20 Hours in Rome - Rome, Italy
Sadly we only had about 20 hours in Rome before we continued on to explore the Amalfi Coast. My friend Tess and I had both visited 'the eternal city' separately before, so we didn't feel the need to spend a lot of time re-visiting the major sites. But that didn't stop us from fighting jet lag with a 6 hour walk to reacquaint ourselves with this stunning city.
The first time I came to Rome was in 2012 for a full week with my Aunt. We used Rome as our home base, and took day trips out to Florence and Pompeii. The magic and beauty of Italy spans far beyond Rome, but gosh I really love this city. It could be my love of Latin and antiquity, but there's just something about this place that pulls me in.
How could you not love those Dr. Seuss trees?
I can't lie, the crowds in the peak summer season are intense. But it's easy to wander and find quieter spots.
I promise to never go this long without coming here again.
Pit stop to refresh! Ancient Romans were experts at setting up a clean and free water system around the city, and we're still benefitting from it today.
I mean, why can't all buildings look like these?
Crossing the Tiber River to the west spits you out into Rome's trendy neighborhood called Trastevere.
We stopped in one of the many outdoor bars for an aperitif and snack, and scoped out how the locals spend their evenings here.
Two of the oldest churches in Rome are here. And Julius Caesar built his country villa over here to escape some of the politics across the river.
Crossing back over, we caught Castel Sant'Angelo highlighted by the last of the day's rays. This building was built in 139 AD and was used as a papal fortress before becoming the museum it is today.
Your local bridges don't have ancient sculptures on them? Yeah, neither do mine.
Our big loop brought us back around to the Pantheon. They had closed for the evening, but if you time it right they sometimes have special night entries where you can see the moon coming right down through the opening in the center of the dome (oculus). This temple was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa and was completed around 126 AD. Today it's used as a church and is visited by millions of people each year.
We ended our walking tour with a big helping of gelato and passed out from the sheer exhaustion of an overnight travel day.
Big love to you, Rome. I geek out every time I visit, and I'll love you forever. Stick around cause we're heading down to the coast next!