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Rome - beautiful, amazing, praised in many poems, the Eternal City, where everyone can find something that he likes, spreads over almost 1300 square kilometers and originally on 7 hills - today there are a few more hills in Rome ;) Nearly 3 million inhabitants live here.
Airport - you can easily get to Rome from abroad by plane - either to the largest Leonardo da Vinci airport in Fiumicino (FCO), about 30 km from the center of Rome, or to Aeroporto Internazionale Giovan Battista Pastine, Ciampino, which is closer to the city center and has the funny abbreviation CIA . The small Roma Urbe airport is used only for local flights.
Most of you will fly into Fiumicino - what's the best way to get to the center from there? A taxi costs 50-60 EUR. Shuttle buses to the center can be recognized by their yellow and white color and are the cheapest form of transport to the center.
The fastest is to take the Express train, which will take you in 30 minutes for 14 EUR to the Termini station, where you can change to metro A or B. In Rome, the metro has 3 lines A, B and C - orange , blue and green.
The beach is not far either - Lido di Ostia, located right next to Fiumicino Airport, offers long sandy beaches. But in summer it is usually crowded with locals fleeing Rome from the heat. You can get there by train from the city center in half an hour.
Sights that you should not miss - the entire center of Rome is listed in UNESCO - the choice is really huge, so I am choosing 10 sights that personally interested me the most:
The Pantheon - an amazing temple is probably the best-preserved monument of ancient Rome. It was built in 27 BC. The thing that impressed me the most was the ceiling - when you're inside and you look up, it's like you're looking into the eye of God or looking straight into the space. So it rains in the building or even snows in winter, but there is a drainage system in the floor for that.
Fontana di Trevi – the most famous of the many Roman fountains, built in the 18th century in the Baroque style. In summer, it directly encourages you to refresh yourself. But watch out! You can be fined up to €500 for bathing in one of the historic fountains. It is most beautiful after dark, when it is beautifully lit and reminds you the famous romantic film Dolce Vita.
The Colosseum – a monumental building in the city center from the 1st century AD. Gladiator fights, hunts, parades took place here... This is the largest amphitheater in the world! It has an incredibly elaborate system in the "backyard", which is located under the originally wooden area sprinkled with sand and from where the elevators led up. They even staged a naval battle here once.
When you enter, all you have to do is close your eyes and you can begin to imagine lions, half-naked gladiators running around you, primitive weapons flying around your ears,...
It is better to book the tour online in advance. If you don't and stand in line, don't fall for the touts who claim that the tickets are no longer available and you have to buy a guided tour with them. You will have to wait a bit, but you will have it about 5 times cheaper.
Forum Romanum – the center of public events of ancient Rome. Triumphal processions, courts, political gatherings, and large markets were held on this square in the past. It achieved its greatest fame around the year 0. Today, history breathes on you there - we can find there many excavations and remains of old buildings.
The Spanish Steps – perhaps the most famous steps in the world were built by Pope Innocent XIII. at the beginning of the 18th century to connect the Piazza di Spagna with the Church of Santa Trinitá dei Monti. In the main tourist season, you hardly go up the stairs, because there are tourists snacking or resting everywhere.
The Vatican - an independent state, founded in 1929 in the middle of Rome, since the Middle Ages it is the seat of the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church. The Vatican Museums offer an amazing selection of artworks and objects, and not all of them are showed to public . Museums are also accessible to wheelchair users. Be careful not to get lost here - there are around 300 staircases. The highlight of the tour is the Sistine Chapel, mostly decorated with paintings by Michelangelo, which serves, among other things, for the conclave of cardinals during the election of the new pope. I recommend booking the tour online in advance.
Basilica of St. Peter - this Vatican basilica is one of the largest churches in the world and will really amaze you with its size and monumentality. Upon entering, you will find on your right the famous marble Pieta by Michelangelo, which, due to damage by a crazed Australian tourist in 1972, is now protected by slightly glazed glass panels. According to legend, St. Peter was buried in St. Peter's Basilica. That is why it became an important place of pilgrimage from the 2nd century AD, and the first basilica was built here already at the beginning of the 4th century. In 800 AD, Charlemagne was crowned emperor here. The reconstruction of the basilica to its present form began in 1505 and lasted for around 150 years.
Entrance to the Basilica is free, you just have to wait in line for the entrance control.
Angel Castle – this large round building was built in the 2nd century as the mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian. Over the course of the centuries, it functioned as a papal fortress, a residence or even a prison until it became a functional museum :)
Santa Maria Maggiore - also translates as Church of Our Lady of the Snows, because according to legend it snowed here in August. Pope Hadrian II met here with Saints Cyril and Methodius. This beautiful church from the 5th century can be found a short distance from Termini Central Station.
Victor Emmanuel II Monument – this "fatherland altar" was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in honor of the first Italian king and unifier, Victor Emmanuel II. A guard of honor stands in front of the monument. Inside, in addition to the twelve-meter bronze statue of the first king, you will also find a library, archive and museum. You can climb to the roof of the monument, from where you have a wonderful view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.
Where to stay - if you are looking for classic tourism, I recommend the center - the Trevi district or if you also want to drive around the area, then near Termini Central Station. If you are most interested in the Vatican and its museums, then you should search in the the Vaticano Prati area.
Food and drinks - like many of you, I love Italian food - pizza, pasta, gellato... A great place for a nice dinner is Trastevere - a district full of restaurants. From the local dishes, I recommend trying pasta with seafood - they have countless names for individual clams and mussels, so remember at least 2 classic names: cozze e vongole.
If you come during the mushroom season, you can also enjoy local mushroom cuts.
The local coffee is really tiny and really strong.
If you order the lunch menu, they will bring you more courses - the classic is pasta + main course + dessert and usually a glass of wine and water.
Ice cream - you will as well receive a huge portion.
I don't understand how Italians, who have dinner after 8 pm and eat about twice as much as a "normal person", are usually not overweight...
Weather - I recommend the spring and autumn months to visit Rome because it is too hot in the summer and too cold and wet in the winter.
Fans of Dan Brown will certainly find something to do here. Maybe even follow in the footsteps of Professor Robert Langdon and visit 4 famous places where cardinals were murdered in the book Angels and Demons...
Taxi - transport by taxi is not cheap and they add a euro for each larger piece of luggage.
Personal experience – In the summer, you will definitely find the drinking fountains located throughout the center useful.
Don't confuse the words pizza and piazza (square) like my younger sister - she wanted to try a typical Roman pizza, so she followed the signs that said Piazza Navona or Piazza del Grillo and then got angry that they didn't lead her to a pizzeria ;)