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Rome - perfect destination for a city break and a chance to catch up with our friends Katja and Luca who we met while we were on holiday in Spain.

After an extremely early start from London, our flight into Rome took us over beautiful views of the snow-covered Alps.

Once we hit Rome we had just enough time to get to our hotel and have a short nap before going off to meet with our friends on the Spanish Steps. The weather was beautiful and warm in contrast to the cold and rain of London.

Katja and Luca took us on a lightning walking tour of Rome's historical buildings and monuments. Including the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Figue (where we stopped for our first proper coffee) and Circo Massimo. Then it was off to watch the sun set by the River Tiber and a drive up Via Garibaldi and on to one of Rome's seven hills - Aventine. Here we stopped off at Piazza Cavallieri di Malta and saw St. Peter's Basilica in the distance through a keyhole.

After all that walking and driving around it was time to sample some of Rome's finest Antipasti at the Trattoria Bella Napoli on Via Simone di Sant Bon in the Prati area of the city. It was a big night for football as Roma were playing Lazio. Our waiter was a Lazio supporter and so ended his night disappointed as Lazio lost (they got thrashed actually - sorry to rub it in).

Next day woke up late to more glorious sunshine and set off sightseeing in earnest after eating breakfast somewhere near our hotel (Hotel Terminal, basic but ok - wouldn't bother with breakfast there though).

We started our sightseeing at Sta. Maria Maggiore our local and rather splendid (church) building. Beautiful stained glass windows and tiled floors. A slow stroll down Via Cavona eventually got us to the Colosseum It was kind of strange seeing this huge Roman relic in the middle of a modern city street.

The nearby Palatino brought more Roman treasures. Relics of a whole city from a long bygone age.

After mooching round the ruins for a while it was off down to the river and Jewish Quarter and Campo di Fiori with it's lovely cobbled streets, historic buildings and little shops selling all manner of things. The river was a place we would return to often as it was very peaceful in places and a pleasure to stroll along its banks.

Evening time we wandered off to the Trevi Fountain and then headed back down to the river and crossed over to the Trastevere area for more great antipasti at Da Otello restaurant on Via della Pelliccia.
Another successful day's sightseeing under our belts we returned to our hotel, tired but happy, ready to get stuck into the next day.

If we thought we'd done lots of walking the day before we were about to repeat the experience and more. Today was going to be Vatican day. So off we set, stopping off at the Spanish Steps again on the way, taking in the views of the city from the top, descending the steps and spending rather a lot of time window shopping in the designer shops in the area. Our pilgrimage to the Vatican was gonna be a slow one!

Eventually we got there, passing the Castel St Angelo on the way. We looked around St Peter's for a bit (beautiful ceilings amongst other things).

We then set off to find the Sistine Chapel. As has become quite usual for us on holiday we arrived too late to see this particular tourist attraction and had to resign ourselves to returning the next day.

We cut our losses and headed over to Piazza del Popolo and Villa Borghese Park.

After chillin' in the park for a while we headed over to meet Katja and Luca and their friends and went out for another lovely meal at the Adamo Taverna somewhere near Rebbibia. The place didn't seem to have a menu but here we sampled some seriously wicked pasta at rock bottom prices.

The next day we returned to the Vatican to check out the Sistine Chapel. Pretty amazing painted ceilings all throughout the Vatican museums peaking at the chapel. To be honest I wasn't so much moved by the paintings themselves as that fact that someone had actually done them all. Worth a look coz that's one of the things you're meant to do when you go to Rome (I'll probably get struck by lightening or something for saying that). Ended the day strolling by the river between Testaccio and Sublicio and having another very nice meal this time at Asinocotto, on Via dei Vascellari, in Trastevere.

We spent our last half day at Campo de Fiore market (we arrived before the market closed up for the day this time) and stocked up on herbs and other goodies to bring back to Blighty. Sat in the sun drinking coffee ... Oh shit is that the time, mad dash back to hotel to collect our things and catch train to the airport. Phew made it! Back over the beautiful snow covered Alps and then on to cold wet London ...

We stayed at the Hotel Terminal near the main station - nothing to write home about - basic but clean roof over our head and ok for a short stay if you're not too fussy. It's also pretty central so in reasonably easy reach of the major tourist attractions. Wouldn't bother with the hotel breakfast though as there's much better places nearby.



Click on a picture to enlarge it and get a short description of the place

Spanish Steps
Spanish Steps


Trevi Foutain
Trevi Fountain






Castel Sant Angelo
Castel Sant Angelo




Piazza Santa Maria Popolo
Piazza Santa Maria Popolo


Ceiling, St Peter's
Celing, St Peter's


Campo de Fiore market
Herb stall, Campo de Fiore Market

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