Monday, July 4, 2016

The city that inspired me to travel...

Have you ever been inspired by a place?
If you get an opportunity to travel to one place, what is the place that you would choose?
Before coming to Europe, my answer to this question was ‘Rome’. In 2005, I read a novel named ‘Angels and Demons’ by Dan Brown. His description of Rome and Vatican excited me so much that I frequently dreamt of roaming in the roads of Rome and churches of Vatican. Finally, the day has come to live my unfulfilled travel dream through my third trip to Rome. I have spent many days reading about the history, economy and culture of Italy and Rome.

    After landing in ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ airport, I took a metro to the Roma Termini (Central) and dumped my backpack in a hostel. In no time, my eyes, feet and heart started searching for an engineering marvel called ‘Colosseum’. When I lifted my head up to see the Colosseum, all I can remember is, a wave of energy that passed from my brain to my body. If the concept of reincarnation exists, I might be a Roman solider or someone who died in the arena fighting with a lion or a gargantuan foreign creature. Ah! How many human generations has it seen since B.C ? How many exotic wild animals visited this place? How many warriors and animals died in this arena fighting for their life? Sometimes, I feel that history is not just about kingdoms and wars, but about the feelings of human beings across various cultures. I missed a trip to dungeons and it calls for another trip to Rome J

    On the second day, I went to Vatican on foot amidst stunning statues and churches with exceptional architecture. A view of St. Peter’s Basilica thwarted my walk and I found myself to be in the middle of St Peter’s square. The great ‘Michelangelo’ was one of the painters of this masterpiece, St Peter’s Basilica from the 16th century! The top of St Peter’s Basilica’s takes you to one of the most stunning views in the world. For the first time in my life, I admired art after visiting Vatican Museums. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of frescoes especially ‘The Last Judgement’ and ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo.

    On the third day, I visited all the Museums in Rome and Vatican to ensure that I get the feel of the churches described in ‘Angels and Demons’ novel. Each church is decorated in a unique fashion and has a history of its own. I made sure that I read the history of each church in Wikipedia upon visiting it. Ensure that you satiate your taste buds with Italian food such as Pizza, pasta and lasagna. Of course, your trip will not be complete without a scoop of Italian gelato. My best moment of the trip was to watch a few Europeans dressed in saris and dhotis dancing to the tunes of Hindi songs at Spanish square. Rome is a visual feast to anyone and will really enjoy more if one reads the history before a visit.

Major tourist attractions in Rome are:

Trevi Fountain
St Peter's Basilica
St Peter's square
Vatican Museums
Sistine Chapel
Roman forum
Piazza Navona
Spanish steps

TIP: Free entry to all the attractions in Rome and Pompei on every first Sunday of the month. Buy a 3-day or 4-day ROMA pass to save money.

No comments: