My sister was studying abroad in England during my sophomore year of college and my brother and I decided to visit her close to Thanksgiving. A couple months before we were scheduled to arrive, my sister called to let us know that she had found really inexpensive tickets from London to Rome (Yes, Italy!), leading the three is us to take a short trip to La Citta Eterna, “The Eternal City.” Following is a list of what I learned about where you absolutely HAVE TO go if you are visiting Rome:
The home of Pope Benedict XVI and the only independent country to be enclosed within another country.
It is also the home of St. Peter’s Basilica. If you travel up into the dome, you will be treated to one of the best views of your trip: a 360 degree view of Rome. You have the option of taking the stairs up, which is quite a feat as the staircase is 320 steps long! You also have the option of taking the elevator, at least for part of the trip. Just remember that there is a strict dress code: no shorts, bare shoulders, or miniskirts. They will not allow you to enter if you do not follow this code.
You also have the opportunity to visit the famous Sistine Chapel, which was painted by Michaelangelo in the early 16th Century and is housed within the Vatican. While photography is not allowed in the chapel, the views of the paintings are well worth it.
The Colosseum is something that everyone has heard of, but it’s hard to imagine it until you have the opportunity to actually see it. To imagine the size and grandeur of it. In ancient times, Rome would hold their games in the Colosseum. Gladiator fights, people fed to lions, and much more occurred here. It’s an intimidating sight. There are often people dressed as gladiators outside who will take their picture with you for a fee.
The catacombs are the burial places of the dead in ancient Rome. There is amazing art on the walls and an incredible feeling of the history buried in these locations. However, they can be a little scary if you are afraid of being underground.
Eating and Shopping
The food in Rome is fabulous! I was only there for a few days, but everywhere I went had amazing food. As you can probably imagine, the pasta was the best I have ever had in my life. To feed your sweet tooth, try gelato. It is similar to ice cream, but better. There are stores that sell gelato like a Baskin Robbins sells ice cream in the United States. They are everywhere!
For those who love to shop, you can do it on any budget. Rome is one of the fashion capitals of the world, meaning that some of the most famous designers in the world sell their wares here. For those on a more restricted budget, there are street vendors who will sell you anything from clothes to accessories to random knick-knacks.
The following books are available in your library’s Travel Neighborhood to help you plan your trip!