Rome, home to the Vatican and the capital of Italy on the Tiber River, is an ancient city adorned in culture, clad in heritage, and proclaimed in character. The city carries a feeling of antiquity with a powerful Italian vibe. Every monument echoes the past, with striking memorials, splendid architecture, breathtaking fountains and a she-wolf mascot. Famed for its mouth-watering gelatos and flavorful pasta, the gastronomy is exquisite in every regard. Surprisingly, the fountain water is safe to drink in Rome. The weather is hot and can reach up to 30 degrees Celcius in the summers. The best time to travel to Rome is Spring and Autumn.
Origins of Rome
According to Roman legend, it is believed that Rome originated in 753 B.C. when a she-wolf milked the twin sons of Mars, Romulus and Remus, who a king abandoned at the Tiber River. These boys grew up to defeat the king, and one of the twins, Romulus, formed Rome after killing his brother Remus. You can also see that the name ‘Rome’ bears similitude to ‘Romulus’. Thus, there were three distinct periods in the history of Rome, which began from the Periods of Kings, followed by the Republican period, and then the Imperial period. Rome was ruled by seven kings, followed by a government and then an emperor. After this, the Roman empire fell.
“Et Tu, Brute?” – And you, Brutus?”
The famous Shakespeare’s quote “Et Tu, Brute?” – And you, Brutus?” showcases the tragic demise of Julius Ceasar, a Roman dictator, a renowned statesman, governor of Gaul and lover of Queen Cleopatra. He led the Gallic wars and helped the Roman army defeat Pompey. However, his quick rise to fame threatened the generals and senators who plotted his murder and stabbed him 23 times in front of the statue of Pompey. This incident transpired in the imperial period. Rome was then ruled by his heir, Octavian and Mark Anthony. “Octavian” became the first emperor of Rome after Mark Anthony’s demise and came to be known as ‘Augustus’. Today the bronze statue of Julius Caesar can be seen in the Roman Forum in Rome.
History has given a distinct character to the city and has shaped it to be a marvel on its own. There are several monuments, sculptures, ruins and remains, and landmarks with appealing architectures. The elliptical structure of stones, concrete and travertine is hard to miss when in Rome. The Colosseum, near the hills of the Palatine, was once a grand open-air amphitheatre in the Roman world. Gladiators, who were once slaves or prisoners of war, fought with exotic animals and with one another for freedom. The ruins of the Colosseum are still magnificent and monumental in every regard.
Fontana di Trevi
The Baroque ‘Trevi Fountain’ is not far from the Colosseum, designed by the Roman native architect ‘Nicola Salvi’. Built from travertine stone, the fountain derives its name from ‘Tre Vi’, which means three ways because three streets lead to the fountain. It is believed that by tossing three coins in the fountain, you will marry the person you love. What makes the fountain spectacular is the sculpture of Neptune, the god of the sea who stands between two horses on a shell-shaped chariot. The stark dichotomy of serene and rowdy is what the two horses depict, i.e., the characteristics of the sea.
When travelling to Rome, make sure to carry sunglasses, sunscreen and an umbrella. As most of the landmarks are within walking distance from one another, I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes and clothing. The most important part is keeping change as the metro and train fares cost around € 1.50. The best part is that a single ticket can be used for the public transport options like the subway, bus and commuter train.
If you do not speak Italian, do not fear because many people are to communicate in English. However, it would be great if you could familiarise yourself with some common phrases like:
Ciao = Hello
Si = Yes
Noh = No
Grazie = Thank you
Scusi = Excuse me!
Buona sera = Good afternoon (formal)
Una = one
The gelatos are delicious and usually cost €2 – €4. The kinds of pasta and a single pizza sufficient for one person can cost around €7 – €10. The hotels can cost from €53 – €150 per night. It all depends on your preferences.