Although Rome is a very romantic city, I decided to take the more traditional tourist route after visiting Paris not too long ago. It’s a shame that some of the most beautiful monuments and attractions have become a hotbed for international tourists like myself, because the crowds of people prevent you from truly basking in the wonderful ambiance that is Italy. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from witnessing some of the most influential and historical attractions on Earth, and let me tell you, I am sure glad I didn’t. Obviously, there is way too much to see in Rome for me to tell you about everything I did on my trip, so I will simply highlight my most memorable moments.
First, a little history lesson on the Roman Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Despite being built way back in AD 80, it is still the largest amphitheatre ever built. Constructed in a unique oval shape, it is primarily built of concrete and sand. It was a place of entertainment, where royalty and peasants could gather to enjoy some of the greatest athletes of their time fight to the death in gladiator tournaments. My trip was full of mixed emotions. On one hand, it was truly one of the most magnificent structures I had ever seen. On the other hand, it was so crowded that it was nearly impossible to truly enjoy my experience. Regardless, the unaltered infrastructure provided a glimpse of the past, something that I relish in as traveler.
I am not a particularly religious person, but the Vatican is a must-see when in Rome. For those of you who may not know, Vatican City is its own city-state located in the middle of Rome, Italy. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Pope. Of course, this place was extremely packed as well, but for good reason. It was probably the most majestic city I’ve ever visited; not to mention, it included my favorite part of the entire trip, the Sistine Chapel. It may seem cliché to rave about Michelangelo’s masterpiece, but it truly is a marvel to behold. I strongly suggest making your way to the Vatican if you are an art enthusiast of any sort, because it is unlike any mural you’ve ever seen.
The Pantheon is another mesmerizing and uniquely-designed building located in Rome. It is also a religious site that was first a temple but is now a church. The massive pillars standing in front of the building are a site to behold, but once I entered the former temple, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was lucky enough to be inside while the sun was shining through the gorgeous roof. It is actually believed that the Pantheon could’ve been designed as a giant sundial, but there has never been any proof to support the theory. Needless to say, it was one of the coolest building I’ve ever has the pleasure of exploring.