Here in Roma, modernity blends seamlessly with antiquity. Today we stumbled upon an archeological excavation happening in the middle of a shopping center. Everyday thousands of people pass by sites like Curia of Pompey, the place where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Do they realize the significance of local history? How fascinating!
Yes, we’re camping again.
We’re staying in Plus Camp Roma located just a bus ride outside the city center. It’s a backpacker’s haven, a community of nomads brought together by a love for exploring. Site-seeing tips and nightlife recommendations are shared, poolside or at the hostel bar. We sleep under the stars on cots in our tent and stock up on lunch supplies at the shopette. Traveling doesn’t get much better.
So, what to do?
I’d say an average tourist can efficiently cover Rome’s highlights in 3-4 solid days, starting with a good morning cafe (obviously!). Buy an 85€ OMNIA Pass for access to all major sites, including the Vatican. To get an entertaining tour of free sites, follow a New Rome Free Tour. Guides work for tips, and they’ll surely earn your money, so bring some cash. By day and night, if possible, check out these attractions:
- Arch of Constantine
- Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Fontana di Trevi, Italy’s largest and most famous Baroque fountain
- Fountain of the Four Rivers
- Pantheon (unfortunately the square is tarnished by a McDonald’s)
- Piazza di Spagna at the base of the Spanish Steps (great for people-watching)
- Santa Maria delle Vittoria (check out Bernini’s sculpture, St. Theresa in Ecstasy)
Vatican City, a state within a city
The Sistine Chapel is indeed evidence of Michelangelo’s extreme talent, especially considering the absence of electronic precision. The creation of Adam is at the focal point of the entire room. Although I’m not religious in the Christian sense, I like to think of this scene as a reminder not to be indifferent in the face of Creation.
The Gallery of Maps is equally as awe-inspiring, like walking down a corridor of masterpieces that marries two of my favorite things: fresco painting and cartography. Docents yell incessantly at the sea of visitors, but the symphony of brush strokes draws you in, drowning out the sound. We are so lucky to be in the presence of such wondrous art.