Rome, Italy and Vatican City

This weekend trip was taken in November 2009. We flew to Rome International airport with EasyJet and took a taxi to our hotel, booked online.

Day One

We began our day in Rome with an open topped bus tour. This was a great way to see all the sites and decide which places we wanted to return to for a closer look. Most of the bus tours are hop-on-hop-off so you can use them throughout the day.

However, as we were only in Rome for a weekend we needed to make the best use of our time so after the tour we used the underground to get about.

Rome Forum Trajan's Column

The picture shows the Roman Forum with Trajan’s Column.

 

Day Two – The Colosseum

Visiting the Colosseum was one of the main aims of this tour and we devoted the rest of the day to this amazing monument.

Colosseum Rome

We hadn’t pre-booked tickets so had to wait around 40 minutes in the queue to get in. There are a lot of people outside offering guided tours but this isn’t really necessary as you can get an audio guide for much less.

The Colosseum is an impressive building and even more so when viewed from inside. The floor inside has been partially restored to give an indication of what it would have been like while the rest is left in ruined form so that you can get an idea of the underground rooms and passageways that were used for storing props and also as dressing rooms for participants of the games.

Just a short walk from the Colosseum is the remains of the Forum. The actual area itself is not accessible to the public but the ruins can be clearly seen from the pavement and there are boards put up to explain what building would have been where.

Forum Rome

Day Three – The Vatican

A visit to the Vatican is a must for anyone visiting Rome. We started our visit by going inside St Peter’s Church.
Even if you are not religious it is worth going inside just to see the outstanding collection of paintings, statues and gold decorations.

St Peter's Vatican City

Below St Peter’s are the archive chambers and also the chambers where previous Popes are buried.

Around the side of the building you can pay to go to the top of St Peter’s (the crown above the dome on the picture left). There is a lift that will take you partway then you have to climb the stairs. Although quite tiring I would recommend doing this simply for the outstanding view from the top.

View from the top of St Peter's

Another must is the Vatican museum and the Sistine chapel. Just a short walk away from St Peter’s Square it is advisable to allow a few hours to see the museum properly.

The highlight of this is, of course, the Sistine chapel with its ceiling beautifully painted by Michaelangelo.
Unfortunately you are not allowed to lie down on the floor of the chapel so it was difficult to get a good shot of the ceiling and as there are may pictures on the internet we decided not to try to take any photos.

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