The Mancunion

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Experience… Rome

Olivia Burt whisks you away to Rome for a magical three days

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Rome is the home of Italy’s, if not the world’s, architectural and artistic heirlooms coupled with too much gelato, pizza and steamy men on Vespa’s. It is an ideal location for a long weekend away.

Thanks to lastminute.com and cheap Easyjet flights arriving in Rome won’t break the bank. However I would recommend staying in a hostel as close to the centre of Rome as possible. This way you’ll cut your transport costs throughout your stay as most sights are within walking distance and your experience will be more enjoyable having stayed in the heart of this vibrant, unique city.

Friday

After arriving at your hostel, head over to the Colosseum for an evening tour. Although undeniably impressive in the day, this iconic building is truly magnificent at night, particularly as you’ll be able to appreciate its beauty without the thousands of tour groups that crowd it during the day. When walking round, scenes of ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Troy’ will without a doubt spring to mind as the gory history of the Colosseum resonates throughout its walls. For me, what’s most striking about this historic landmark is despite 2000 years of earthquakes, wars, fires and plundering it stands before us relatively intact today.

Saturday

Wake up early so as not to miss the Campo del Fiori Markets. This typically Italian food market is only open during the morning and has been running since the mid-1800’s. It’s the perfect place to mingle with Italian locals stocking their kitchens as well as buying a delicious breakfast or picnic lunch. Then head over to the Pantheon and try and avoid the heavy midday queues. The Pantheon is another of Rome’s hugely iconic historical monuments, the beautiful ceiling of this building is a must see. When in Rome one must shop and eat too much Italian food, so I would recommend wandering through Rome’s countless boutiques, pausing for a cappuccino in the famous Piazza Navona and enjoying something typically Roman- a delicious pizza or bowl of pasta. After your meal, head over to the Trevi Fountain- Rome’s largest and most well known fountain, perhaps due to Anita Ekberg’s swim in La Dolce Vita. A trip to Rome is not complete without the ritual custom of throwing a coin into the fountain. It is said by Romans, that if you throw a second coin, you’ll fall in love with an Italian. As evening falls, stroll over to the to Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and numerous street performers, gelato shops and caricaturists as well as a romantic view of Rome from the top of the steps.

Sunday

A visit to the Vatican is definitely an unforgettable experience, as it is a city in itself.  The home of the Pope also has one of the greatest museums in the world however you must be prepared for long queues and huge crowds – stamina and patience is required! My top-three-must-see parts of the Vatican City are the stunning Sistine chapel, St Peter’s Basilica and people watching in St Peter’s Square.

This action packed weekend will leave you longing for more from Italy’s most famous city.