Italy - Rome, Florence and 2019's finalists
In April 2019, in my last year of high school, I had the opportunity to visit Rome, Vatican City, and Florence with classmates and teachers. It's something we'll keep for life, I have no doubt about that because it was phenomenal! Thank you all for making this trip so special!
Flight Ryanair - Rome Ciampino Airport
We left Lisbon very early towards Ciampino airport in Rome. After landing we went straight to the hotel (Hotel Ibis Styles Roma Art Noba) where we would stay for the next three nights. A simple hotel, with modern decor, which fully complied with the intended, as it was relatively close to public transport that allowed us to travel easily to the city center.
Checked in, we begin the adventure around the city. We move to the Libia metro station and continue to Piazza del Popolo.
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo is still one of the most emblematic squares in the Italian capital. In the center, it features the third tallest Egyptian obelisk in Rome, about 24 meters high. This one will have been looted at the time when the Roman Empire took possession of Egypt. Thus, around the year 10 BC, the Flaminio obelisk was brought to Italy, at the behest of Emperor Augustus, and placed in the center of this square.
Walking through the streets next to the square, it is possible to find and appreciate delicious details in practically all the buildings that mostly have orange tones. A picturesque setting.
Going up one side of the square, you can reach Terrazza del Pincio, from where you can enjoy a phenomenal view of Piazza del Popolo and St. Peter's Basilica, as well as the Gianicolo Hill. Undoubtedly one of the hot spots in this city.
It is still possible to find two large basilicas around the square, both facing Porta del Popolo, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto, built between 1662 and 1679, and the Basilica of Santa Maria dei Miracoli built between 1675 and 1681.
After many photos and a short stop for lunch, we continue along via del Babuino, the street immediately to the left of Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto towards Piazza di Spagna.
Piazza di Spagna
After a pleasant walk between historic buildings, we finally arrive at Piazza di Spagna, known until the 17th century as Piazza di Francia. There you can see one of the most emblematic stairs in the city of Rome that goes up to the Santissima Trinità dei Monti church.
Then we continue our walk along via dei Condotti, a street full of top-brand stores.
Fontana di Trevi
The next stop was the famous Trevi Fountain. Being the tallest and most imposing in Rome, it is leaning against one of the facades of Palazzo Poli. However, as it is not a very large place, there is a large concentration of tourists and locals, so it is a place where you need to be more careful with your goods.
We ended the day walking through the illuminated streets of the city of Rome...
After so much walking through the historic streets of the "eternal" city, the end of the day was approaching. It was time to charge "batteries" for the next day.
On the second day, we started by visiting the Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic Church. This walled enclave inside the city of Rome is considered the smallest country in the world.
It is worth visiting the Vatican Museums and appreciating the collection of fantastic works of art created over the centuries.
We also visited two of the most iconic places in the Vatican. The Sistine Chapel, inspired by Solomon's temple and famous for its Renaissance frescoes, the most famous of which is The Creation of Adam, painted by Michelangelo, and St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic place of worship in the world. This basilica took about 120 years to build, having been inaugurated in 1626.
After visiting the smallest state in the world, we're back to exploring Rome!
We had the opportunity to take very interesting shots of the different bridges that cross the Tiber River. On this route, we can contemplate, even from the outside, Sant'Angelo Castle, whose primitive structure dates back to the year 135.
The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater is considered one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. This was a place where different types of shows took place, from fights between gladiators to theatrical ceremonies related to themes of the time. Even the spectators were divided according to their social classes...
The Coliseum would have the capacity for between 50 and 80 thousand people and the end of its construction dates back to the year 79. This imposing marble construction has gaps in several parts, with even large pieces disappearing that were used for the construction of other buildings, such as St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
Always in a good mood!
Palatine Hill and Roman Forum
Colosseum seen, we continue to the Palatine Hill, the most central hill in Rome, and to the Roman Forum (old city center). We pass through several administrative and religious places during this journey.
The Roman Forum was for many years the commercial and administrative center of the city, making it one of the most important places in the Roman Empire.
Nothing better to end the day than a group dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Rome!
The third day started early and was dedicated to visiting the city of Florence. We left Rome quite early and took the bus to our destination.
Considered the cradle of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is a kind of postcard where art combines lines and colors in perfect harmony. We were gifted with incredible landscapes from the moment we arrived, which fully justified the visit.
Walking through the streets of this city, I found the details of the windows, the roofs, and the colors that embellish all the buildings surprising.
Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore
The cathedral of Florence, one of the most famous buildings in this city, was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and its construction ended in 1436. Despite not having visited its interior, due to the immense queues that existed in the place, it was worth contemplating its exterior facades.
Perhaps the most iconic landmark in Florence is the Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River. Currently repelled by shops and tourists, this bridge has always been a place where merchants traded their products. According to historians, this bridge was destroyed in the floods that devastated Florence in 1333, and rebuilt in 1345.
Located in Piazza della Signoria, the "Old Palace" consists of an ancient palace that over the centuries was expanded until it reached the quadrangular shape that characterizes it today. This imposing building dates back to the 14th century and its construction was intended to house the administrative body of Florence.
There are moments that we will never forget.
At the end of another fantastic day, we return to Rome and have dinner at the hotel. In the end, we went out for a drink. LOL
The last day was reserved for enjoying various monuments in the center of Rome.
Monument to Vítor Emanuel II
The first king of (unified) Italy, Vítor Emanuel II, had this monument built in his honor after his death. It is worth visiting, going up to the top and taking some pictures of the city from the top.
From there we started a new adventure through the picturesque streets in orange tones of the city of the 7 hills, just like Lisbon!
On this route we pass by the Pantheon, a building that is almost 2000 years old...
Another interesting point of passage was Piazza Navona, where the baroque church Sant'Agnese in Agone is also located. These are two important landmarks of the city that deserve to be visited.
The friendship was always something that was present!
Campo de' Fiori
A place of commerce for many centuries, there is a street market in this square with flowers, fruits and other horticultural products.
There is still a statue here in honor of the philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was executed there in 1600 for defending, like Galileo Galilei, that the Earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around.
After 4 days filled with a very good mood and many kilometers walked, it was time to return, and end an unforgettable experience. Thank you 12th grade 2018-2019!