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 did settle down and thanks to my other half who work hard so that I get to travel. Italy was the first country. Mind you, Italy. Can you feel it? I of course was floating in cloud 9, akin, I was blessed millions of times for this across the sea, the first ever trip-travel. By the way, I have not stepped foot in Singapore, my counter part country which is not really close by, but within my reach. Now, upon arrival in Rome, indeed, tiring, many hours of suspense up in the air, once the reality set in that I am actually in Rome, I was absolutely, utterly and totally jubilant. Yay!   

For the next 8 days, we embarked on sightseeing. Rome, Florence, Verona, Venice, Milan and finally to Lake Como, Switzerland. Pretty much in an all arranged for tour, we covered the must see places, we dined in different restaurants and of course night called for in different 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 can speak Italian, one up. Otherwise, be prepared to be ignored unless when you shop at the branded stores. Nothing much to praise on customer service or to say that Italians are friendly lot. Sorry no. They actually, if I am not mistaken, feel as though they are one class above the rest. No smiles, no friendliness and no hi. Welcome to the real Italy. Anyway, we were not like out of place, why should we? Our money, our holiday and our moment in Italy. Our morning started immediately with sightseeing.  

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 because the previous Pope was holding audience on this particular Wednesday. I definitely would have appreciated seeing Pope from very close, but was impossible. Tight security, you can't get anywhere nearby him. So, from afar among the hundreds and hundreds, I glimpsed at Pope, thereafter a good view on Vatican City. World's smallest state, funded and managed by donations, Peter the apostle, the first Pope was crucified and buried in Vatican City and the dome of St. Peter's in this really well maintained city was designed by Michelangelo.  Just an hour, that's it in Vatican City. 

THE COLOSSEUM
Our next stop was in Colosseum. The largest amphitheater of the world and of the Roman Empire. H-my-joy! Colosseum is utterly shattering. Amazing. Stunning. Rustic brick structure, as soon as you arrive, you will see 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 our attractive Italian tour guide who spoke on the history of Colosseum, specifically on its hollow structure which was caused by stripping of its precious marble, travertine and metals for churches and private palaces.

We stood among the many in the long queue prior to walking from one end to the other, from each floor until to the top for viewing the whole arena which can easily accommodate 50,000 spectators at one go and where gladiators wrestled the wild beasts.  







While on our way out of Colosseum, we pipped out of the coach to glimpse at other historical sites. No stops. Just a quick glimpse once our local guide mentioned which is which. Next was lunch, thereafter we covered Trevi Fountain and while slurping into Italian Gelato, we stepped foot on the steps of Spanish Steps. Forget about picture perfect moment at these two places which were swarmed by literally hundreds, we then walked up Spanish Steps to arrive on the other side where there are some shops. We walked around, prior to departing for dinner and calling it a day.  




Day 2
Breakfast, followed by journeying to arrive in Pisa. 

PISA
Approximately 3 hours drive from the hotel and another hour or so 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, over and over again.  

Besides the tower, there are two significant churches - the Baptistery of St. John and the Cathedral of Pisa. Baptistery is the truly stunning largest baptistery in the whole of Italy, standing 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. Italian meals definitely not my kind of food, but glad that in between we had Chinese meals.






Up next - Florence.



Kindly Bookmark and Share it:

25 comments:

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovr today's travelogue. Impressive photos

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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

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

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

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  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...

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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  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 :)

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

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lovely post with adorable clicks Nava :)

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  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 :)

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  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...

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...