Rome

Back in July, when Richie’s parents were visiting us, we spent a long weekend in Rome. To be completely honest, Rome was a city I never pictured myself revisiting. I went with friends from my study abroad program eleven years ago, and that trip was somewhat a disaster. I left feeling that Rome was dirty, smelly, and completely overrated. (After our visit in July, I told Richie that Rome didn’t seem as dirty or smelly as I remembered. He suggested that perhaps my senses have been dulled by Budapest streets over the past 2.5 years.)

But when we were planning things to do with Richie’s parents, Rome seemed like the best possible option, given our time constraints and budget. And this time, I gained a healthy appreciation for Rome. I don’t think it will ever be one of my favorite cities to visit (heat + masses of tourists = uncomfortable Stefanie), but I do recognize its beauty in a way that I didn’t on my last trip.

Rome’s story is best told through pictures, so I’m going to hush my usually-verbose self and let the photos do the talking. Before I do, though, two recommendations. The first is our hotel – we stayed at Hotel Alpi, which is only a 2-3 minute walk from the central train station (Termini). Our room was large and comfortable, and it was really handy to get everywhere in Rome. We walked easily to the Colosseum/Roman Forum, and took the metro from Termini straight to the Vatican. I also recommend buying Colosseum tickets online (here’s the official website). It’s a combo ticket that gives access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, and with the online purchase, you get to skip the massive line and walk straight in. I’ve no idea why more people don’t do this, but it saved us a significant amount of time and stress.

Onto the photos! These are just a handful of favorites – for more, see my album on Facebook here (no account needed to view, only to comment).

The Sant'Agnese in Agone church - gorgeous inside as well, but unfortunately no photos allowed.
The Sant’Agnese in Agone church – gorgeous inside as well, but unfortunately no photos allowed.
The fountain at the Piazza Navona, my favorite square for people-watching and eating in Rome.
The fountain at the Piazza Navona, my favorite square for people-watching and eating in Rome.
Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo - a gorgeous church at the Piazza del Popolo
Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo – a gorgeous church at the Piazza del Popolo
The Colosseum
The Colosseum
Me and Richie at the Colosseum
Me and Richie at the Colosseum
The Auters at the Colosseum
The Auters at the Colosseum
From here, you can see the maze of pathways and rooms underneath the Colosseum floor that held prisoners and animals, awaiting their turn on the arena floor.
From here, you can see the maze of pathways and rooms underneath the Colosseum floor that held prisoners and animals, awaiting their turn on the arena floor.
Ruins on Palatine Hill, home to the elite in the days of the Roman Empire
Ruins on Palatine Hill, home to the elite in the days of the Roman Empire
One of the few intact sections of decoration in the Palatine Hill ruins, dating from the 1st century.
One of the few intact sections of decoration in the Palatine Hill ruins, dating from the 1st century.
Ruins in the Roman Forum
Ruins in the Roman Forum
Swiss guards at the Vatican
Swiss guards at the Vatican
The School of Athens by Raphael, in the Vatican
The School of Athens by Raphael, in the Vatican
Bernini's gorgeous canopy inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican
Bernini’s gorgeous canopy inside St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican
A gorgeous pathway to a private home on the Via Appia, one of the oldest and most important roads of the Roman empire
A gorgeous pathway to a private home on the Via Appia, one of the oldest and most important roads of the Roman empire
Ruins along the Via Appia
Ruins along the Via Appia
Ruins along the Via Appia
Ruins along the Via Appia
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