…a city like a single museum, not the best pizza in the world and an impressive Colosseum
Is there a better way to start the year than with a short city trip? Not at all! And that’s why I decided to fly with a friend to Rome for a few days to welcome 2018! There were many changes ahead this year – so we wanted to leave the past behind and welcome new things – and there is definitely no better place than Rome to do so.
It was January in Berlin – cold and dark outside. After this long winter, we could not wait to finally see the sun again. As we landed in Rome and it was sunny our mood suddenly changes. A taxi took us from the airport to the impressive Colosseum and from there we walked through the small Italian streets past the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II to our Bed and Breakfast. A little apartment near Piazza Navona. My stomach was empty and so I was looking forward to my first real Italian pizza. Delicious, but not stunning, was the verdict.
We had planned a lot – a city trip is always exhausting. Especially when there are so many places you have to see. We walked through Rome and as we sat down to study the map we discovered that we were sitting directly in front of the great synagogue in Rome. We decided to have a deeper look inside the next day.
We walked up the stairs to the Capitol and enjoyed the view from above in the beautiful weather. We continued to the Forum Romanum – an old city embedded in the new Rome. It is unbelievable that some of these magnificent old buildings have been preserved. This way you can not only get a picture of what it looked like before, but you can really dive into another world.
On the first evening, we sat completely exhausted in a restaurant and could hardly move. I can’t remember the last time we walked that much. In Rome, it is not worth taking the bus or a taxi, because everything is connected and you would miss too much. But the cobblestones don’t make it any more pleasant to walk that much. First tip – comfortable sports shoes are a must to explore the city.
Pantheon – and an opera singer that created one goosebump after the other
The next morning we sat at breakfast and planned our daily program. First, we went to see the synagogue. The synagogue in Rome was much more pompous than normal. Passing the temple of Portunus and the temple of Hercules Victor we caught a glimpse of the Bocca della Verità – the lie detector of the past. After our lunch break, which again disappointed us in terms of food, we continued to the Spanish Stairs. Rome was full of tourists, which is why it was always difficult to get a good photo at the main places. Because it was never empty. Nevertheless, we tried our luck, of course.
Through the shopping streets, in which hidden churches could always be discovered, we went to our next point on the list – the Pantheon, where we experienced one of my highlights of the journey. While you were not allowed to say a word in the Pantheon itself, an opera singer stood outside in front of this impressive scenery and created one goosebump moment after the other. So we decided to treat ourselves with a glass of wine while watching the spectacle. On the way home, we were looking for a small midnight snack and came across the highly recommended MIMI E COCO Wine Bar. A very small, cute bar, with super nice staff, super drinks and a huge portion of Bruschetta for free. From then on this was our personal PLACE TO BE.
Colosseum – A place that left me speechless
The next day we were a little tired from the nightly screaming in front of our apartment, but we were still looking forward to another day full of highlights. First stop Trevi Fountain – it was incredibly crowded so that you couldn’t fully enjoy the fountain. Still, we threw a coin in and made a wish. What, of course, will not be revealed!
Next Stop: Colosseum. This time we wanted to have a look inside. I didn’t expect too much, because most of the famous places are not so great in the end. But this time I was wrong. The Colosseum was simply impressive. When the sun fell through the stone walls, I imagined how fights had taken place here in former times and had to think inevitably of a scene from Game of Thrones. The amphitheater still seemed to be from another time. Finally, something made me speechless again and so I stood in this historic building and enjoyed the silence. From here you also had a wonderful view of the Triumphal Arch, also called Titus Arch, the oldest preserved triumphal arch of the antic city. After leaving the Colosseum, we had a coffee across the street and looked at the building for a while. Something big would happen right here.
The Stairs of Death – St. Peter’s Basilica
On our last day, the rain started. So we took an umbrella and made our way to the holiest in Rome – the St. Peter’s Basilica. The place, so many faithful people come to see every year and the place, where the Catholic Pope makes his speeches, which my grandmother then watches on television on Sundays. At St. Peter’s Basilica we were asked if we wanted to take the elevator or the stairs. We decided for the stairs – a big mistake as the St. Peter’s Basilica is really damn high and so we reached the top completely out of breath. The view over Rome, except for what was covered by the huge figures, was beautiful. Even more impressive was the view from above into the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica. Unbelievable that human hands have built something like this. All the ornaments, single stones and tiles. When we then discovered a sign indicating that people with physical limitations should do without the stairs, we had to laugh. The Pope’s guard, with their colorful striped suits, reminded me more of a carnival than of a holy group, but tastes are different. On the way back to our apartment we discovered the best tiramisu in Rome – Two Sizes! You should choose the smaller size because then you can try all varieties.
Whatever it takes
For the last night we had something very special in mind, so we looked for a nice restaurant and started to write down our wishes for the new year, as well as everything we wanted to leave behind in the old year. Before we went to the airport, we burned all the bad things from 2017. We took a taxi to the airport, passing the Colosseum for the last time. “Whatever it takes” was on the radio and we threw our wishes for this year out of the window – did they come true? More about this at the end of the year!
Why we found this in front of the synagogue? No one knows!