A March 2003 trip
to Rome by Zoe travelwriter
Quote: Possibly the most romantic city in Europe. Chic fashions, culture, fantastic and reasonable restaurants, lovely weather. So much to see and all in walking distance from the centre. Spanish steps; Vatican; Trevi fountain, and many other architectural delights. Photo opportunities on every corner - it's what dreams are made of.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2003
Palio Bianco Spanish Steps
PIAZZA DI SPAGNA 20
Rome, Italy 00187
If you like pepper steak - I had the best one ever in this restaurant! Otherwise the usual, pizza, pasta dishes were very nice.
The waiters were especially friendly and gave us free grappa limone after our meal.
Via di Pietra, 88
Attraction | "Colosseum"
Inside, the arena has a deeply recessed floor space with many internal walls built of stone. These were cages for large animals and would allow the animals to climb a ramp and appear on the stage floor according to the design by the stage manager. The show was heavily choreographed and if the Emperor or the crowd did not like it, the stage manager could be ceremoniously hoisted by his own petard so to speak. The best seats around the bottom of the arena were reserved for the rich folk and they even had their names engraved on their seats. The upper levels were for the slaves and the only women that were allowed to attend were either prostitutes (confined to the highest level) or the Emperor’s virgins who got the best seats in the house.
The shows consisted of men fighting men or men fighting animals, or even animals fighting each other. Hundreds of starved lions, zebras, elephants and hippos could be killed in a single day and allegedly perfume was wafted around the arena to disguise the smell of vomit. Gladiators, were mainly criminals or prisoners of war and if they survived the fight for seven years would be given free citizenship of the City of Roma.
By 404AD, the popes realized that this form of entertainment was pretty disgusting and banned it. By 523AD animal fighting was also banned. Mass graves were found outside the city much later on by archaeologists. Be warned – Don’t go into the Colosseum without a tour guide as they really bring the macabre experience alive!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2003
Piazza Del Colosseo
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 7004261
Attraction | "Orto Botanic del Giancolo"
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 22, 2003
Largo Cristina di Svezia, 24
Rome, Italy 00165
Attraction | "Shops of the Via Condotti"
Via dei Condotti (Via Condotti)
Via Dei Condotti
Rome, Italy 00187
Attraction | "Fontana di Trevi"
Piazza di Trevi
Rome, Italy 00187
I am not a religious person by any means but I could not help but be moved by the splendour and richness of the architecture of the chapel of St. Peter and the domed basilica, famously decorated by Michaelangelo. The first thing that struck me was the size of it: 448ft high in the dome and the 715ft length of the nave. I found myself standing with my mouth wide open.
The sense of history is incredible. Started in AD61, it was in the process of being added to and refined until 1626. I don’t profess to know anything about Rennaissance or Baroque art but I was incredibly impressed nonetheless.
St. Peter's Basilica
Piazza San Pietro
Vatican City, Rome 00193
Attraction | "Piazza Venezia/Forum/Palatino"
The Piazza Venezia is incredible in terms of the buildings and statues. you can’t miss it as there is a huge monument to the first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel. Behind this are the Capitoline museums and a huge geometric square designed by Michaelangelo. Originally the political heart of Rome this area is now home to the Roman City Council and other government buildings which are quite impressive. At the top of a grand staircase you will find huge stone Egyptian lions and classical statues. This also leads conveniently to the Forum area which is the major site of the Roman ruins. The view is fantastic and takes in several other areas of interest, e.g. Palatine and the Colosseum.
If you walk under the triumphal arch of Septimus Sevrus into the grounds of the ruins, you find what is left of Rome in 4th century AD. Some of the remains are littered on the floor as lumps of rock and pieces of column; some walls remain and a large part of the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius is still standing. Although any valuable materials were pillaged years ago you can still make out the image of the buildings and get some idea of what they were once like. It helps if you either have a knowledgeable guide or take a good guide book here, as nothing is labelled or signposted.
From here you can climb the steps to the Palatine area. This is where the emperors once lived and there are still some remains of the original palace walls and marble floors. The hill has excellent views to the South of the city over Aventine and consists of delightful ornamental gardens with orange groves and pathways through the pine trees. It is very peaceful up here and a nice place to stop for a picnic or just to rest the weary feet.
From Palatino it is a short, well–trodden path to the famous Colosseum. (Tip: get a guide at the Colosseum as you will get in quicker and get tons of info, too).
Rome, Italy 00187
Norwich, United Kingdom