13/05/2017

TRAVEL | A Roman Holiday


The post where I show you why Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world.

During the Easter break, my friend Julie and I took a little trip to one of the most exciting cities in Europe, Rome. Why exciting, you may ask? Because of its culture, its History, its atmosphere, its people, its food. Everything. That goes for all of Italy of course, but Rome is such a unique place. It's also huge, spread on seven hills and there is so much to see and do that you'd need months to explore it completely. However we only had a few days in the city, so here is what we've managed to do in that time.
Let's start with my favourite things that we did...

STEPPING IN ANCIENT ROME WITH THE FORUM AND THE COLOSSEUM

In Rome, you'll find traces of the Ancient empire everywhere. At every corner, an old stone, an inscription, a column or even just a bit of pavement will remind you where you are. Of course, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum are a must-do. Be prepared: there are a lot of people. My advice would be to go early in the morning, before the opening, and grab tickets on the site. Don't book in advance, that is what we did and we ended up waiting just as long, if not longer, than the people who had not booked. The queue for booked tickets was much longer. If you don't know what you do when you arrive, the staff will be there to help. They are everywhere and ready to point you in the right direction, which is really helpful as I've rarely seen a touristic site more chaotic that the Colosseum.

As for the Forum, it is a vast area so you'll be able to walk around freely, and there are relatively less people in the queue. You can actually go to the Forum first and play a game called 'spot the Colosseum'...


Before getting to that beautiful view, you'll get the chance to walk along the old forum, explore and read about the antique buildings that still stand there proud and tall. Some of the ruins are amazingly preserved, my favourite being the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Temple of Vespasian. Ancient architecture is a wonder, and you can't help but feel impressed by the immensity of the buildings as you walk around, catching a glimpse of a life long gone. 




Take time to appreciate the details, look at each column and admire the fine carvings that remain. The buildings were added to the Forum over time, celebrating different emperors, different gods, and slowly spreading. After the fall of the Empire, some temples were used as churches, as the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, which is quite a peculiar temple. The typical Roman colonnade at the front is followed by a baroque church facade, blending in two different styles at time periods. 

Once you've walked around the grounds, climb up the stairs of at the end of the Via Sacra, and you'll find yourself observing the whole Forum from the top. I totally did not imagine that I was a Roman lady while capturing the view. Nope.


Now, it's time for the most famous building of Rome. The Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre, was built in 70 AD and even though some parts of it are missing today, it is still a beautiful, impressive building. You online have a sense of how imposing it is when you are near it. And once you get inside, the view is even better.



WALKING THE STREETS OF TRASTEVERE AND ALONG THE TIBER

On a sunny day, there's nothing more pleasant to discover a city than walking around its streets, discovering cute restaurants and cafés, beautiful buildings and, if you're a blogger and/or you have Instagram, take photos of doorways because that's what we do haha. Trastevere, in the west of the city on the other side of the Tiber, was my favourite area for hanging around. 


Get a waffle ice cream, take a break at the fountain of the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Go inside the basilica to check out the beautiful medieval mosaics. On the facade of the portico, have a look at the marble inscriptions: most of them are Roman and you can see little doodles of birds, wine barrels... yes, Romans were already into street art.



I am not religious, but I love religious buildings for the architecture and beautiful artwork that men put in their construction. Whenever I go somewhere I like to visit the churches, because there's always gems to find: beautiful mosaics, colourful glass windows, relics and paintings... The smell of churches puts me in an undescribable state of mind and contemplation. I do not believe in God, nor do I worship sacred texts of figures, but religious buildings really are fascinating.

After your walk around Trastevere, cross the Tiber river and walk along the old bridges that link the two sides. In Rome, you'll always have your camera in hand: you never know when you'll get that perfect dreamy photograph.


Cross the Ponte San'Angelo, which overlooks the Castel San'Angelo, used as a fortress by Popes in time of political unrest (there is even an underground corridor that links the Castel to the Vatican. The building was originally the Mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian in the second century. As many other Roman buildings, it has been used and reused over the centuries, which is one of the reasons why it still stands in such good condition today.



From the Sant'Angelo bridge, you'll be able to capture lovely views of the Tiber. Can you see Saint Peter's in the distance?


