Saturday, September 6, 2008

Top Ten Travel Wonders of Rome - Part 1 (Rank 8-10)

Although a modern, busy and lively capital city, wandering the streets of Rome is akin to exploring a museum of travel wonders with 3,000 years of history. Around every corner, you’ll discover historic monuments, elegant architecture, art treasures, buzzing piazzas, superb food and timeless churches and palaces. Encapsulated within Rome, the Vatican is the home and soul of the Catholic Church. Walk the Eternal City and enjoy the chaos, the romance, the liveliness and the history which forms this alluring city.

While there are numerous treasures in this chaotic and warm city, I believe that the top ten wonders of Rome are as follows, presented in three separate postings.

10. Trevi Fountain

At one end of a small piazza drowning in people throwing coins with gay abandon over their shoulders is the famous Trevi Fountain and sculpture of Neptune riding in his chariot. While it only takes a few minutes to battle the crowds and enjoy this sight, custom dictates that the throwing of the coin will ensure that you return to Rome. Why take a chance of not returning to this majestic city? Several thousand Euros are gathered each night and donated to worthy Roman causes.

9. Tivoli Gardens and Villa D’Este

To escape the frantic pace of Rome, little could be more refreshing than spending a few hours in this garden wonderland. Containing over five hundred fountains, cascades and water pools, this beautifully designed garden lies several kilometres from the centre of Rome. While the villa isn’t very exciting, highlights such as the glorious garden boulevard of a Hundred Fountains earns its entry into Rome’s Top Ten. For a more central park without the fountains but including a superb sculpture and art museum, visit Villa Borghese.

8. Spanish Stairs (Scalinatta della Trinità del Monti)

One of Rome’s places to be seen, this majestic wide staircase rises from the Piazza di Spagna to the distinctive rose-pink twin-towered Trinità del Monti church. The top of the stairs offers a great vista of Rome. Often decorated with colourful flowers, people are actively discouraged from sitting on the stairs and eating there is strictly forbidden. In the area are some of the fanciest and most elegant shopping boutiques and fashionable cafes, though whatever your wishes, it is simply a lively and energetic area to visit.

Part Two reveals the next four travel wonders of Rome.

Other Top Ten Posts
South America


Suzanne Perazzini said...

I'm enjoying this and can't wait for the next episode.

Cecil Lee said...

Hi Mark, I believe you have a really hard time in deciding which would be the top 10 travel wonders of Rome as there are lot more than that. I'm looking forward to see which are the other 7 as I thought Trevi fountain should be more higher ranked... :) (That's only for me... he..he..). Cheers!

Nomadic Matt said...

great photos. when were the taken? they seem pre digital...

I love those places. the spanish steps is a great place to people watch the tourists.

Mark H said...

@suzanne: Thank you.

@cecil: A bit tricky to sort some of the top ten but #1 and #2 were easy for me. The Trevi Fountain was lucky to make the cut - it is just that I stayed only a few metres away from it and walked passed it every day, that it grew on me a little.

@nomadicmatt: All pre-digital and faithfully scanned in. All photos are from trips in either 1996 or 2004 (except Spanish Steps from 1989). I only went digital sometime in 2005, which makes blogs easier. I really liked the Spanish Steps and also Piazza Navona for the people-watching as well.

eunice said...

I enjoy reading your articles! Rome is my favourite city in Europe. Out of the three sites, I didn't go to Tivoli Gardens and Villa D’Este. We were only in Rome for three days.

Heading to your next post now!

Mark H said...

@eunice: Sounds a busy trip. You probably saw lots of other parts of Rome too and Tivoli Gardens is a bit of a journey out of Rome. There are some other fabulous churches in Rome with superb history and rich decoration.

claire said...

nice blog!
to those who may be inspired by it to travel to Rome I suggest to start planning their trip on vacation rentals in rome where you will find rooms and apartments all over town and all with free wi-fi...ciao!

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