My first few moments in Rome was absolute mayhem and chaos. The moment I stepped off the train at Roma Termini there were hordes of people, just incredibly busy. I had bought a Roma Pass which gives you unlimited travel on the metro as well as access to the Historic sites. As I made my way to the metro platform underground via a maze of tunnels, the police rushed down and turned off the escalators and told the entire mass of people to turn around and get out, apparently there was a fire in the subway tunnels and they need to shutdown the whole line. Damn. I eventually made it to my hotel as the buses were overwhelmed with people.
My friend James who would be joining me in travelling around for my next 2 weeks had just arrived in Rome and was already at the hotel – needless to say as he welcomed me to the room we both looked buggered as fuck: me from having to trek it to the hotel on foot in 33 degree heat with a not so light backpack, and James from his long haul flight from Sydney. Here he is giving the thumbs up (Barclays certified) with his certificate from Etihad for travelling on the Inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to Rome.
After washing up and catching up over lunch we went to do some sightseeing. We also met up with another one of our friends, Miranda who had just made the long flight from Sydney as well. One of my favourite sites to visit was definitely the Colosseum (fun ancient history fact, it was previously called the Flavian Amphitheatre but was renamed after the Colossus of Nero which was moved just outside).
The history buff in me loved all things ancient roman and was absolutely fascinated wandering the ruins of The Roman Forum, just imagining what the world around me would have been like as I walked down the Via Sacra (the main road in Rome where victorious generals would make their precession upon re-entering Rome while being cheered by the plebs).
Also while wandering around Rome we saw the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, which at the time was under maintenance (the pool was drained and the entire facade was covered in scaffolding). We also had a wander around the National monument to the Fatherland (as seen in the background of the picture above with the two chariots on the roof). It offers some pretty nice panoramas as this is probably the tallest structure in Rome, also unspoilt by any skyscrapers.
We were a little stretched for time so we were unable to visit as much as we would have liked. Although I absolutely enjoyed wandering around the ancient sites like a kid in a candy store. Rome, once upon a time the greatest city on Earth, definitely needs a revisit some day in the future!