Ramblings / Sunday, August 12th, 2018

Rome is one of those cities that is so full with beautiful things, you can’t really take a wrong turn because you’re sure to find a beautiful church or building down the road that you weren’t supposed to take. So, there’s not really such a thing as a ‘wrong turn’, just lucky accidents (which did happen to us a few times).

Here are some of the things we found out:

  • Trastevere is a beautiful part of Rome on the western side of the Tiber. It’s crammed with small cafés and restaurants decked out with chairs on the cobblestone. There’s a lot of natives around and it’s especially beautiful when dusk starts to settle. The food is not expensive (yet delicious) and the atmosphere of a late Italian summer night is priceless, anyway.
  • The best pizza we’ve had is from a small take-away spot called Pizza Zaza just off Piazza della Rotonda where you’ll find the Pantheon. They cut the pizza with scissors and you pay by grams. Afterwards, you can get a coffee from the café just opposite called “Sant Eustachio Il Caffè” – it’s a traditional old Italian coffee spot and I’ve never tasted coffee like that before. (As the saying goes “When in Rome”: Don’t sit at a table outside and pay double the price, just do it like the Romans and quickly drink the coffee inside, at the bar.)
  • Via Governo Vecchio is a beautiful, long street with bars and restaurants which invite you to sit down for a little apéro and one or two bruschette. It starts from Piazza Navona, which I thought was the most beautiful of Piazzas in the whole of Rome.
  • Don’t believe any of the tour guides pestering you on the way from the metro to the Vatican. There are two possible entrances: Entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica is free and the waiting in line doesn’t take too long. The entrance to the Vatican Museum is on the other side of the Vatican and costs twelve Euros if you’re a student, best to book it online beforehand in order to skip the long queue. There’s also the possibility of buying a skip-the-line ticket at the official ticket office just next to St. Peter’s Basilica. The Museum and the Basilica are both beautiful once you’ve managed to get inside!
  • In my opinion, you don’t need to see the Colosseum from the inside, it’s mostly ruined. The outside is a lot more impressive and the queue for tickets is around two hours in July. Instead, go see the remains of the forum romanum just next to it. There are several entry spots where you’ll be able to buy tickets (all tickets include the colosseum, though) without having to wait and you’ll get to see a lot more interesting ruins than that of the Colosseum!

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