A DAY IN ROMELike all Romans, you have to start the day off with a strong hot coffee, to get your neuron’s firing on all cylinders. The Tazza D’Oro Coffee House is the perfect place to begin the day, with it being but a stone’s throw from the Pantheon. This Engineering marvel has stood the test of time for nearly 2 millennia. Originally a temple built as a tribute to the gods, it later became a church. The open 9 meter diameter hole (the Oculus) in the magnificent concrete dome is the only source of natural light, as there are no windows. Therefore when it rains, the site of the skies opening up, inside the Pantheon is something to behold. If you’re thinking you may need to bring along a paddle boat and wellies, fear not, the water just drains away into openings within the floor.
A less than 10-minute walk up the road is the Trevi Fountain, one of the largest and iconic fountains in the world. On your walk up, you can grab a cheeky gelato. Upon setting eyes on this magical structure, you may well drop your gelato in sheer dumbfoundedness. In this event, do not fret, as you can simply go and get another one. Maybe even go wild and try a different flavour. The nearby Gelateria Valentino is a good shout for great deserts. If you find that Rome has captivated your heart, coins should be kept at the ready. Why? You ask. Well, you will not want to miss the opportunity to throw one in. Legend has it, that in doing so, you will return to Rome again. Just remember to throw it in with your right hand over your left shoulder. Yes it’s a bit confusing, but with a chance to return, why not!
With wonderful pavement stalls, shops and boutiques scattered around the local streets in this area, it’s a massive chance ‘to get your shop on’. You can also mosey on along to the nearby ‘Scalina Spagna’ or ‘Spanish Steps’, where 138 steps of baroque architecture unite the lower Piazza di Spagna with the upper Piazza Trinita dei Monti. Here is a place where you can sit and relax, whilst taking in the beautiful city views and atmosphere. Overlooking the top of the steps, is the Trinita dei Monti church. Take a walk up the steps, to get a closer look at the church’s late renaissance twin towers. Here is a tip: put ‘Bill Conti - Gonna Fly Now’ on your playlist and listen to it on your way up, you may well feel that your pace increases somewhat. There is also a rather nice restaurant that sits atop of the Spanish Steps called ‘Ciampini’. This is a great restaurant to have lunch, with a tempting menu, wonderful views and ambiance. They also have this rather delightful fountain with a small pool of turtles, which is worth a look while waiting for food to arrive.
The final visit of the day is to a place originally known as ‘Amphitheatrum Flavium’. Where many games and battles were held in front of thousands upon thousands of spectators. It’s a weathered structure, but has stood the test of time. Still not figured out this landmark? Well, here is one last clue: Russel Crowe’s most iconic Oscar winning film, centered on this place and is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Yes, its ‘The Gladiator’ and therefore the last leg of the journey is ‘The Colosseum’. Seeing it in person and reflecting on its history, can be quite thought provoking. More than 50,000 people would cheer on, as they watched gladiatorial fights, animal fights, animals pitted against gladiators and it is said that mock naval battles took place here (yes, you did read correctly, ‘mock naval battles’). They would actually flood the Colosseum and scaled down ships would be introduced, re-enacting therein the great sea engagements that had passed. Over time, nearly two thirds of the original Colosseum has seen destruction. However, this does not negate the fact that it’s a must visit, an integral part of Rome and its bold history. What is a more befitting end to the day, than a visit to the nearby ‘Luciano Luzzi Trattoria’ restaurant, for a classic wood oven pizza or some dreamy light pasta. With simple delicious food, fantastic service from the staff and all at reasonable prices, you just won’t want to go home, when in Rome!
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