This post is a continuation of “World’s oldest pizza” and the third part of my backpacking trip.
Almost 2 hours and 45 minutes later, the train arrived in Rome, Termini. Once I got out of Termini, I went straight to the hostel, which was just around 270m away. When I had checked in and settled in the hostel, I went out to find a place to eat dinner. Straight after dinner, I went for a walk in the neighbourhood near the hostel and went back to the hostel after a while to get some sleep.
Via Gaeta, 64,
I woke up early the next morning, went for a morning coffee in a nearby cafe. I went afterwards back to the hostel, got myself a map over Rome, from the counter desk at the hostel (usually all hostels/hotels has that), and started planning where to go. While looking at the map, I noticed an advertisement for an E-bike rental. Immediately I thought it would be a fun way to explore Rome on a bike, so I decided to check the shop out, but before that, I crossed out the place I wanted to see. I had already been in Rome years before on a study trip. This meant that I knew the city a bit, but this time I would do something.
E-bike rental detail:
E-Smart Bike Roma
Via Antonio Rosmini, 22
Price: From €19 per day
The bike shop was only a 10-minute walk from the hostel and the process of renting a bike went very easy. I rented an electric bike for $19 and could use it for a whole day. I started cycling towards the nearest spot on the map, that I’d crossed out which was Chiesa di San Carlino alle Quattro Fontane (yeah, it’s a long name).
Chiesa di San Carlino alle Quattro Fontane
Also known as San Carlino is a Roman Catholic Church designed by Francesco Borromini. It was built in an architectural Baroque style and was consecrated in 1946. The interior, as well as the exterior, is very beautiful with its unique romantic architecture. After a mesmerizing visit to this beautiful church, the tour went to Piazza del Popolo.
Piazza del Popolo
The next stop is the one that was furthest away (still in Rome centre) on my route. The Piazza del Popolo. This spot is a big urban square and literally means “People’s Square” in modern Italian. This place can be found inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls, which was the starting point of the Via Flaminia and the road to Rimini (the most important route to the north). A scary fact is that for centuries this place was used for public executions in which the last one took place in 1826.
The layout of this urban square was designed in a neoclassical style by architect Giuseppe Valadier between 1811 and 1822. In the centre of the Piazza, you’ll find a 24m tall Egyptian Obelisk of Sety I from Heliopolis and was later erected by Rameses II. Three of the sides was carved during the reign of pharaoh Sety I and the fourth side under the reign of Pharaoh Rameses II. This means it can be dated back to around 1200 BC. In more than 1000 years the obelisk towered in Heliopolis until emperor Augustus had it shipped to Rome in 10 BC, where it stood in the Circus Maximus. Pope Sixtus V had is later in 1589 shipped to Piazza del Popolo, where Architect Valadier in 1826 brought the four lions on the feet of the obelisk.
Fontana di Trevi
After a historical flashback at Piazza del Popolo, I was heading back towards the centre to see Fontana di Trevi. The fountain is 26.3m high and 49.15m wide and is designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi in a Baroque style in 1762. The Trevi Fountain is the largest one in Rome and one of the most famous ones in the world.
Legend has it that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you’ll return to Rome one day. Fun fact; when I last visited Rome, back in 2012, I went to this fountain and threw a coin in it.
I had gotten a picture of Fontana di Trevi and thrown a coin in it. It was now time to move on towards the next spot, Pantheon.
Pantheon (or Pantheon) means temple of all the gods, is a former Roman temple and now a Catholic Church. It was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Emperor Augustus and later rebuilt by emperor Hadrian back in 126 AD. The Pantheon is a cylindrical building with a portico of large Corinthian columns under a pediment. In the centre of the building is an oculus to the sky. The height of the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are both 43m.
The Pantheon is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.
Next up, Piazza Venezia!
Piazza Venezia is the central hub of Rome and served as the embassy of the Republic of Venice. One side of the Piazza is the site of Italy’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and part of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy.
The piazza can be found at the foot of Capitoline Hill and next to Trajan’s Forum. This place was also the location of public speeches by the Italian dictator, Mussolini.
Just a few 300m down the road from Piazza Venezia is the Roman Forum. This is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings at the centre of Rome. Back in Ancient Rome, this place was known as a marketplace. The Forum was for centuries the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials and gladiatorial matches. It’s also known as the most celebrated meeting place in the world and in all history.
Keep walking down the road for about 1 minute and you’ll reach the mighty Colosseum. You can’t miss the sight of it, it’s even possible to see in the distance from the road near the Roman Forum.
The Colosseum is a wonder basically everyone knows. It’s an oval amphitheatre in the centre of Rome and east of the Roman Forum. The Colosseum is still the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built in the world. Construction of it began under emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed under his heir, emperor Titus in 80 AD. This amphitheatre could hold an estimated 50.000 to 80.000 audience, had an average of 65.000 and was used for gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, executions and drama based Roman mythology.
Ticket prices for Colosseum are:
Ordinary ticket: €16 (valid for 24 hours)
Full experience: €22 (valid for 2 days)
Entrance times for Colosseum and more information about tickets can be found here:
Piazza del Quirinale
The last stop on the tour is Piazza del Quirinale. Piazza del Quirinale is a big square hosting the historic building “Palazzo del Quirinale”. This building is one of the three current official residences of the President of the Italian Republic and is located on the Quirinal Hill, which is the highest of the seven hills of Rome. Palazzo del Quirinale has served as the residence for 30 Popes, 4 Kings of Italy and 12 Presidents of the Italian Republic. It was also selected by Napoleon to be his residence par excellence as Emperor. Although he never stayed there because of the French defeat in 1814. This palace is, with its 110,500 m2, the 11th largest palace in the world.
Map over the places I visited on E-Bike:
- Chiesa di San Carlino alle Quattro Fontane
- Piazza del Popolo
- Trevi di Fontena
- Piazza Venezia
- Roman Forum
- Piazza del Quirinale
And thus ended the roaming in Rome, but before that…
If you’re visiting Rome, ice cream (or in Italian, Gelato) is a MUST, so obviously while I was roaming in Rome, I had to stop by an ice cream shop and of course, it was delicious!
Ice cream shop:
Come il Latte
Via Silvio Spaventa, 24/26
I hope you got some inspiration and useful facts about my visit to Italy. The next stop is Nice in Southern France, a stop that would enrich me with some nice experiences…
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