Italy · 6 Days · 13 Moments · October 2016

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

12 October 2016

Tivoli - Villa d'Este gardens and Hadrian's Villa are two popular sites here. Its a 40-50 min ride by bus from Rome. We tool the Cotral bus from Ponte Mommelo metro station in Rome to reach here. There are also train options, though direct trains from Termini seemed very limited. Buses leave every 20 mins. The stop at Tivoli is Piazza Garibaldi. Its a 5 min walk from there to Villa d'Este. The fountains and greenery at the garden freshen you up. The climb back up from the garden can be taxing 😬 We didn't make it to Hadrian's villa since this was more of a half day trip for us. If you want to cover both, set aside a day for Tivoli. The return bus fare is 2.80 € per person. Found the visit to the gardens worth the half day trip.
Other places of interest include: Trevi fountain - looks splendid and is crowded at all times. Vatican City - we took a guided tour of the gardens, museums, sistine chapel and the basilica. This place will easily take a major part of your day if you are covering it by yourself. Borghese Gardens - a huge garden, it offers a good view point to see Rome. You can rent cycles, segway among others to cover the garden. The square below the garden fills with life with the performance of street musicians and other artists. There is a shopping street off the square which leads to the Spanish Stairs. Lot of sightseeing options in the city.
All roads lead to Rome - so, how can a trip to Italy be complete without a visit here. I'll start with the Colosseum since that's a major attraction in Rome. A visit to Colosseum can be clubbed with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. All three places are next to each other. There are three ticket booths - inside the colosseum after the security check (this one was practically empty as most people were buying their tickets at the counter opposite colosseum), opposite the colosseum (entry point 1 to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill) and one located at a 5 mins walk from colosseum (entry point 2 to Forum and Palatine). You can opt for an audio guide, guided tour to colosseum by the authorities if you want to understand its history. There are also pvt. companies outside offering guided tours. The line to the security check can seem daunting but don't let that discourage you. You have three ticket counter options to choose from.

9 October 2016

Tivoli - garden at Villa d'Este
Gardens at Villa d'Este, Tivoli

8 October 2016

Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps
Palatine Hill and Roman Forum
Sights around the city

7 October 2016

Borghese Garden - Its offers a great view point of Vatican City. The plaza beneath it comes to life with street artists lending it a vibrant mood in the evenings.
Borghese Garden at Rome - a huge garden. So huge, you have options of renting a segway, cycle to cover the place.
Vatican city - the basilica is grand. A glimpse of the place from outside gives you an idea of just how vast it is. This place houses many important work by Michelangelo - La Pietà (sculpture) and Sistine Chapel. The sistine chapel is what most people come to see and it doesn't disappoint. The detailing is impressive as is the story behind the painting of the chapel. After completing half the ceiling, when Michelangelo stood back back to observe his work, he was apparently not happy as he felt the figures painted were too small for anyone to observe the detailing on them. So he then painted bigger figures on the rest of the ceiling. Talk about taking pride in quality of your work, huh! The result is there for one to see. Photography is not allowed, hence no pics to share.
Vatican City - garden, basilica and the museum. The 5th pic is Michelangelo's La Pietà