***
Rome is such a rich city that I can't possibly mention everything in a single post. However, there are some other bits I would love to talk about, so be prepared for a part two of the Roman holiday! Hopefully this makes you travel with me and discover all these wonderful places if you've never been there. If you haven't, you should go as soon as possible!

Have you ever been to Rome? If not, is it a destination that you'd like to see one day?
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26 comments:

  1. Most of my friends have been to Rome and how I wish I get to visit the place too. It looks so historical <3 Thanks for virtually taking us around. :)

    xoxo,
    SHAIRA
    www.missdream-girl.blogspot.com

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    1. One day you might end up going there, and you'll love it trust me :D xx

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  2. I actually went to Rome at the end of March/beginning of April this year with my Mum; we really enjoyed it and it helped that the weather was fabulous on 3 of the 4 days we were there (",)

    www.lifeofchi.co.uk

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    1. Rome under the sun really is a beauty! xx

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  3. Beautiful photos Julia. It looks like quite a wonderful holiday. I would love to see Rome, like really badly. My boyfriend has studied in Rome and keeps talking about it, so I'm dying to go.
    Hope you're doing great.
    Much love,
    Mona

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    1. Rome is an incredible city that everybody should see at least once I think, so definitely go there! xx

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  4. I've always wanted to explore Rome, it looks beautiful x

    Tiffany Tales | Lifestyle & Beauty 

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    1. It is beautiful in every way! xx

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  5. This entire post is completely dreamy - my favourite travel diaries are those focussing on European cities! Rome is such a beautiful place, as you've shown. The architecture is stunning and oh my gosh you had such perfect weather!!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice | Worldwide NARS Beauty Giveaway x

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    1. European travel diaries are also my favourite, ours in the continent that I love most and I want to explore the most! The weather was indeed gorgeous, I still some tan lines on my shoulders to prove it haha! xx

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  6. Wonderful place to be visited. I like the way monuments are being protected still which makes Rome a wonderful and attractive place.
    Rebecca Stevens

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    1. Yes, it's great to see the effort made by the city and organisations to preserve these jewels of History. It makes the atmosphere in Rome so special! xx

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  7. Been wanting to visit Rome for a while It looks absolutely gorgeous!
    Emily - http://www.lifeofemily.co.uk

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    1. Go as soon as you get the chance, you'll love it! xx

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  8. I've always wanted to go Rome, it looks amazing, it's somewhere I would want to go with a boyfriend rather than my girls though x

    S x
    SHELISES WORLD

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    1. It definitely is a place where you could go for a romantic holiday. I'd totally do that if my boyfriend wasn't living on the other side of the world haha! You can also take a long weekend there with a friend and enjoy the culture :) xx

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  9. Aw how beautiful! I adore your photos Julia :D I have just returned from visiting Naples and Pompeii, not too far away from here! The beautiful buildings have captured my heart, as has the food and weather haha! I so wish I could stay for longer :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth! Oh I love Pompeii, ever since I went there a few years ago I've wanted to visit again. And Naples is such a genuine, authentic city - that's what Italia is like, and it's wonderful! xx

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  10. Italy seems such a beautiful and serene place.

    I've never been but there's a particular region I really want to visit, Lake Garda.

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    1. Oh, Lake Garda seems like such a beautiful area, I want to go there too! Rome is rather loud and crowded (which is not a fault, on the contrary!), but the lakes are a more peaceful place. I've been to Como and it's wonderful, you'd like it too I'm sure, even though I have to say Garda looks even more beautiful! xx

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  11. Rome is such a fantastic and beautiful city! I love Italy!
    LOVED all of the photos. You and Julie look like you guys are having a fantastic time!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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    1. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world! (That is a bold statement, I know haha) We had a wonderful time and can't wait to visit other places in Italy. I'm glad you enjoyed the post! xx

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  12. Seeing these pictures reeeeally makes me want to go back to Rome! The colosseum is amazing :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. Oh yes, all Roman buildings are beautiful! xx

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  13. I have always wanted to visit Rome! It looks absolutely beautiful and these picture are stunning! I love your pictures of the colosseum and the ones by the river <3 xxx
    http://www.samanthafrances.co.uk

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    1. I really do hope you'll go there one day, everybody should visit Rome and see all its beauty! xx

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