I received a swap for my Warsaw for someone’s Rome which I couldn’t accept quick enough. It was a 9:30am departure out of Dubai with 5 hours and 45 minutes over to Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino International Airport. Landing just after 1:30pm we made our way across to the hotel and after checking in, I changed and took the 4pm shuttle into the city.
I was heading in the direction of The Vatican. Being the worlds smallest country at 0.44km2 it would make its country 65 for me, and from the point of drop off, it was a lovely 35 minutes river side walk towards The Vatican.
The Vatican City is an independent state located within the city of Rome. With an area of 44 hectares, and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population. However, formally it is not sovereign, with sovereignty being held by the Holy See.
Annoyingly when I arrived, the sunshine was behind the basilica, which made for bad pictures. I made the best of what I could before I bought a little shawl to cover my shoulders and paid the €10 to take the elevator up to the dome of the basilica.
Despite it being summer and a gorgeous day at a lovely 29 degrees C, I only had to wait a few minutes before the lift was ready to take me up. Usually the queues are quite excessive!
Up close and personal in the dome the mosaic tiling was beautiful and you could wander around the outskirts whilst taking in the view of the basilica below. For safety there was fencing up which prevented good photos, but I made the best of what I could.
You could then continue up to going on top of the dome through some incredibly narrow and windy steep steps. It was actually really tiring and I felt so claustrophobic. I was by myself so I had no one to psych me up for it, but I’m so glad I powered on through as the view at the top was so worth it.
St Peters Basilica is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.
Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter’s is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. It has been described as “holding a unique position in the Christian world” and as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom”.
I then headed back down to take a wander around the inside of this beautiful church.
I was feeling hungry now and decided to walk towards the Trevi Fountain in search of a restaurant with outdoor seating that was quite busy. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a restaurant that no one else is in! I actually made it to the Trevi Fountain before I found a restaurant so I stopped for a photo opportunity in and amongst the huge crowds.
So much walking I was craving a beverage and I walked in the direction of the Colosseum before I stopped for food and drinks. I ordered an Aperol Spritz (when in Italy) whilst I waited for my food.
I’d ordered bruschetta and seafood tagliatelle. The food was incredible and the service impeccable, and I got chatting to an American couple sat across from me who got engaged! So the congratulations were in order.
A short walk now across to the Colosseum and it was lit up as the sun began to set. I’d not seen it like this before and it looked gorgeous, but sadly no time to enter as I had to get back to the hotel so that I could pass out.
I was running on 3 hours sleep and I’d walked 14km around Roma! A great visit to this beautiful city, I’d forgotten its rustic charm after my last visit 2 years ago and it was nice to fall in love with it all over again.
My reserve month is now underway, I’m on home standby tonight so fingers crossed for a nice layover somewhere! Please be good to me roster gods!