Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rome - Places Worth Exploring


Travelling has always been the biggest mission in my life, but constantly bogged down with family and career commitments, sadly, nothing really materialized. Well, such is life when you can't afford and you have to slog day in day out. However, for the past three years, life settled down and thanks to my other half who work hard so that I get to travel. Italy was the first country I travelled to, mind you not even Singapore I've never been to, but a long haul before arriving in Rome. In deed, tiring the many hours of suspense on the air, yet when I arrived at the airport, I was absolutely excited.  

For the next 8 days, we travelled to Rome, Florence, Verona, Venice, Milan and finally to Lake Como, Switzerland. Pretty much in a tour, we covered the must see places, dined in different restaurants and of course overnight in hotels. Italy notably is a popular destination because everywhere we went to during this summer, we bummed into all sort of people from all walks of life and if you speak Italian, one up. Otherwise, be prepared to be ignored unless when you shop at the branded stores. Between the places we travelled to, here's the tourist spots you shouldn't miss or must see.    

VATICAN CITY
Stepping foot into Vatican City, I literally had goose bumps. Rather difficult to explain neither I am the most pious-holy one, seriously, I did feel god's presence. I was also lucky for the previous Pope was holding audience on this particular Wednesday. While I would have appreciate a closed-up glimpse of him, impossible it was as security was tight  and between the thousands who throne Vatican City - world's smallest state, funded and managed by donations, Peter the apostle, considered the first Pope was crucified and buried here and the dome of St. Peter's in this clean city was designed by Michelangelo. 

The inner part of the church is open to public but with pope's presence, we couldn't even push our way through. Also, since the rest of the tour buddies were uninterested, after 20 minutes or so, we left Vatican City. Nonetheless, I would definitely love to be back, hopefully in the near future.   
THE COLOSSEUM
The next stop was at the Colosseum - the largest amphitheater of the world and of the Roman Empire. The Colosseum absolutely is stunning for its rustic brick structure, as soon as you arrive, you will see the The “Arch of Constantine” - 25m height and built in AD315 to mark the victory of Constantine over Maxentius at Pon Milvius on October 312. Walking from the main entrance, we then met the attractive Italian tour guide who shared on the history of Colosseum, including the hollow structure which has been stripped of its precious marble, travertine and metals for churches and private palaces.

We then stood among the many in the long queue and entered the arena, walked from one end to the other, from each floor until to the top to view the whole spectrum which accommodated 50,000 spectators and where gladiators wrestled the wild beasts.  





PISA
The next day, we were in Pisa after 3 hours drive from the hotel and another ride in the local coach. Arriving at Pisa in the carnival like atmosphere with stalls lined on both sides, the central attraction has to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa - one of the great icons of Europe, constructed over 177 years and inside the tower is a 294-step spiral staircase leading to the bell chamber. Tourists are allowed to climb the staircase in small groups though we opted out. Instead, we walked around while watching people striking a pose by pretending to hold the tower from falling. Interesting to watch, though I felt that some were over-doing it.   

Besides the tower, there's two significant churches - the Baptistery of St. John and the Cathedral of Pisa. The baptistery is the truly stunning largest baptistery in the whole of Italy and it stands tall at almost 55 meters. Slightly higher compared to the Leaning Tower, we stood very close for a good view.  
Thereafter, we purchased tickets to view the cathedral restored during the 19th Century. Inside you will see the altar and the Gothic style pulpit by Giovanni Pisano - regarded as the masterworks of medieval sculptures.The upper part of the pulpit contains reliefs depicting scenes from the New Testament, going all the way to the Annunciation of the Crucifixion and the art pieces on the walls are a sight to behold.


More to sightseeing, food of course was the other experience which started at Rome with the sensational Italian gelato at Trevi Cafe and the rest of the meals at Baia Ristorante Pizzeria, Ristorante IL Turista (Pisa), Restorante Cinese Hong Kong and Restorante Isola Di Caprera. Italian food certainly has to be pizza, pasta, spaghetti and risotto, these paired with potatoes, vegetables and finished off with dessert and coffee. Those Italian meals definitely not my kind of food, but glad that in between we had Chinese meals.





Up next - Florence.

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25 comments:

  1. A joy to see your pictures and read your travelogue, Nava. Looking forward to the next!:)

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  2. m soon off to italy...... :-) nice review.

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  3. Lovr today's travelogue. Impressive photos

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  4. I love Italy too. Last year we were there.. Nice travelogue

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  5. Italy is one of the places I too want to travel to, being a huge Roman Era buff. By the way, it is Leaning Tower of Pisa. Awesome guide though. I wonder if there will ever be enough time to fully see everything there.

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  6. wow! a great place to visit. thanks for sharing.

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  7. Great pictures :) Love the post, hope you enjoyed Italy:)

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  8. Nice travelogue.. Sweet memories for me Nava.. I visited Rome, vatican city, venice and pisa 5 years back with my best buddies..

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  9. so happy to see you girl.....looking fab before worlds precious architecture works :)

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  10. I am so glad you get to travel. Fun seeing all your pics, bought back some fond memories of our Rome trip, just loved it.

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  11. Love the way u write and nice to see the pics with u in it.

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  12. Lovely Nava, nice clicks we visited Italy and swiss last month only. Very very beautiful place and venice is totally astonishing. Your pic brings back all the memories... u look nice in all the clicks...

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  13. nice pictures good read ...makes me feel like going on vacation :)
    http://goodeatstostyle.blogspot.com/

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  14. Traveling is an amazing experience and the effect of the trip and memories last so much longer than the trip. I am so happy that you are now able to fulfill your love of travelling.

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  15. Sure worth seeing what Rome can offer,
    for me it'll be a once in a lifetime experience,if i ever get there!

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  16. Great round-up, Nava! Such a beautiful experience. Travelling gives us so much exposure, isn't it?

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  17. Wonderful post Nava ! Lovely click too....Brings me back my memories of our Italy trip..It's one of those places I'd love to go back again if we cud afford the time & the money :)

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  18. nice post and a lovely place....you look fabulous in all the clicks...

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  19. Lovely post with adorable clicks Nava :)

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  20. lovely travelogue with good pics. hope I can visit these places someday.

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  21. Lovely clicks Nava and great post... I'm sure you had a great time...

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  22. Ahh, nice timing.. Nxt week we r off to Venice & Pisa for a 3 day tour.. Hope to see ur Venice post up by then :)

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  23. wow. seeing in pictures is one thing. experiencing the real thing is wowzers!

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  24. Loved reading your travelouge!!! And loved the pics too!!!

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  25. Beautiful pictures, and glad you are able to follow your passion of travelling now :) I had been to Rome, so you brought back my memories...

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