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Holidays week in Rome

From October 3rd to October 10th 2009

DAY 01 : The trip from Paris and the first look of this great city all our friends told us about.

Rome was for a long time one of or favourite destination for several reason. First, it is not far from Paris thus not too expensive for flight tickets. Then, because Céline and I love the old roman civilization, the antiquity ... the Roman Empire. And finally because we knew that good cuisine was a leitmotiv in Rome and Italy in general.

This week in Rome was our way to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary as well as our one year in New Zealand anniversary .... and we were not disappointed at all by all we could see.

The Alps from the plane The Alps from the plane The Alps from the plane

The first pictures taken were aboard the plane while we were flying over the Alps. Thanks to EasyJet, our back and forth trip were a bit turbulent : a one hour delay before leaving Paris and an especially rough storm while leaviong Rome. Anyway, we arriverd and left Rome safely and would like to go back to see more.

the Piazza Navonna at midday the Piazza Navonna at midday the Piazza Navonna at midday the Piazza Navonna at night the Piazza Navonna at night the Piazza Navonna at night the Piazza Navonna at night the Piazza Navonna at night

As we arrived just before lunch, we had all afternoon long to discover the city, see what is close to our Hotel and walk a little bit to find a place to have lunch. As a result we ended on the Navonna Place for diner after we walked a little bit in the city, visited some basilica and seen the famous Trevi Fontain where everyone is throwing coins to make whishes.

the Trajan Column the Trajan Forum the Quirinale neighborhood a Guard a Guard the Trevi Fontain the Trevi Fontain Victor-Emmanuel II Monument

DAY 02 : The Capitole and its Museums, then the Forum.

As our hotel is in the center of Rome, we had the opportunity to take pictures about a lot of nice stuffs everytime we were heading to something. For instance, the Trajan market, column and forum were on our way to everything that is why we took so many pictures of these.

the Trajan Forum the Colosseum Caesar's Forum

This first day was dedicated to visit the Capitole and the Capitolan Museums. They are located just behind the big white monument dedicated to Victor-Emmanuel II, the man who unified Italy. In the museums, you can see many things that have been preserved from the place they used to belong to, like all the mosaic, sculptures which were made during antiquity.

But what was really great in the museum, is that we could have a very nice view of the Roman Forum as we are standing in what use to be a place were Roman people kept their financial archives.

And just before having lunch, we climb the big white monument called "the type writter" by the Roman People. It provided us with a nice view on the Colosseum, the Trajan Market and the big place, piazza venezia, in front of the monument.

We spent the whole afternoon in the Roman Forum which is a big mess. As you can see, very little things are still standing but the hardest part is to be able to imagine how things were during the gold period. And the fact that stuffs has been rebuilt over the ruins of ancient temple makes the forum very hard to understand as most of the ruins do not belong to the same period.

After the Forum, we made a little detour to the Colosseum and went back passing by the entrance of the Forum and the Trajan market by night.

DAY 03 : Farnese Palace, Campo dei Fiori and the Ghetto.

The Farnese Palace and the Campo dei Fiori are very close. The first one is the French Ambassade. It use to belong to the french government but was bought by the italian government and lowned to the french government. The Campo dei Fiori is a very famous place, close to the Farnese Place. You can find a flower market every day in here among a more traditionnal market influenced by the presence of a lots of tourists. But the place is full of life, stuff to smell, to taste, to buy, to eat ... One of our favourite places in Rome.

After that we went from the Argentina Place to the former jewish Ghetto to end again on the type writter place. Agentina Piazza is a big hole were you can find antiques ruins and a lot of cats, a lot !!

DAY 04 : The Trastevere.

We were told that this part of Rome was quite cute. First because it is like the small village you can encounter with very small streets, old people staring at nothing an speaking about the past. Then because it is not a place where a lot of tourists go. And in fact, it is true. The neighborhood is accross the Tibre and we hardly encounter some tourists. Of course there was some of them, us for example, but it was nos as crowded as the Colosseum or the Forum can be. Anyway, we had a lot of pleasure hanging out in this part of town and we had a great diner, one fo the best pizza we ever had.

But before this gorgeous diner, we spent some time on the hill in order to enjoy the nice view we had on Rome. Unfortunately, we were not as high as you can be be on the top of the Eiffel Tower, so the pictures are not so amazing.

DAY 05 : The Borghese Parc and Villa, Piazza Del Popolo and Piazza Di Spagna.

We spent this day in the north of Rome. We arrived early in the Borghese parc as we were supposed to enter the Borghese Villa at 9am. As a result the light was really great when we enter the parc and we could take really nice pictures. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the Borghese Gallery but we did buy a book on the stuffs we saw there.

After the cultural morning, we spent the afternoon between the Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza di Spagna both well know by the romans and the tourists, especially the last one. And to end properly this day, we went back to the Campo dei Fiori for the diner and enjoyed the place whithout the market.

DAY 06 : The Colosseum, the Palatino and the Caracalla Baths.

This is one of the biggest and busiest day we had during the week with the day at the Vaticano. We visited one of the biggest evidence of ancien Rome with the Colosseum, the Palatino and the Caracalla Baths.

What can we say about the Colosseum that has been said yet .... We got there earlier in order to avoid tourists groups and we did well. Once you are inside the Colosseum, it is quite hard to imagine what it was like when it was the golden age of Rome. The wooden scene is missing, so are the terraces, and because of a former earthquake, the Colosseum is not complete. Due to all these missing parts, the imagination can not handle it and you need drawings to really understand how great it could have been to be part of a gladiator battle.

After the Colosseum, we headed to the Palatino which used to be the hill of the wealthiest people in Rome. And the most amazing thing to see is the Domus Augusta, the home of Auguste in which you can see how houses were decorated in Ancient Rome. Paint is preserved from degradation and this time you can really imagine how it could have been while living during this time of human history. What is also great, is that you are just above the Roman Forum and you can enjoy a great view on all of it.

The last stop of this long day was the Caracalla Baths. It used to be a really big sports complex but little is still standing. The building is hudge as the roof is 35 meters below the ground and what used to be the first floor is now down. But they manage to preserved some pieces of the floor with nice mosaics.

As we were going back to our hotel, we had to pass by the Colosseum and decided to stop to take some pictures with the nice dawn light.

DAY 06 : Santa-Maria Major, Saint-Jean of Latran, Saint-Paul outside the Walls, Saint-Peter of Rome and the Vaticano and its Museums.

Another big day in Rome starting with the visit of Saint-Mary Major and our only guided tour during this week in Rome. We had a nice guide which was very interesting and dedicated to us to be sure that we really understand the reasons why theses basilicas are so important.

Saint-Jean of Latran which used to be the Basilica of Popes before they left to Saint-Peter of Rome.

Saint-paul outside the walls wich was completely detroyed by fire and rebuilts the exact way it was built.

Saint-Peter of Rome which is now the Basilica of the Popes in the Vaticano.

Our tour included a guided visit of some of the Vaticano museums which was very interesting, ending with the rooms of Raphael and the roof of the sixteen chapel in which photos are forbidden.

DAY 07 : About Leonardo, the Pantheon, the Altemps Palace and walking around in Rome.

As we were a bit tired by this busy week in Rome, we decided that this last day was a second chance to go back to places we really like or to places we had not the time to stay very long. As a result we visited two museums we had not the time to go to eearlier in the week, we entered the pantheon, we saw an exhibition about Leonardo Da Vinci, we went back to the Trevi Fontain, to the Campo dei Fiori, visited the Basilica of Saint-Jean des Francais and ended the day at the Piazza di Spagna.