badge

Monday, January 18, 2016

All Roads Lead to Rome

The Colosseum-Rome

It was difficult to bid farewell to the beautiful island nation of Malta as we boarded the Alitalia flight to Rome! The thought of visiting the place that was the cradle of civilization and Christianity was exciting as the aircraft headed in northerly direction. The short flight brought us to Fumicino Airport and with an interchange at the huge Roma Termini our taxi brought us to the comfortable apartment in the heart of the city. En-route we came across several old historic structures. The next day was reserved to visit the Vatican!
Lovely roof painting-The Vatican
St Peter's Square-The Vatican


Vatican is what dreams are made of! The huge serpentine queues and touts promising a quick entry greeted us! The wise decision of prior booking helped in skipping the queue and soon we entered the portals of the Vatican Museum! It is one of the richest museums and surpasses in beauty and grandeur any rival. One can see diversity in form of ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman artifacts, the lovely sculptures and masterpieces of creators like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael and many others. These are the collection of Popes from many centuries to the masterpieces created during the era of Renaissance. These Museums are one of the most visited places and celebrated their  500 years of existence in 2006.The galleries dedicated to sculptures, paintings, frescos, huge tapestries and engravings surpass anything close one may have seen before. The Sistine Chapel which is  the Papal conclave where the new Pope is elected, has majestic paintings on the roof and walls and were created by Michelangelo and took four years to create. We had planned to spend about 3 hours but ended up with spending double the time and still longing to see more. We then headed to the St Peters Square which is a short distance away and was a feast for the eyes! The grandeur of the place and the serpentine queues did not surprise any more. It is like living a dream. By the time we returned it was dark and the city was twinkling in the neon lights.
The National Museum-Rome, designed- Michelangelo

Next morning we rushed and left for Roma Termini as the tickets were booked for Naples, the city where the pizza was born, on the dusty industrial shores! The journey was a treat in itself riding the Frecciarossa train that hurled us to make up the distance of 225 km in less than an hour, while we glued our eyes to see the lush green country side sail past. Outside the Naples station the statue of Garibaldi greets
The Trevi Fountain- Rome
the visitors. The walk down the alley ways in search of Via Tribunali, the Mecca of Eating soon fructified. It was unbelievable to see the number of people flocking the street and the long queues of hungry eaters! We located Il Pizzaiolo Del Presidente, that was graced by Bill Clinton in 1994 when attending G8 summit. The sight of piping hot pizzas emerging from the wood fired oven and the beautiful sitting place was worth coming all the way! Next one hour was one of the most memorable one gorging the pizza’ a once in lifetime opportunity’. There are equally enticing pizzerias which boast of having hosted Julia Roberts while filming,’ Eat, Pray, Love’. The Gelatos, Rum Baba, Sfogliate, Cookies, medieval churches and the street performers stole our heart.


The remaining two more days in Rome passed away so quickly, we never realized. The sights of Colosseum, The Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, National Museum, lovely bridges across the River Tiber, kept us spell bound. Even after seeing a bit of the world, I felt like Alice in Wonderland. How I wished that the clock stopped ticking and I remain immersed in the history and sights all around. Many people feel that Italy got more than a fair share of artistic beauty and creators than the entire world in last 2000 years and this one can feel when one is in Rome!
Wood fired oven- Pizza at Del Presidente

Dal Presidente Pizzeria- Naples
Sfogliate- Naples


The New Year came and the impromptu bands struck up near Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Colosseum.  The night sky radiated in brilliance with the glitter of fireworks! We did what Romans do on the New Year. The feeling of being a gladiator in the Colosseum facing a fight to finish kept playing in mind for days to come.

19 comments:

  1. Wow, Rahul. So envious of you. We were thinking of visiting Italy. Where else did you visit in Italy? Where did you stay? How costly was it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for reading my travel blogs! I remember reading about your plans to visit Itlay which fell through due flights! We were in Rome, Vatican and Naples this time! We stayed at apartments and it was pretty Ok! It was well worth the visit .

      Delete
  2. Wow, Rahul. So envious of you. We were thinking of visiting Italy. Where else did you visit in Italy? Where did you stay? How costly was it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not a museum person. If the ticket price is reasonable, I can think of going. I would love to go to Roma Termini. Lovely picture, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Saru even I am not a museum person but Vatcan is something which if not visited is like missing something one will regret after going that far! It is a treasure trove which will leave you spell bound .Of course all other things are nice op:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Every time I read a new travel post of yours, my list of all the places I should have visited keeps getting longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will perhaps see much more than me, but it is satisfying to read that you yearn to see the places after reading my post:)

      Delete
  6. Lovely place ...have a great year ahead Rahul ji

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot,Ashok! Wishing you a lovely time ahead!

      Delete
  7. I've always been fascinated by Rome. After reading Da Vinci's Code I've been keen to visit Rome. Lovely pictures.
    Left a comment on your October 19th post, on your tribute to your father.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Rachna for that nice comment. It is good to see you return after the setback.
      Visiting Rome, I too felt that D Vinci Code is being enacted for real when I visited Sistene Chapel and a few other places in Vatican

      Delete
  8. I think visiting Rome has been on everyone's wishlist. Thanks for the details, I'm sure it will come in handy at some point for all of us :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Ashwini and I could not agree more when it comes to visiting Rome! Wishing you lots of happiness in the New Year and beyond, after the engagement:)

      Delete
  9. A visit to Rome is in the agenda for our future trips. You have given us a visual trip now. Did you go with a group or planned the trip by yourself. If we go with a group, time restriction might be there and I don't know if we would be able to go by ourselves...age constraints! Enjoyed reading this post, Rahulji!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Sandhya for taking time off to read my posts! I never go on group tours as they do not offer flexibility to see places at leisure and enjoy the beauty of the place!

      Delete
  10. I am really envious of you Rahul. You are visiting all the places that are at the top of my list. Again you just brought Rome in front of my eyes by your vivid descriptions. Again… between piping hot pizzas and scintillating Renaissance art… you are making me drool.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ha ha. ...Raj! Thanks a lot for enjoying the post! Nothing could be more rewarding than a comment like this:) wish you see much more than I have seen.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow!! I'm sure it was overwhelming. I know what you mean when you say you felt like Alice in Wonderland. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My only regret is that I wish, I had more time to assimilate all the beauty around, Divya:(

      Delete