We can find many things in the Italian culture to bring in France, even if we already have imported the pizzas and pastas! I can talk about the Italian driving license which is like a credit card, very practical, or about the “aperitivos” which are the equivalent of the “happy hours” but instead of paying your drink cheaper, you pay it 8€ or 10€ and have a huge free buffet and you can eat as much as you want! But I won’t, because in this article, I will explore with you the most beautiful thing this country has, but which is unfortunately impossible to move to France: Rome.
Rome isn’t a city like the others; this town has an history, legends, monuments and a huge beauty. So let’s begin with the beginning, the creation of Rome, or the Greco-Roman mythology…
Once upon a time, the Trojan War. The Greeks won and kept Trojan thanks to their cunning stratagem: the Trojan Horse. The legend tells that Aeneas, son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Venus, escaped from this war and fled to Italy, around the Tibre. There, he married Lavinie and had a son, Ascagne, which founded the city of Albe. Many reigns later, a king named Numitor was betrayed by his own brother: Amulus. Amulus also became king of Albe and wanted to be sure to have his children governing instead of him later. He obliged Rhéa-Silvia, Numitor’s daughter, to be a Vesta’s priestess and so not to be married and consequently, not to have children. In this way, Amulus was sure his family will keep the power of Albe. But the God of war, Mars, felt in love with Rhéa-Silvia and she became pregnant of two babies: Romolus and Remus. As Amulus discovered it, he made the two children be abandoned in the Tibre.
But they didn’t die; they get carried away by the river thanks to the God of the river and have been found by a she-wolf. She nourished them until a couple of farmers found them and brought up the two children.
When Numitor met the two boys, he recognized them immediately and together they decided to have their Albe back. Then, Romulus and Remus decided to create a city, but they didn’t agree about the emplacement; Romulus wanted to create the town on the Palatin, Remus on the Aventin. They let the sky decide for them which place was the best and it was Romulus’ one. He drawn there a symbolic line but his brother was very angry to have lost and he crossed the line; Romulus killed him. That’s how the city of Rome was created, in -753 BC. This date is the foundation of the Roman mythology, and also the basis of the roman chronology.
During many years after, Rome became a famous town with famous names like Castor and Pollux (from the Greco mythology), Augustus, Titus, Constantine, Julius Caesar or Michelangelo. But how is it today?? I had the chance to go three days in Rome and this is what you ABSOLUTELY have to visit if you go there.
The Roma Pass
First, you have to go inside the Termini Station, the airport or a tourist site to ask for your “Roma Pass”. It costs only 25€, and you have three days free access to all the public transportation in Rome, the two first visits free, a map of the town and discounts on many other things!!! You can for example visit monuments, museums, galleries and also have discounts for entrances in planetariums, exhibitions, theaters and many other things! This Pass should definitely exist also in France to allow culture access to everyone!
But now, let’s go in Rome…
This monument is one of the most impressive in Rome!!! You just have to take the underground until the station “Colosseo” on line B (blue). When you go out you can’t miss it: it’s just in front of you! A very big monument, with a full history is just there! So don’t waste time and use your Roma Pass to quit the queue and enter this Colosseum to see the European History! Some years ago, there were about 50 000 visitors sitting in this place watching gladiatorial contests and many other shows! When you’re inside, you just have this feeling that you’re into a huge past, that many things happened before and that you’re very lucky to see it! Take your time to go upstairs and have a beautiful panoramic view, then go inside to see the rest of some roman monuments and take pictures!
The Palatine Hill
The Palatine Hill is one of the seven Hills of Rome and it’s the most famous one! There Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf, the city of Rome was built and there are so many things to see even today! After the Colosseum, go to the Roman Forum beginning by the Palatine Hill with the same ticket you used previously for the Colosseum, you will cross the Arch of Constantine and will discover inside the Palatine area old houses (like the Palatine House of the Emperor Augustus) and also relics of the Roman Circus!
The Roman Forum
Here we are: you enter to a magic place. You just have to walk a few meters to discover the Ancient Rome! You will see the Forum, the old market, arches, basilica, temples (Castor and Pollux, Caesar, Saturn, Vesta, Venus and Roma, Romulus…) and believe me, it’s so IMPRESSIVE! Take your time to discover everything and don’t forget your guide to understand what you see! At the end, go to the Capitoline museum to see the statue of the she-wolf, Romulus and Remus (up in the article) and go to the other side to have a panoramic view of the Roman Forum, it’s beautiful!
This monument is currently in renovation so the front of the Pantheon isn’t as beautiful as it could be but when you enter inside (and for free), you discover a huge open-air dome very well decorated! It’s very strange to think that when it’s raining, there is also water inside this monument! Go around the Pantheon and you will discover the tomb of the kings Vittorio Emmanuel II and Umberto I but also the painter Raphael! It’s amazing to see that some church services are still made inside this monument!
The Trevi Fountain
As we say, the best for the end! Take the underground line A (red) and go to the stop Barberini and find the street Via del Tritone. Walk some meters and when you’ll find the street Via Poli, turn on the left! Wait just a few minutes and you will soon hear the sound of the water… Yes, here you are! The Trevi Fountain is just in front of you, impressive, “bellissima” and you just have to sit and admire it! Don’t forget before leaving to go near the fountain, look at the opposite part of it and throw a coin while making a wish, it could be realized
I hope you’ve appreciated this little visit! It’s just a little part of Rome but three days are really not enough to see everything, you need at least a week! Another important thing I have to say to warn you is to be very careful with your stuff! Rome is a crowded town and there are thieves everywhere (unfortunately…) so if you don’t want to have a negative memory from your trip, just take care!! See you next month!!
And for all my colleagues all around the world: it could be a great destination to go together because in fact, it’s not so far from France! I hope everything’s okay for you in your countries!
Sarine El Youssoufi