We arrived at Stazione di Roma Termini from Venice at 21:30 Hrs. and at 22:15 Hrs. we were taking snaps of the Colosseum. Yes, this was exactly as per the plan. I had booked the hotel really close to the railway station, about 50 meters away. All we had to do was check in at the hotel and hit the streets. We walked from our hotel, Hotel Planet to the Colosseum at a leisurely pace, which took about 25 minutes. I wanted to see and capture the lit up Colosseum during night and this was the only night we had. A grand and majestic medieval architecture stood in front of us, fully lit up, more so because of Christmas. The Colosseum famous for its’ gladiatorial contests was a marvel to look at. The night was chilly and we were tired from the journey, but seeing the Colosseum was enough to get our batteries charged up. We spent another 30 minutes exploring the nearby surroundings on foot before giving up and walked back to our hotel and slept like a log.
Merry Christmas, the next morning, all four logs woke up and got ready by 8:30 A.M. It was the last day of our short vacation and we decided to utilize it 100%. It is impossible to cover Rome in a day, there is just too much to see! Anyhow we took it as a challenge and set off. The best way to feel the city is by walking its’ streets. We could have easily saved time by taking the metro to each attraction but there was no point in staying underground most of the time and miss the action above. We took the metro to our first destination, Colosseum only because we had covered the same route by foot last night ;). Although impressive in the day light as well, personally I liked the night view of the Colosseum more. Unfortunately, it was closed for visitors that day so we could not go inside. We satisfied ourselves by peeking through the cracks and iron gates and moved on. We walked past the ruins of ancient Rome towards Piazza Venezia, another marvel to look at. An exquisite building, in all white marble, The Altare della Patria stood on a congested Piazza Venezia square. It amazed me how well the city has kept it’s past preserved and integrated with urban Rome.
It was already 11:30 A.M, when we decided to head towards Vatican City. It’s only then that we realised that if we make to Vatican on time, we might be lucky enough to attend the mass. After all it was Christmas! Without thinking we took the next bus to Vatican and soon we were there, right in the middle of the Christmas Mass at St. Peter’s Square, listening to the address by Pope Benedict XVI. I couldn’t help but think how lucky we were to be at Vatican on that special day. It was an amazing experience, never had I ever even dreamt of attending the Christmas Mass at Vatican. It was surely a special day for me. The mass ended and we went inside the St. Peter’s Basilica. I have no words to describe how exquisite and beautiful it was. Fully aware that we were running out of time, we still ended up spending 2 hours inside. The interior was just that lavish and fabulous. The next time I am in Rome, I am definitely going to reserve a complete day just for Vatican!
Anyhow we left Vatican and walked towards Castel Sant’Angelo. The Golden Hour of Photography had begun and we still had a lot to cover. Finding our way through the congested streets of Rome, we reached The Pantheon. It was like being in Greece and looking at the Acropolis. We didn’t go inside as it too was closed. Our next stop was Fontana di Trevi. Just one word…Awesome. It was so relaxing to sit besides this amazing piece of architecture after a long walk. We spent about 15 minutes at the crowded fountain, made a wish, threw a coin in the fountain and continued on our quest :). Unfortunately we took a wrong turn and ended up walking in the opposite direction. We were supposed to walk towards the Spanish Steps, but instead ended up at the Piazza Venezia, the same place from where we had boarded the bus to Vatican City. At first we thought it was a different place. It looked so amazing and different at night. Soon we realised that we were walking in the wrong direction and turned in the right direction. We ended up walking a lot to reach the Spanish Steps, in between covered some more ruins and an amazing church. The path which we took had led us to the top of Spanish Steps and all we did was climbed down, nothing interesting :(. We were now too tired and our legs were crying for rest. We took a metro back to the Railway Station and had dinner at a nearby McDonalds. By the time we finished dinner, it was already time for the last train to leave for the airport. We took the last train to the airport. Our plan was to spend the night at the airport, just like at Pisa and catch an early morning flight to Copenhagen, via Milan…and that is exactly what we did. Spending night at the airport was not a bad idea and we saved quite a bit.
Ciao Italy. Hej Copenhagen.
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