My trip to Rome was with no doubt the best trip in my life! It’s strange for me to say that, because I’ve been to New York before and I really liked it, but Rome has the unique cultural characteristics that I felt in love with. The food, the art and culture, everything just amazed me at each moment that I was in the street. The people there were very nice and they showed incredible hospitality! I could always rely on them to give me advice on where to go and what to visit! I think I enjoyed this city so much because I didn’t know what to expect and then everything surprised me!!! If you have already been in Rome I guess you know what I’m talking about, there is something about this city that is really unforgettable!
Now I want to tell you some places that I went and I think you should go! But first let me speak about food: if you’re a food lover, as I am, ‘Eataly’ is a really nice place to go where you can find almost every Italian food and ingredients! They are going to open a store in London next here but you definitely should go to the original store! Talking about food, I need to tell you that I had a gelato (ice cream) almost everyday…😅 the weather was really hot and the ice creams were really good! I tried a new flavour each day and once I found a gelateria with 150 different ice cream flavours – unbelievable!! At the end of my gastronomic experience, I found my favourite flavour – chocolate and hazelnut (they have different names for it: giaduia, bacio or simply cioccolato!😋)
In terms of art this trip was a dream! I loved seeing all the Bernini’s sculptures and Caravaggio’s paintings – they were real genius! To see some of their works you can go to Piazza Navona, Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi and Santa Maria del Popolo. Another beautiful place where you can find their works is Villa Borghese, a Villa that now is an art gallery and with a huge garden that in times had exotic animals and now has a zoo. From this garden, specially from Pincio right above Piazza del Popolo, you can see amazing views.
From all the churches I went, and they were a lot, I was always amazed by the beautiful ceilings and domes with frescos trompe l’oeil. But the church of Sant Ignazio by Andrea Pozzo has the most beautiful ceiling in the world!
Now speaking about culture, I just loved the Colosseum and Roman Forum. I was really amazed by the amount of time that these ruins have been there and that’s wonderful to think that they survived to everything that we studied in our History books. And it’s amazing how all these buildings from different centuries are together creating a unique cityscape. Being alone in Fori was an adventure because there isn’t any right/ wrong way to go and no one telling you where to go. Besides almost loosing myself in there, it was actually really good because I end up to find somewhere new and explore the city by myself! A curiosity about the Panteon is that it’s so heavy that it’s ‘sinking’ and throughout the last centuries its marble has being taken to build other important buildings – eg Basilica di San Pietro…🏛🔛⛪️ Talking about San Pietro, on the first day in Rome I went to see Pope Francis talking in San Peter’s Square ☺️The Isola Tiberena is an island in the middle of the river Tebere and seems a bit like Venice… It is connected to each margin with a bridge and the other side is called Transtevere – a very nice area of Rome with pretty traditional streets and the cathedral of Santa Maria di Transtevere. Another place that you could go is Giardino di Aranci in Colle Aventino and look through the Bucco della Serratura! You can see a magic view from there but it has a big line too…
On one Sunday, I went with some missionaries (one of them is my friend from Portugal) and we did some voluntary work in a house that hosts refugee single mothers with children. This brought something even more special to this trip! It was amazing to play with kids from such a different background and speak with them in Italian!
On my last day of school, it was a bank holiday, la Festa della Republicca and my host family took me to Florence! I was so happy! Firenze is the town of Renaissance and all the history of art and culture is there! If you go to Italy you should definitely go there, it’s an amazing trip and it’s enough to see in one-day trip. In Galleria degli Uffizi you can see all the famous paintings and sculptures from Rinascimento (Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo and more…). The church of Santa Maria dei Fiori, which dome was designed by Brunelleschi, is wonderful! It was a big surprise because I didn’t imagine anything like that. At lunch we ate the specialità Fiorentina, Papa al Pomodoro, and it was really good!!
I think that I should stop writing now because otherwise I will just keep going and telling you everything about Rome and Italy… But now I have to leave a few things for you to find and explore by yourself! Let me know how you find it! Hope you enjoy!
P.S: Unfortunately my time in London is arriving to its end, but I have so many things to tell you that I won’t stop writing! Stay tuned!😊