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- Posted:Monday, September 20, 2010
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After a very early start and a trip to the airport on a dark and dreary morning that resembled December weather more so than September, I was on my way to the Italian capital of Rome. After landing in Rome and an express train ride to Rome’s Termini train station, I was checked in to my Roman accommodation at the lovely Funny Palace Hostel. Just minutes from the transport hub that is Rome’s Termini station, a stay in this area is a good location to set up base for access to all of Rome’s top tourist attractions.
Before I set out into the unknown, Marbi from the Funny Palace Hostel grabbed me a map and talked me through the city and how best to get around it – a very helpful start to any new city. After purchasing a transport pass for three days for €11 that covers the metro and bus, I made my first stop one close enough to Termini – San Giovanni in Laterano. There are over 400 churches in Rome, many of which are architectural and artistic wonders. This cathedral is also called the Basilica of St. John Lateran and is among the four major basilicas of Rome. This church was a great start to my sightseeing as it is stunning to look at both inside and out with some amazing painting and sculptures throughout.
San Giovanni in Laterano lies just by a busy traffic junction where traffic goes through the old city walls and across from the cathedral you will see The Triclinium Leoninum. On leaving this area the sunny day took a turn for the worse and the rain put a quick stop to my sightseeing. I waited out the heavy showers back at my hostel and it thankfully cleared up.
With a sunny evening to my favour I walked from the hostel towards my evening destination of Piazza di Spagna. I started at Piazza della Repubblica, one of many piazzas around Rome which feature at least one fountain. Piazza della Repubblica is a semi-circular piazza which features the Fountain of the Naiads as its centrepiece; it is also where you will find the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri. From here I made my way towards Piazza Barberini and on my way I stumbled upon the Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains) at the intersection of Via delle Quattro Fontane and Via del Quirinale.
Next on my route was Piazza Barberini which is another amazing Roman piazza where you will find the Fountain of the Triton. Piazza di Spagna was my next stop. My first view of this lively piazza was from the top of the Spanish steps in front of the Trinità dei Monti, a Renaissance church that dominates the top of the steps. From the top of the Spanish Steps you are greeted with a beautiful view of the piazza as well as the surrounds of the city. The Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s top tourist attractions as people sit on the steps and around the Fountain of the Old Boat which can be found at the base of the steps. Piazza di Spagna is a lively area at all times of the day and is also a meeting point for many walking tours of the city.
Also, just off the piazza you will find Via Condotti which is one of Rome’s busy and fashionable streets. It’s worth taking a walk down here even if you’re not accompanied with a credit card with no limit!
My first dinner of my Rome trip was in a restaurant recommended to me as one of the top places to eat in the area. L'Enoteca Antica di Via della Croce is a very popular wine bar and restaurant. With seating both indoors and out, L’Entoteca Antica is worth a visit to sample some amazing Italian cooking. I had a ravioli dish with some bruschetta and it really was a great start to Italian cuisine.
So after an incredibly long first day in Rome, I made my way back to the Funny Palace Hostel to prepare for what was looking like a busy few days ahead in Rome!