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Rome. A film set brought to life. From the chariot races of Ben Hur to Audrey Hepburn’s winsome Sabrina, the Italian capital has been portrayed in a hundred different ways. Five thousand years of matchless, incredible history on show for all to see.
And yet nothing prepares you for the real thing.
From the hulking, ruined grandeur of the Coliseum to the cool, ordered grace of the Pantheon, Rome is a living, breathing testament to human ingenuity and cruelty on an epic scale. Gangs of visiting school children eat ice cream in the same seats where people once watched glaidators fight to the death. Unheeding throngs stroll past the balcony from which Mussolini once blustered and threatened the world. As always, the ice cream remains world class.
Trevi Fountain is a pleasant diversion for a few minutes but, truth be told, you won’t need to throw in a coin to want to return. Far more monumental are Bernini’s epic fountains that form the centre piece of Piazza Navona, the people watching epicentre of this teeming city at any hour of the day and night.

The attractions come and go like drum rolls. The vast, imperious dome of Saint Peter’s is best seen from its cool, colonnaded courtyard, lined with hundreds of statues- another Bernini masterpiece. The Vatican is a sublime, overpowering brew of imperial might and papal majesty that draws hordes of awe struck visitors. Michelangelo’s sublime ceiling in the Sistine Chapel is one of the most jaw dropping art works ever accomplished, and worth visiting the city for on it’s own.

A chain of vast, ornate bridges vault nimbly across the swirling sprawl of the ancient River Tiber. The brave of heart can take a spine chilling descent to the famous Roman catacombs.Or you could simply enjoy a languid stroll down the broad,expansive spread of the Spanish Steps.
The stark, silent remains of the Forum still seem to echo with the murderous cries of Caesar’s assassins. The remnants of stunted doric columns still glint eerily in the mid day sun. And the amazing Arch of Constantine is a beautiful, ageless sight; perfectly formed, yet still an apt testament to the raw power of the man who commissioned it.

Rome today is a city of tourists, backpackers, and gangs of motor scooters that buzz through the city like hordes of maddened wasps. A peerless brew of the ancient and the modern, and once a powerhouse of the ambitious and the arcane alike.

Getting there: From the port of Civitavecchia, trains run to Rome ergularly, and take about an hour and twenty minutes in either direction. There are a few stations in Rome; make sure that you get off and on at Roma Termini.
Taxis in Civitavecchia are not exactly plentiful, and taking one to Rome will be expensive.

outside cafe in rome



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