A *slightly* impulsive booking of a trip to Rome was such a good idea. Being that ancient Rome is by far my favourite period of history to study, I really wanted to visit this place for myself, seeing some of the most iconic buildings and artwork which exist today in Rome. One night when Mads came round for a brew, we ended up booking and planning out a whole trip, and it was quite possibly the best use of my money I have ever spent. Finding super cheap flights and a hotel for three nights in Rome was fairly easy at this time of year, despite only booking about a month before our trip.
The first thing you notice about Rome is how beautiful and gorgeous and amazing the city is!! Everything from the shops & restaurants to the streets and the huge buildings (both modern and ancient) are lovely to look at. Being such a big city with many similar-looking streets, (and a severe lack of street signs) we found it very easy to get lost, however this wasn’t so bad as it was such a pretty place to get lost in.
The colosseum, perhaps the most famous structure which survives from ancient Rome, did not disappoint. Despite so many lectures and documentaries about it, I never really comprehended how big it actually was until seeing it for myself. So much of the old structure still remains, and being the sad lil’ history student I am I was stood there imagining how intense it would have been had it been filled with angry Romans waiting to see some poor gladiators be torn apart by each other.
The Forum & the Capitoline & Palatine Hill~
Seeing the remains of the ancient forum was so, so fun! The remains of what used to be the central of political life & marketplace is a lovely place to walk around, with temples to various deities dotted about, (my favourite being the temple to the deified Caesar).
Being a huGe fan of Cicero, a visit to the Palatine Hill was a must- there were so many pretty places to walk and you could see suCh views from the top (like assassin’s creed buT even prettier and less stabbing).
The Capitoline museum was by far my favourite from the trip; there were so many statues and artefacts which I have seen in documentaries and within textbooks, so seeing them for myself was super lovely and also put things I have learnt at uni into perspective.
Vatican City & the Sistine Chapel
Despite being not at all religious and having very little knowledge of art, I found that the vatican museums were incredible; there was so, so much to see. As we studied Augustus’ reign of Rome at a-level, seeing the real-life prima porta was amazing. There were so many statues in the vatican- like, hundreds if not thousands. And so many pretty paintings. Huge paintings and statues in every room! Not to mention the Raphael & Michelangelo artwork within the buildings. The Sistine chapel was amazing and would really recommend visiting the Vatican just to see it.
The Keats Shelley Museum ~
We had the chance to visit the museum dedicated to one of Mads’ favourite writers, John Keats. The Keats Shelley museum is teeny but is really lovely, with letters between himself and writers such as Oscar Wylde and being situated right next to the Spanish steps, it was an interesting little place to visit.
The Ara Pacis & Villa Borghese~
The Ara Pacis was so much bigger than I imagined it to be- and the artwork engraved into it is so pretty. Knowing the historical context behind it (thank-u a-level classics) made it all the more interesting, as it was built not just as an altar of peace, but as a but as a political statement & a work of propaganda. If you go to Rome, definitely give the Villa Borghese a visit! It’s a huge park in the middle of Rome, with various galleries dotted around it. We visited the national museum of art (I think?) which was super cool!
Food~ Being a (very fussy) vegan I was worried there would be no food for me!! But all the restaurants we went to were fairly cheap and they made the pizzas fresh without cheese!! Literally all I ate was pizza and it was super good. Everyone we spoke to was lovely and didn’t mind that we couldn’t speak their language, although I am going to try my best to learn eventually.
This lil’ trip away was so, so good. Seeing so many historical places & learning so much whilst having actual nice weather was amazing!! If you get the chance to visit Rome you most definitely should. Regardless of your interest in ancient history, the Colosseum & forum are astounding places to visit.