The Eternal City in the winter. Quite cold, 4°C at daytime. Colder than we expected. Advantage: Not overcrowded by tourists. Still, you can meet thousands of visitors from all over the world here.
We have our accommodation in a quiet side road, Via Urbana, ten minutes walk from Roma Termini, Rome’s main railway station.
Although very central, there is a small town atmosphere in the narrow street lined with small handicraft boutiques. You can stroll around without hassle and watch the artists through the shop windows while they are creating their jewellery, design wallpaper, leather belt, creative home décor and the like, all the nice things which make your life more adorable. In between the eco greengrocer offering all kind of kitchen herbs as potted plants.
Contemporary Rome is modern, vibrant and fashionable like other European metropolises. It is pleasant to walk around and explore the city. Mind the restaurants at tourist hot spots. You pay more for not necessarily better food.
Majestic and magnificent: St. Peter’s Basilica
The Vatican Museums: not less impressive. Plan plenty of time to enjoy both basilica and the museums, at least one day for each. They are adjacent to each others but have different entrances.
It is advisable to pre-book the museum ticket on the internet and pay by credit card. So you can bypass the long queue at the entrance.
After the museums on the rainy days we take the train to Ostia antica, an hour from Roma Termini to the west of Rome (direction “Lido”). It is a large archaeological site and the former seaport of ancient Rome. Due to silting it lies now 3 km from the sea. Few minutes walk from the railway station and well signposted, Ostia antica is worth half a day in fresh air on a sunny day.
A week in Rome is quickly gone. We return home revived and with lots of impressions.