Rome, a short Christmas break, December 2009

Rome, a short Christmas break, December 2009

I have always wanted to visit Rome. To me, Rome always sounds so elegant, adventurous, religious (not that I am religious at all), romantic and of course full of handsome Italian men (not that I was able to flirt, I travelled with my husband,  …kidding!!) 😊.

We were in Rome for a short Pre Christmas-holiday. We flew out of Gatwick with excitement.  It took approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from Gatwick to Rome. We landed at Ciampino airport and felt that this trip was going to be very memorable. I thought about lovely Italian foods, photographing Rome’s great buildings, walking along the river or strolling along the piazzas, visit the Vatican, and much more.

This was our first time in Rome, and we did have a rather long list of things to see during this short break. Our hotel was located a little out of the central of Rome, so it was nice to take bus journeys and mingled with the locals.

The desire to do so many things in such a short space of time is classic problem, particularly when trying to discover some grand places full of amazing history.  On this short writing I would like to share some of my travel experience from the major tourist spots we visited. You have probably read most of this in other blogs, but this is my version of Rome.

The Vatican
Do you know that the Vatican is actually the smallest country in the world? It measures only around 100 acres in size. Remember the saying “size matters”? Well, doesn’t apply here in the Vatican. Although it is super tiny country, it is probably one of richest and most important. The Vatican is the home to the most famous religious leather on this planet, the Pope and a country which owned some of most expensive paintings ever created.

The Vatican Museums
At the Vatican Museums, you will find some amazing master pieces, possibly the best paintings ever created. Well, who I am to judge, I am not even an expert in this area, but that is what I think. There are 54 different galleries and several courtyards within the Vatican Museums, each featuring carefully chosen paintings and sculptures collected by centuries of popes. Anyway, think of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, it will take your breath away. Strolling along the corridor of the museums with hundreds possibly thousands of other visitors, and having a good view of all the valuable paintings here, at times you would ask yourself questions, like “why don’t the Vatican auction some of their paintings to help the poor Catholics around the globe? Some of my favourite inside the museum is the famous spiral staircase, the papal throne, the Gallery of Maps.

St Peter’s Basilica
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter’s Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome,  it was built in the 1600’s and it was considered to be the greatest work of Renaissance architecture ever made.  The church is also famous for being the final resting place of St Peter.  If are an art lover, this is a must visit place.

If you want to read a more formal details of the Basilica, including its formation and history, check out this link in Wikipedia. .

Strolling along the river Tiber
The best time to stroll along the river Tiber is just before sunset and watch sunset here. The golden ray on the building looked truly stunning during sunset. Wrap up warm, stroll along the river and do city walks, these will help you to keep warm and at the same time enjoying some fresh air and enjoy what the city offers.

The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is a truly grand Baroque masterpiece. Apparently, this fountain is one the most famous and most visited fountain in the world. Each year millions of tourists flocked here to Rome to see it. This fountain is also one Rome’s most iconic landmarks.

We visited the Trevi Fountain and tossed a coin like most people do when they are here. It is a very popular tourist spot in Rome, so it was a bit crowded for my liking, but enjoyed the beauty of its historical statues and the amazing renaissance buildings around it.

The Rome’s Gelato
People talk about the gelato in Rome and always advise you not to miss it, but the winter was so cold in Rome that year, the only things I craved was hot pizzas and fresh brewed Italian coffee.  Next time we plan to visit Rome it has to be late spring or summer to truly enjoy Rome’s famous gelato.

The unexpected nightmare
Rome was amazing and has given me some amazing memories. Time to go home and join family to celebrate Christmas. We left Rome just 2 days before Christmas. When we got to the airport, the nightmare begun. Most Easyjet flights to Gatwick airport were cancelled due to bad snowy weather. We stayed hours at the airport trying to sort alternative flights, and with the help of family in London, we finally managed to board on a British Airways flight. Phew!! Well, things happened, it was unavoidable, thank goodness we were able to escape misery.

We had a fab time in Rome, we must go back, but I would probably go back in the spring when the weather is not too cold and is not too hot.

Happy holiday, don’t miss your chance to visit the smallest country on our planet.

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