If you’ve been to Rome or at least know of its grandeur, then I’m sure you’re asking yourself how this title is even possible because indeed, 24 hours are not enough to even scratch the surface of Rome and its hidden gems.
But since I only had 24 hours for this visit, I simply had to make the most of it!
Before embarking on my Roman adventure, I had spent a splendid week with my boys at Argentario Osa Village in Talamone, Tuscany. From Talamone I drove to Albinia where I took a direct train to Roma Termini station. The short trip took approximately two hours.
I checked into Le M apartment, which was strategically located a short walking distance away from the train station.
After checking in and freshening up, I was ready to bask in Italy’s Eternal City and all its ancient glory. Because of the time constraints, my itchy feet and wanderlust had to be crafty enough to make my short trip an unforgettable one. Rome is a city of visible history—its every nook and cranny had a colorful story to tell—so exploring by foot seemed to be the best way to take it all in.
I first saw the Pantheon in the movie Angels and Demons in 2009. But seeing it up close and personal for the first time did not compare to the cinematic experience. The giant dome was an absolutely breathtaking and surreal sight. I spent some time just staring at it in awe, admiring its architectural splendor and elegance.
As I made my way in, there was an orchestra playing, combined with complete silence. It felt special standing inside what was once “The Temple of All Gods”. The Roman Pantheon was originally built as a temple but now it is a church so silence was to be observed like you would expect in any other sacred place.
I gazed up and my eyes met the famous Pantheon oculus that let the light into the place. At that moment, it dawned on me why it also allowed those in the temple contemplate the heavens.
I wanted to linger at the Pantheon but I still had so much Rome to see and so little time, so I reluctantly wove my way back through the thick crowds and to the busy streets with Lisa St. Aubin de Teran words playing in my head, “Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; This is my station.”
FONTANA DI TREVIDid you know that approximately €3,000 is thrown into Fontana Di Trevi every day as visitors follow the tradition of throwing coins over their shoulders and into the fountain? It’s believed that if you toss one coin, you’ll return to Rome someday. If you toss two coins, you’ll fall in love with an attractive Italian. And if you toss three coins, you’ll marry the person that you met.
As featured in some of iconic movies like Roman Holiday (1953) and La Dolce Vita (1960), Fontana di Trevi is indeed a masterpiece and is one of the most beautiful baroque fountains I’ve ever seen.
PIAZZA DI SPAGNA
At the foot of the Spanish Steps lies the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square), named after the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See. The 135 beaming steps take you from Piazza di Spagna to the beautiful French church Chiesa Della Trinita Demi Monti.
Piazza di Spagna is visually pleasing to the eyes and is a magnet for visitors. It’s the perfect spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Roman busy streets with a gelato in hand as you watch people milling about.
Lucky for me, I found a kind stranger who was willing to take this video.
I saved the best for the last: the Colloseum, the gem of Rome, the iconic and largest amphitheater in the world that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. To save time and skip the crazy queues, I suggest you buy tickets online prior to your visit.
I didn’t get the chance to go in because of limited time and the long queue. The scorching 40 degrees heat wasn’t persuasive either, so instead, I settled for a table and a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio with a view of Colloseum.
SPAGHETTI A LA CARBONARA
Carbonara is a typical Roman dish and where better to taste the queen of all pasta dishes than in Rome. (I imagine that if pasta had genders, carbonara would definitely be female, that’s why I called it queen.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework before going to Rome so I’m not sure if what I had was the best carbonara.
What my cursory research revealed is that L’Arcangelo restaurant on via G. G. Belli 59 is among the most highly recommended places for a plate of authentic and delicious Roman carbonara. The chef, Arcangelo Dandini is apparently one of the masters of the dish. I’m curious, too, so in case any of you lovely readers get to the restaurant before I do or if any of you have been there already, please share your honest opinions.
My delightful 24 hours in Rome was short but absolutely sweet. My itchy feet were sore from all the walking that I did but my heart ended up full with the beauty I got to experience. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day so it’s definitely not possible to enjoy everything in it for only 24 hours. What I was able to cover was only the tip of the iceberg and I can’t wait to go back and uncover more.
On my way to Florence, scrolling through photos, I found myself reflecting on all the things I had learned about Rome prior to visiting. All the movies I had seen that featured Rome. All the books I had read. Beautiful travel tales that friends had shared. They all came alive as I basked in the Roman sun. Rome is indeed a magnificent city but nothing I had read or seen or been told could compare to what I had experienced.
German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “…Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.” I totally concur.
Lora by Lora.