Rome

Another trip from 2006, when I spent six months exploring a different European city every other weekend as a break from a project based near Antwerp. In September Rome was a glorious place to visit, with so much to see and do, and I remember eating gelato at least three times a day.

Few cities can match the heritage of Rome, starting with The Colosseum, which was larger than I was expecting, with extensive passageways underneath the stage area.

The Roman Forum is full of ruins, though they date from various different time periods making it quite hard to comprehend how the area would have once looked.

I enjoyed more the nearby greenery and ruins of Palatine Hill, where the wealthiest Roman’s lived.

The Pantheon is one of the most incredible buildings in the world, with a two thousand year old unreinforced concrete dome, still the world’s largest. It is still a working church, though that meant the interior was unfortunately closed when I visited.

Skipping ahead a thousand years St. Peter’s Basilica felt like one of the largest buildings I’ve ever been in, despite everything being in proportion. A long queue was worth enduring to access the roof of the famous dome, for views across the city. Unfortunately the neighbouring Vatican museums had some very odd opening hours / days, and were closed when I visited.

The Trevi fountain was bustling as expected, and a great place to eat yet more gelato while enjoying the evening atmosphere.

The Vittorio Emanuele II monument was completely unexpected. It is a hugely prominent building that was finally finished in 1935 after more than 20 years of construction, and 50 years after it was designed. I’ve never seen photos of it or knew it existed until it loomed into view.

To end with Castel Sant’Angelo, the former castle home of the Pope, which had a fascinating history and good views from by the Tiber River.

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