Rome was the beginning of our trip around the world. Italy was actually the very first country we visited after leaving the UK. We spent the New Year’s Eve in Rome because we wanted to celebrate the new year somewhere different and as we had found a not so expensive ticket to Nairobi leaving from Rome, that’s where we went.
Let us just start saying that we really recommend the New Year’s Eve in Rome. There was a free concert at the Circus Maximo, just around the corner from the Colosseum. It was packed as expected and the fires were great. The only issue with the fires is that our comparison is with London, so it is difficult to be impressed.
We enjoyed the NYE as much as we could, considering that Tiago thought he was too strong to be drunk on champagne…..and he lost; but let’s skip this part, Fernanda did not enjoy as much, and Tiago can’t remember.
How was our time in Rome?
Italy was great! We ate a lot, we drunk a lot of wine, and we slept a lot. What more to expect from holidays? The only real tourism done was a half day spent in the Colosseum and at the Forum Romano. A part from that, we were only going out for drinking and eating.
What to expect from Rome
The streets of Rome takes you back years ago, at least the city centre ones. The streets are all narrow and not paved. Also, the monuments such as the Pantheon and the Coliseum make you feel like the Roman Empire only disappeared a few years ago. It is mesmerising.
Also, the good thing about Rome is that you can do it all by walking. It is a pleasant walk anywhere you go, so you do not really feel the time when walking. Take the train or metro only if you are very far away or in a hurry.
We particularly loved Trastevere neighborhood, which actually means “behind the Tevere”, Rome’s main river. Once there, it is better to walk without a map. Allow yourself to get lost in those little streets and be enchanted with the area, the various bars and lounges as well as the very nice local restaurants.
The food in Rome is just amazing – as everywhere else in Italy, I guess.
The pizza, for instance, is just impossible to describe and a must for anyone visiting the city. Just be careful when buying pizza on small shops which are sold per grams. It is a rip off. The same price you pay for a slice is worth almost as much and taste almost as half from any restaurant!
*Read this Rome Challenge to see how you can enjoy the city with under 20€/day.
A few curiosities we learnt from these four days in Rome:
The Colosseum has small holes all over it because it was made with iron inside it and this iron was stolen. Thus, the holes. (Read other facts about the Colosseum in here).
The marble which the columns in St. Peter Square were made from were taken from the marbles left as ruins in the Roman Forum. Destruction or reconstruction, it is up to you. So was the parts of the Colosseum, to help construct the basilica of St. Peter inside the Vatican City. Again, construction or destruction?
A curious observation: 90% of the cars we saw driving around Rome had a scratch… no wonder why. The traffic is as crazy as everyone says.
Now we are off to Kenya, with a stop by in Cairo for six days. Our stop in Italy was mainly to relax and to spend the New Year’s Eve in Rome. It’s now that the adventure really begins!