Our first ever trip to Italy was way back in 2007 when we headed to the Eternal City – Rome.
Catching the bus to the city from the airport I did wonder what we were going to, so much graffiti covering shop blinds and walls, it seemed more like a ghetto than a historic, beautiful city.
It was a theme that would reoccur every time we visited Italy, spraypainted scrawl across shops, businesses, railway sidings and disused factories.
Strange that so much wanton vandalism sits cheek by jowl with such wonderful ancient architecture and history.
We stayed at the Antica Locanda, a cute little B and B just around the corner from the Colosseum. Our room had a gorgeous tiled and vaulted ceiling and antique furniture.
Check it out here: http://www.antica-locanda.com/
First stop, obviously the Colosseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre – it’s the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.
Close by is the Roman Forum – a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city.
It was the centre of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiator matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs.
Here it is in all its glory as the sun starts to set over the ruins of the stately buildings.
That’s enough history for now. Next up the Vatican Museum and the beautiful Sistine Chapel.