I’m sure Italy’s capital, Rome, is on a lot of people’s bucket lists, it sure was on my must-see list! All I really knew about Rome was the Colosseum, the ancient ruins, and the Vatican City, which certainly didn’t disappoint when I got there.
We spent about one and a half days in Rome, exploring the city, seeing all the sights. We managed to get around the city mainly by the train and on foot, also getting a morning in the Vatican City on the second day.
The Piazza Venezia is the central hub of Rome, and this white building is noticeable from way away because of how majestic it is. This was named after Cardinal Venezia, who called for a palace to be constructed in his name (Palazzo Venezia), in 1455.
Can we just take a moment to think about how long ago that is?! I can never imagine how such majestic architecture came about in those olden days. Today we have cranes, forklifts, and whatever else, and what did they have last time??
This was the first square that we came to on our walking tour in Rome on the first day. I loved that I saw people selling their art everywhere in the streets of Europe. I really regret not buying a piece, but I really couldn’t have brought it home without destroying it 🙁 The drawings/paintings all looked so goood though! All that talent! Also I’m sure Europe provides overflowing inspirations no matter where you look 😉
I swear we met with so many construction works on this trip 🙁 Even Trevi Fountain was under construction. They opened up a little pond of water at the front of the construction barriers for people to throw their coins into, though I’m not sure if the magic will work the same…lol.
It was hard to get a shot of the Trevi Fountain over the massive crowds, and also trying to cut out the awful barrier in front of it. I didn’t get to throw my coin, but I know I will make my way back there again 🙂 Hehe.
I also had my first scoops of Gelato in Rome at the Trevi Fountain, looks pretty but I would have wanted bigger scoops that overflowed from my cone hahaha.
The Pantheon looked really majestic, and reminds me so much of Hercules hahaha. It’s the most preserved and influential building in Rome, built between A.D. 118 – 125, as a temple dedicated to all gods. It was huge, and the inside looked even more incredible. It was dome-shaped, and all that details in the ceiling, how did people do that in their time??? I will never stop wondering about that haha.
The Colosseum was built just east of the Roman Forum, meant to be a massive amphitheatre. It was hard to get a shot without other tourists behind us, but there was a balcony you could go onto to get an elevated view of the Colosseum. We preferred to use the extra time we had to explore around the Colosseum, and to get some ice-cream because the weather was way hot.
The Colosseum was completed in A.D. 80, and was built to accommodate over 55,000 spectators!!! So gladiators and wild animals would fight (or kill each other) for public viewing/entertainment.
There was a massive queue to get into the Colosseum, thankfully we got in through the group queue, which was way faster and shorter. My suggestion is to book a walking tour for the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, just so you manage to skip the queues!
It saves you a whole lot of time I promise. I really expected the centre of the Colosseum to be a gigantic flat space, I mean, how did the gladiators and wild animals fight with it looking like a maze? But I mean, it has been destroyed quite a bit over the many centuries, so maybe it looks different.
At this point, I think everyone was getting a bit dizzy from the blazing sun and the humidity. Everyone was rushing for any random rock to sit on, or any little bit of shade we could find. The walking tour was slightly torturous by then haha. Poor lady, she wasn’t too interesting though.
The Roman Forum was basically the central area where Ancient Rome developed and civilisation happened. Any commerce, gatherings, religious ceremonies, administration of justice was carried out there. It’s amazing to just stand there and imagine how is used to be a place bustling with activity, and all that’s left now are a few pillars. It’s scary to think that our homes might someday be that way o_o
Visiting the Capuchin Crypt literally gave me chillsssssss and left me quite disturbed. But I think it’s really worth a visit. No pictures could be taken because it was a holy place and the tombs were not to be disturbed with all that photography, also, the structures may be affected. I had to buy a little shawl/poncho at 1 Euro because my knees were exposed, which is inappropriate the the Crypt.
The Capuchin Crypt came after a series of exhibits telling us more about the history of the Capuchin Monks. The Crypt was a small space with tiny chapels, containing the skeletal remains of 3,700 ancient Capuchin monks. It was so disturbing being in such close proximity to those skeletons. Like they were still arranged nicely, just standing there in their robes.
It was absolutely insane to imagine how those bones used to belong to actual living and breathing human beings like ourselves. It really gives you perspective. Also, like pelvic bones and finger bones would be hanging from the ceiling in front of our faces.
I make it sound like a scene from a horror movie, but really I don’t think it was that horrifying, because there were other people in the crypt too, just that it was all really serene and quiet. We saw hip bones and spines being arranged in particular order on the wall, seemingly decorative.
It was crazy, I didn’t get to take pictures but my memory of it is so vivid. I’ll choose between the Capuchin Crypt in Rome, or the Catacombs in Paris. No need to go for both. Devika, Vaishnavi, Yibo and I gave the Catacombs a miss because I don’t think I need to see more skeletal remains in my lifetime, no thank you!!
Dinner + Dessert
Food in Italy is amazing, naturally. I enjoy pasta and gelato so much and I could eat it all my life!!! We had an included dinner on the first night, which was a pizza dinner. The pizza was huge, but so satisfying!! We were also serenaded with song during the dinner, and Devika and I were given intense eye contact from the singer it was borderline intimidating LOL.
The 4 of us went out for dinner on our own the second day, after seeing the Capuchin Crypt. We bought really yummy looking gelato (see above) after our meal because it is compulsory to have gelato for dessert after every meal in Italy!!
We also nearly got pick-pocketed by Romans while we were enjoying our gelato. SUCH A CLICHE. But I honestly felt someone tugging at my bag, and Yibo later said he felt it on his bag too. Thank goodness I noticed and grabbed hold of my bag before anything was even stolen.
So I guess, with the experience of being nearly pick-pocketed, we had a full experience in Rome!