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A travel story from Rome

A travel story by Bibi van der Linden and Miruna Ilie

Rome has been at the top of my city trip bucket list for a long time. Luckily the moment was finally there, I could enjoy the fantastic city with the most delicious cappuccinos, pastas, pizzas, and wine.

Rome is the capital of Italy and has about 2.8 million inhabitants. The city has a lot of history and was founded in 753 BC by Romulus and Remus. Rome was founded on seven hills and lies on the Tiber River. The area around the two hills Palatine and Capitoline later became the centre of the vast Roman Empire. Today the excavations of Forum Romanum and the Colosseum can still be seen here. When visiting the Colosseum, you get a good idea of how the gladiators used to fight each other. In the middle of the city you can find the Pantheon, nowadays a church, this is the best-preserved building from the Roman period. 

LEFT: COLOSSEO RIGHT: PANTHEON

Sights in Rome

Rome breathes history and is actually one big museum, everywhere in the city you can find sights related to history. The most impressive I found was Vatican City. This is the smallest independent state in the world with the head of state being the Pope. Vatican City is 44 acres in size and is completely surrounded by Rome. It is one of Rome’s biggest attractions, including the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Square with St. Peter’s Basilica. St. Peter’s Basilica is free to visit and in the summer months, there can be a line of 3 hours for this. The journey to the top of the St. Peter’s Basilica is quite an experience. The higher you get, the smaller and more crooked the stairwell becomes. Once you reach the top, the 551 steps are worth it all, the view is breath-taking. In Vatican City, you can also visit the Vatican Museums. This is another major attraction with millions of visitors each year.

PIAZZA SAN PIETRO

Apostolic palaces in which the Museum can be found are impressively beautiful. The Vatican Museum consists of 26 separate museums where artists from all over the world can be admired. The highlight of the Vatican museum is the Sistine Chapel. This chapel was painted by Michelangelo. This painting depicts the creation of Adam in which the hand of God reaches for Adam’s hand with an outstretched finger.

This city by the mediterranean sea, named after Alexander the Great who founded it, can be reached easily by plane from Europe or by a roughly three-hour drive from the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

CAPPELLA SISTINA

Besides the Coliseum, Pantheon, and Vatican City, Rome has many more sights to see. It’s not for nothing that the entire old city center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Rome has more than 900 churches, making it the city with the most churches in the world. One church is even more beautiful than the other, with beautiful paintings by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Caravaggio. The most famous fountain in the world is Fontana di Trevi. The fountain was built in 1762 and stands in the middle of the city. When you toss a coin over your left shoulder, you are guaranteed to return to Rome. Those looking for relaxation can visit the gardens of Villa Borghese. It is centrally located in Rome and there are many activities to be found, such as a zoo, museums and various sculptures. Rome has two famous squares, namely Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona. Piazza di Spagna is located at the bottom of the Spanish Steps with Fontana Della Barcaccia and is widely visited. Piazza Navona is known as a square with pleasant terraces with good food and drinks.

LEFT: SCALINATA DELLA PIAZZA DI SPAGNA; RIGHT: FONTANA DI TREVI

After seeing the top attractions in the city center, a stroll around Trastevere is the perfect place to get away from crowds and discover the hidden corners and Italian streets of one of the most charming and Roman neighborhoods in Rome. The name itself is derived from Latin; it means “beyond the Tiber” and gives out the actual location of this bohemian neighborhood. A lower social class previously inhabited it, but nowadays, it is a trendy and high-demanded neighborhood, mainly because of a variety of nightlife opportunities. Trastevere houses artworks of great value, churches, and monuments. 

OLDEST FOUNTAIN IN ROME

The one worth mentioning is the famous Basilica of Santa Maria, and one of the oldest fountains in Rome, which can be admired in the square with the same name as the church.  

A TYPICAL STREET IN TRASTEVERE

The real essence of Trastevere lies in the colorful, narrow streets full of Roman trattorias, small shops, markets, and views of ancient Rome. This is where authentic Roman life can be admired and experienced at its best.

Sports in Rome

Rome, in addition to all the sights, is also known as a sports city. Rome has hosted several major sporting events and in 1960 the Olympic Games took place here. There are almost no sports you can think of that do not take place in Rome. Athletics competitions and the half and full marathon still take place annually. 

Throughout Italy soccer is by far the most important sport, as it is in Rome. Rome has two different soccer clubs, namely AS Roma and Lazio Roma. AS Roma is the club of the inner city of Rome, but the club also has supporters in the south and east of the city. Lazio Roma is the club of the province of Lazio and also has supporters in the north of the city. Both clubs play in the same stadium, called Stadio Olimpico, this ensures that almost every weekend there is a soccer match in the stadium. When both clubs play each other the whole city is upside down. The match between the two is also called the Derby Della Capitale. I went to see the Lazio Roma match against Marseille. If you like soccer, a visit to a match of one of the two clubs is definitely worth it. The atmosphere in the stadium and the supporters are nothing compared to the matches in the Netherlands. 

STADIO OLIMPICO

Rome is a versatile city, which has something to offer for everyone. Then, for some, the perhaps boring image of the city with history and art is certainly not true. The city is vibrant, cozy and certainly has its charms. Now, after my trip to Rome, I understand why everyone told me that it is a very nice city. Therefore, I recommend everyone to go to Rome! Enjoy the sights, the delicious food and drink, and the fun. 

La Dolce Vita (the good life)

 

 

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