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Trip Report 24 hours in Rome for the essentials

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Given that I arrived at night @ the Termini and left in the morning from Fiumicino two days later – technically I had just one full day to run through the eternal city on this trip (and yeah, right, plus the Vatican). The following is my crazy itinerary in case the same “one-day” situation dawn on you one day.

Welcome to check and leave comments for full itinerary, photos and tips - :)

8:00 AM
There I saw three famous locations – the Triton Fountain, the Barberini Palace and the Fountain of Bees, and then headed north along the Via Sistina to the Trinità dei Monti – the church located on top of the Spanish steps.
I looked down the Spanish steps and there was a great sight of Rome’s old city. After I ran the steps and took some pictures, I continued my walking tour up north along Via del Babuino and arrived @ Santa Maria del Miracoli and Santa Maria di Montesanto at the end of the road.

9:00 AM
The other side of the plaza stood the Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo. If you are a fan of the book “Angels and Demons” (I am), you would remember the Chigi Chapel in the church, exactly where the sculpture of Habakkuk and the angel was, and pointing out the path of Illuminati.
Anyway, I walked fast (it was run run) and luckily I had some time to spare. There was a viewpoint up the hill right behind the Fountain (Fontana della Dea di Roma, the viale Gabriele DÁnnunzio). I saw a GREAT panoramic view of the Roman skyline all the way to the Giant Dome of Saint Peter’s Cathedral.

10:00 AM
Coming back down in amazement, I took the metro and I had an appointment with the Vatican.  Back then I had to use facsimile for a guided tour reservation, but now, you could do it online.
I had to say for all the art museums I visited, the Vatican Museum (Musei Vaticani) was still the most core-shakingly impressive to me. Paying a little bit more paid-off well as the tour guide was definitely knowledgeable (and cool, not as bubbly), and she made the walk through much easier and more pleasant. I would never forget how I gasped the second I entered the Gallery of Maps. How insanely beautiful as EVERY corner of the corridor is painted, and my eyes just didn’t know which way to go.
The tour was around 2 hours; I moved on to the Sistine Chapel, where I saw the Michelangelo's frescoes - The creation of Adam. Once I went out of the exit, I found myself @ the Saint Peter’s Square already.

1:30 PM
After mailing postcards in the Vatican post office, taking photos of the Swiss Guards and their flamboyant uniforms, and having a quick lunch @ the food cart nearby the square. It’s about time to head inside the giant architecture – the Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was impressive. I had the same gasp as the architecture was incredibly huge. Every corner there is a sculpture, and every corner there is an art. My heading was spinning at all angles I was worried that I broke my neck. Of course, there were thousands of artworks that worth admirations, and I would probably go back to Rome (you will know how later) to appreciate them one by one.

2:45 PM
If you have a few more days in the city, I would definitely recommend you to purchase a Roma Pass. It gives you free access to many local museums and it saves you time looking for queues and lining in it. Leaving the Saint Peter’s Basilica, I saw the Castel Sant’ Angelo. I just took a few pictures of the exterior and walked through the Ponte Sant’ Angelo across the Tevere River. Piazza Navona is only 15 minutes away. In the centre of the Piazza was the Fountain of the four Rivers with Egyptian obelisk (yet another key location of the story Angels and Demons), and I enjoyed some snacks and a cup of coffee in the nearby cafes and walked around the shops.

3:45 PM
Exiting the Piazza Navona and I continued my walk to the Pantheon – world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. It looks different with the rest of the Roman churches as it’s much older in the Roman Empire’s era. It’s one of the most ancient religious worship place back in the 7th century.
Entry is free, and take the tour around the structure and I headed to the Trevi Fountain. However, in the afternoon the fountain was so crowded I had to squeeze myself just to get to the edge of the pool. Legend has it, throw a coin into the fountain over your shoulder will guarantee your return to Rome. I did, and I did. :)

4:45 PM
I knew I had no chance going into the Colosseum; Walked through the Roman Forum. I didn’t waste any sunlight and headed south from the Trevi Fountain afterwards. On the way to the Colosseum before getting to the Via del Fori Imperiali, I saw the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, at the Piazza Venezia. It is a monument, a museum, and a viewing terrace, but it’s beautiful and famous (and convenient) – you gotta look at it.

So I supposed at 6:30 PM (Roman Forum closes) it’s time to end the 10-hour craziness and look for a cutesy, sweet place for dinner and rest your legs.

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