Rome

The Roman Forum—Temple of Vespasian and Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus and Temple of Saturn

The Roman Forum—Temple of Vespasian and Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus and Temple of Saturn

Dates visited: September 16, 2004 – September 19, 2004

Rome is around five hours from Venice by train, and ranks among one of the best cities I’ve ever visited. I loved Rome, not just for the Ancient Roman buildings, but I loved it for so many different aspects—people, streets, vibe, piazzas (public squares), atmosphere, food… …I loved it for so many more things that I struggle to describe. Point is … …I fell in love with Rome. Period.

I visited Rome for my interest in Ancient Roman architecture and it did not disappoint. The Historic Center of Rome, along with the Vatican City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the Pantheon to the Colosseum to the Roman Forum, it was fascinating to see these structures built 2000-plus years ago. These buildings (or what remains of them) have been nicely preserved and I could close my eyes and visualize myself back in the glory days of the Roman civilization. Of course, my knowledge of the Roman Empire is primarily from reading Asterix comics so for the most part, I kept imagining a battalion of Roman soldiers getting thumped by Obelix!

The Spanish Steps was a great place for people watching. At the base is the Piazza di Spagna, with the uniquely shaped Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat). You can spend a whole day just sitting on the steps as this place is just abuzz with activity. Rome has many beautiful fountains, but my favorite ones were the world famous Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) where we did the revered act of throwing a coin from my right hand over the left shoulder, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) and Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain).

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