first impressions of rome trevi fountain

First Impressions of Rome: History and Art

My first trip to Europe was in 2008 and the destination was Italy. Rome was the first port of entry and the Eternal City made such an impression on me that, no matter how beautiful the other European cities that I had discovered in subsequent trips, Rome would always be my favourite.

Why was Rome my all-time favourite European city?

  • Ancient history: I was surrounded by ancient history everywhere in Rome and I marvelled at their inventions and formidable achievements, for the Roman civilisation was one of the world’s greatest and left a significant impact on today’s architecture, engineering, and politics.
  • Beautiful art: There are beautiful examples of art and culture everywhere in Rome. I looked up at paintings and sculptures, so in awe of my surroundings that I had tripped on pews in churches and kerbstones on the streets. My sister had to caution me to watch where I was going!

We wished we had more time to experience Rome at a leisurely pace but my sister and I were there for only two days on a guided tour, thus our itinerary was quite rushed.

The Eternal City is packed with many things to see, here are the few places that we had visited:

  • St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square

The largest of its kind in the world — St. Peter’s Basilica — is situated in the smallest state in the world, the Vatican. The centre of the Catholic world, St. Peter’s Basilica is the most notable building in the Vatican City. Its magnificent dome was designed by Michelangelo.

Situated in front of St. Peter’s Basilica is an expansive plaza called St. Peter’s Square. Designed by Bernini, St. Peter’s Square is bordered on two sides by semicircular colonnades, on top of which are 140 statues depicting popes, martyrs, saints and religious figures. Approximately half a million people fill up the square during special occasions such as Easter or the election of a new pope.

*Read: Travel Guide to Fatima, Portugal – The Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1917

first impressions of rome st. peter's basilica and st. peter's square
St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square
  • Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museum is one of the must-see attractions in Rome, notably for the impressive art collection that was amassed by several popes throughout the course of history. For ticket information, opening hours, and the latest events, visit the official website. 

first impressions of rome vatican museum image via flickr by andy montgomery
Vatican Museum. Image via Flickr by Andy Montgomery.
  • Trevi Fountain

No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the famous Trevi Fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in the city. It is also a belief that if one throws a coin into the fountain, one is ensured a return to Rome.

first impressions of rome trevi fountain
Trevi Fountain
  • Roman Forum

What makes this place amazing? The wonders of ancient Rome right in the heart of the city. The Roman Forum of temples, arches. and basilicas was formerly the ceremonial, political, social, and business centre of ancient Rome. And just a stone’s throw away is the spectacular gladiatorial amphitheater, the Colosseum.

*Read: Ancient Cities of Jerash and Amman Citadel

first impressions of rome roman forum ancient ruins
Roman Forum

Despite the short stay, I didn’t regret this first trip to Rome one bit. Rome made such an impression on me that I had to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain because I wanted to return to the Eternal City again — and hopefully very soon!

*****

Are you planning a trip to Rome? If so, save $30 when you book your accommodation here.

*****

first impressions of rome katpegimana

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*Linking with #Citytripping, #FarawayFiles, #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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33 comments

  1. Rome will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first city we visited after immigrating from Romania and I’ll never forget that feeling of freedom I felt when we first saw what the “free world” looks like. Beautiful pictures! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  2. You nailed it, Kat – We love Rome for the very same reasons! Being big fans of Renaissance Art and Medieval history, Rome is our hot spot. We could spend days in the Vatican Museum alone – followed by nights at Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps, or our favorite Piazza Navona. You’ve got us longing for another trip! (Not hard to too, actually. 😉 Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  3. I’ve been to Rome twice and felt the same awe both times I visited! Would love to return to visit again and take my husband! I could easily just spend a week there! There’s so much to see and do! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  4. Rome is my favorite city too. I really want to go back especially since my husband hasn’t been. The other thing I love about Rome is the food (and wine). Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. I loved Rome the first time we visited. It went straight to my top three (after London and Paris). sadly the next time we went back it was sooooo crowded and hot. Definitely a place to visit off season!

  6. Oh I love Rome! Although when we were there it was half-term break for most of Europe and the Vatican Museum was just packed with throngs and masses – if you can try to NOT visit during school breaks! You saw a ton in two days! It would be a perfect place to take your time and spend a week slowly exploring like you said. Thank you for sharing what you loved in Rome for #FarawayFiles.

    1. Oh I agree, school holidays and the summer season are not the best time to visit the popular tourist spots in Rome. I had experienced that in Paris a couple of years ago, never again do I want to go through that again! I do want to take it slow the next time I visit Rome 🙂

  7. Rome is one of my all time fave cities, for the same reasons you love it too. I just love being surrounded by so much ancient history and beauty. Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

  8. You can’t beat it can you – it’s my favourite city too, I would go back in a heart beat any time (and we often do!) and I do fancy maybe attempting to live there for a bit one day too, I don’t think you’d ever get bored! #farawayflies

    1. Hi Alex, as I respond to the comments about this post, it’s inspiring me to consider Rome for my next holiday, lol! It’s true about Rome, you can never get enough of the city 🙂

  9. I loved Rome more than I thought I would. Before I went I thought it might have been overrated, but I understood people’s love for this city after I got to see it for myself. It’s truly a beautiful city with amazing buildings on ever corner! I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and I’m still hoping that I find my way back there!

    1. Yeah, Rome is special, I guess in spite of the tourist crowds. Paris was disappointing for me – the movies made the city so romantic that when I got there, I found the whole thing overrated, haha!

  10. Our first trip to Rome is just over a week away and I am so so excited! Although we are there for 5 days, I am already fretting about not having enough to see everything I want to see. A stop at the Trevi Fountain to toss those coins is a must, for I MUST return someday. That I know already! 😉 #farawayfiles

    1. Hi Beth, I hope you’re enjoying Rome right now, as I write this reply to you 🙂 Many people who have been to Rome several times mentioned that it’s impossible to cover Rome in a just a short time because there’s so much to explore. But I hope that you experience as much as you can on your trip!

  11. It is such an astonishing city – I’ve visited a couple of times, but still feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface despite exploring art, churches, historic sites and wandering endlessly. It definitely captures your imagination. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  12. My hubby grew up in Rome and still has close family there, so we find ourselves in the city quite often. Our first trip there (when he was still just a boyfriend) was a whirlwind of seeing all the sights and attractions and not remembering a single thing when we left. Haha. There was so much, it was totally overwhelming. It’s only now after 6 visits that I’m really starting to understand the different points in the city… and yes, it’ll always be a favourite for me too. #citytripping

    1. Yeah, there’s A LOT to see in Rome. That’s amazing that you get the chance to visit Rome quite often because this gives you the opportunity to discover places that only locals go and not many tourists.

  13. Did you know that all the money thrown into the Trevi Fountain is donated every day? I always throw one in when I visit! But it’s been 10+ years already since my last visit! I better return soon! #CityTripping

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