do in a vacation. We do sightseeing, food hunting, exploring the history (museum), climbing towers and also not to forget visit their markets. 

CAMPO DE' FLORI

Located at the south of Piazza Navona is where you have the market which you can do groceries and buy souvenir. A lot of fresh food, vegetable, fruits and local food.  The earlier you go, the more selection you have. 



TIRAMISU STORE - TWO SIZES

We then head over to this Tiramisu store call Two Sizes. The tiramisu comes in two size and they have different flavour of tiramisu. We went for the original tiramisu and strawberry tiramisu. Boy... they were really good. The coffee and the texture of the spongy case were just a perfect balance which melts in your mouth. 



SANT' EUSTACHIO II CAFFE

Italy is famous for their coffee as they developed their very own culture there. We then head over to one of the more popular coffee cafe called Sant' Eustachio II. I am not into caffeine but my friend was and he really love his coffee there. He said it's now officially one of his favourite coffee place. 


PIAZZA NAVONA

Piazza is the word for "square". This square was built on the site of Stadium of Domitian where Romans watches the games there. This square was a tourist attraction side where the building and the fountain there made the square a very majestic place. There is also a lot of restaurants around here where you can stop and relax in this square.


TREVI FOUNTAIN

This was the main reason I wanted to go Rome after watching Lizzie Mcguire. That moment after she threw the coin hoping for an adventure and there Paolo was. Despite turning out to be douche bag, she found her twin which became her friend and sang together in the concert. Legend has it that throwing a coin into the fountain will guarantee that you'll return to the Eternal City. 

Facts to know while throwing the coin :- 
  • Throwing from the right hand over the left shoulder to ensure that you will return to Rome in the future. 
  • Throwing a second coin will not only get you a return trip but a exciting romantic adventure with your partner. 
  • The third coin is to ensure the marriage. 


My favourite place. I stayed here for about 2 hours just sitting down right at the fountain because it has been the place that I've wanted to come for so long and I definitely did throw coins in it. It was hard to get the full image without getting all other tourist. Even send a postcard of the fountain to myself as a reminder that I finally made it here. I was here on the first day and went back the third day. The start and end of my trip to this beautiful fountain. 

And this marks the end of my 3 days trip in Rome. The third day was mostly exploring the city, walking around eating ice cream and tiramisu and a lot of pasta. We wanted to visit the Catacomb on the third day but it was raining so heavily we decided to just call the plan off because it would have been a hassle travelling so far out in the rain.

Wanna read more about my travels around Italy ?
Here are the other places I've been to.






Reactions:

15 comments:

  1. There are so many places to see in Rome.... And the details you shared about the Trevi Fountain is really appreciated... Thats one of my "to Visit" one 😊

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  2. I'm always afraid of the birds when I have my camera out. I'll be extra careful after reading this.

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  3. Your post brought my memories alive of Rome and Vatican. While reading your article and watching each pic reminded me of being there.

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  4. Rome has such an interesting architecture and stories to tell. Your pictures say it all. I am all motivated to plan a trip to Rome.

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  5. Wow this post made me think back to the couple of times the I've been to Rome. It might be a while until I get to go back, so this was a nice little refresher.

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  6. Rome is such a magical and fadcinating place! Too bad we couldn't see the Vatican but next time for sure! I loved the streets, the emotion, the food! Everything! This is definitely one of my absolutely favorite places!

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  7. Rome is really high on my list of places to visit. There is so much history and so many places to see! Thanks for such a detailed post, definite travel inspiration :)

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  8. Great itinerary. When we visited Rome earlier this year we went to most places mentioned. Our favourite was the Colosseum but there's so much history to see everywhere.

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  9. From this post, I remember the saying 'Rome was not built in a day'. And it looks true indeed. That beautiful architecture is a worth exploring.

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  10. This is such an awesome post with so many useful suggestions. I don't think it's even possible to cover more in three days than the thing you mentioned. Saving it for my next visit :)

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  11. Amazing post. I love the architecture of Rome. So magical, mysterious and beautiful :)

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  12. Rome is one of my favourite Italian cities! I love everything about it! The History, the atmosphere, the foo, I really want to go back now.

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  13. Rome and Vatican City is high up on my bucketlist.Would love to visit the place someday.I'll definitely pin this post.Thanks for sharing!!!

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  14. Rome and Vatican City are on our ever-growing bucket list. I loved the cities that offer amazing architecture and history. Your post is detailed and lovely.

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