My Favourite Capital City – Rome

Rome - favourite city

Even if I’ve visited four times already, Rome remains one of the capital cities and destinations I never get fed up of. The city with its iconic architecture, mixed culture from around the world is one of the most travelled capitals in the world. Being an avid lover of their history, food (especially desserts) and culture, what better place to use my Canon DSLR camera!

Having been there quite a few times I feel I am able to give you a few pointers to help you plan your holiday in Rome.  So, here we go:

Favourite Capital - Rome

Getting there

Located just 26km southwest of the city of Rome, Fiumicino Airport is the closest airport one can fly to. Once out of the airport you might want to hire a car, take a taxi or otherwise opt for the shuttle bus. Taxis have fixed prices but I usually confirm with the driver as some people have experienced ‘road work detours’ and were charged extra for the privilege. The shuttle bus is cheap but prices vary during the height of season, the journey normally takes about 45 minutes. Once you have arrived in the Capital and chilled out with a nice glass of Italian wine it’s time to explore.

Getting around

  1. The Rome Metro Underground train system has three lines named A, B and C. Lines A and B intersect at Rome Termini Station, the main public transport hub in Rome. Line C is a new line gradually being opened in stages.
  2. Hop on hop off bus tours – again, check the prices of different tour companies – and try a bit of haggling to get the best price.
  3. Walking around is a good way to see places at your own leisure. The city is relatively small – as cities go!
  4. Tour guide tours, Segway, cycling or even by horse and cart are all great ways to experience the capital

What to see

Colosseum

It is always the main attraction for me. The first time I went, I walked up the stairs from the Metro and it was right there, it took my breath away. Go early in the morning; besides from avoiding the queues it’s is also the best time to take photos. The early morning sunshine is absolutely amazing! I always carry my tripod with me to be able to take long exposure photos. My Vanguard VEO 2 235AB tripod is very portable and super lightweight.

Favourite Capital - Rome

Vatican

There are 54 different galleries and several courtyards within the Vatican Museums, each featuring carefully chosen paintings and sculptures collected by centuries of Popes. With so much to look at and photograph I always charge an spare battery for my camera just in case.

Within the religious city-state of Vatican City you’ll find the St Peter’s Basilica. St Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world and also the burial site of Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles and whom those of the Catholic faith consider to be the first Pope. Religious faith aside, St Peter’s is one of the most impressive churches you could ever visit.

Palatine Hill and Roman Forum

Palatine Hill is well-known for being the site of the first settlement in Rome, dating all the way back to the 8th century BC. The Roman Forum is a large plaza beneath the hill which was once the center of daily life in Rome and housed some of the city’s most important buildings and structures.

Pantheon

Located in the Piazza Della Rotonda, the Pantheon has served as a church since the 7th century. The Roman temple Entrance is free, but the Pantheon is closed to tourists during weekly mass. Its massive dome construction is an amazing architecture andto capture this on camera especially when the sun shines through the hole is something special. Unfortunately as the top is open, you can get very wet on rainy days!!

Favourite capital - RomeTrevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain, the largest fountain in Rome, is probably most well-known for the unique superstition and traditions surrounding it. Supposedly, if you toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder, you’ll be destined to return to Rome someday. If you want to take it a step further, you can throw three coins over your shoulder – one ensuring your inevitable return to Rome, another promising you’ll find love, and the third that your love will lead to marriage.

Spanish steps

Located in the eastern end of the old city, dating from 1723, these 138 steps connect the Piazza di Spagna below with the Piazza Trinità dei Monti. It’s very popular with tourists and locals in spring and summer and it can get crowded. The Steps were designed by Francesco De Sanctis and funded by French diplomat Stefano Gueffier. They were built in order to link the Bourbon Spanish Embassy and the Trinità dei Monti church.

River Tiber

Tiber River, the second longest Italian river after the Po, rising on the slope of Monte Fumaiolo, a major summit of the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano. It is 252 miles (405 km) long. Twisting in a generally southerly direction through a series of scenic gorges and broad valleys, the Tiber flows through the city of Rome. It is a lovely walk where you can see artists and musicians performing on the side of the streets.

Favourite Capital - Rome

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

It is the busiest square in Rome with cars and buses travelling in every direction. The view of the square is dominated by the enormous Vittorio Emmanuel II monument. This monument is made of white marble and commemorates the first king to unify Italy. It is one of the largest buildings in Rome. It houses the museum of the Risorgimento. There is also the tomb of the unknown soldier together with an eternal flame. Do take some photos at night it’s amazing with a brilliant view of Rome from the top too.

Food and drink

You can’t go far without bumping into a market stall, shop, café or restaurant where the smell of food is amazing. Prices are quite reasonable too, depending where you are in the capital. But for me, alfresco dining on a warm night in a piazza with a bowl of pasta and a glass of red is heaven!

The X Factor

A brilliant place to visit and I will go again. As well you know, Russell Crowe got the part as ”Maximus“ in Gladiator, so unfortunately it’s back to the day job!

Favourite Capital - Rome