Three day city break in Rome
Three days in Rome: it's so easy to lose your heart in this fabulously frenetic city!
By TTM on 02 July 2012 in Travel Articles
My first morning in Rome and I could delay the inevitable no longer. The zebra crossing at Piazza del Popolo, at the top end of the Via del Corso, lay before me and was not to be taken lightly.
Along the way an attractive young woman on a scooter smiled sweetly and beeped as she sped by. A cabbie mouthed something that I did not take for 'after you kind sir'. And the drivers of several busses seemed altogether oblivious to me. But with heart pounding and exhilarated by success I made it. A battle of wills had been fought and I had won.
Throughout my stay I used the Via del Corso, which runs through the heart of the city, as a bearing. At one end, and my starting point on day one, is Capitol Hill and the magnificent Piazza del Campidogio. Designed by Michelangeo it comprises the Palazzo Senatorio, the seat of the city's goverment, which is abutted by the Palazzo dei Conservaori and Palazzo Nuovo, which together house the treasures of the Capitoline Museum. The picture gallery, in particular, is magnificent containing over 200 14th to 18th century paintings.
My second day in Rome saw me strolling up the Via del Corso to the Piazza del Popolo with short diversions to left and right to take in the Pantheon, the Fontana di Trevi and the Piazza di Spagna. The Pantheon is another wonderful example of the architectural achievement of ancient Rome. It is a huge domed building of equal height and width with a large hole in the centre of the roof to let in light and air. Holes in the floor take away the rainwater. Sitting in the cool and quiet of the Pantheon with the brilliant spotlight of sunshine is a very serene experience. By contrast the Trevi Fountain (yes of 'Three coins in the fountain' fame) bustles with life and vitality day and night. An absolute must.
This day was was devoted to the Vatican City, an independent state since 1929. Stunningly bright in the Rome sunshine, St. Peter's Square was as impressive as I expected, and being a Wednesday I was able to catch the Pope giving his weekly audience.
We stayed at Donna Laura Palace, on Lungotevere delle Armi, just a 15 minute stroll from Piazza del Popolo.
The hotel was a private hospital until a complete refurbishment saw it open in 2002 as a hotel offering the highest of four star standards.The staff speak English and are very helpful, there is a fitness suite with jaquazi and sauna and the roof top terrace bar must be one of the best places to see the sun set on the city.
Find more hotels in Rome.
Out and About
Once in the centre of Rome it is easy to see everything on foot although the the summer heat can be draining. So take your time and your water bottle.
The metro is cheap, safe and reliable but its two lines (A and B) merely skirt the city centre. You will need to plan how to use it to best effect.
Taxis are frequent and well regulated although they do charge city prices and the busses I was told are to be avoided unless you are not too concerned where you end up and how long it takes.
Rome is served by two airports: Fiumicino (35 km from Rome) and Ciampino (12 km from Rome). Fiumicino is the main airport and has direct rail link (Leonardo Express) to central Rome. Ciampino is mainly used by low-cost airlines and has no rail service, but has direct bus service to Rome Termini railway station.
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