Stage Two: Tokyo to Rome

9927 Rome Pantheon
9927 Rome Pantheon

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Artwork in the VaticanFrom point to point it took us twenty four hours to get from Tokyo to Rome. We had to go via Paris which inevitably made the journey longer.

Arriving at our hotel late at night we were all too tired to wander too far. The next day everyone was up bright and early after a hearty complimentary breakfast at the Regno Hotel on Via Del Corso, one of the major streets of Rome..

Discovering Rome

Rome is a magical city and it is hard to cram everything into three full days. As our daughter from Brisbane had never been to Rome before, it was important for her to see all the major sites such as the Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, the Coliseum, the Forum, and the Pantheon.

Exterior of the PantheonFor me, the Pantheon is very special and it always moves me to tears. Looking around Rome and walking the streets of such an ancient city makes you feel very humble. Just near our hotel my husband and I found a lovely little church just tucked away in a back street. The frescos were incredibly beautiful. Everywhere you looked the whole feeling of being in such a beautiful place was so soul-lifting and filled me with an inner peace.

Shopping in Rome

The shopping in Rome is to die for the elegant and the clothing is just wonderful; beautifully designed and made. Lots of yellow and blue seemed to be in vogue this summer.

I loved all the little stalls dotted all over the city and there were plenty of bargains to be found. Overall we didn’t think food was too expensive and we didn’t pay any more than New Zealand prices to dine out.

On our last day we visited the Borghese Gardens. These were set in park like surroundings and we travelled in a little mini train around the park. It is the 2nd largest public garden in Rome. It was started in 1605 by the Cardinal Scipione Borghese who was the nephew of Pope Paul V. It was remodelled in the English garden style in the nineteenth century.

Advice For First Timers

For first time tourists, I strongly advise using the red hop-on, hop-off bus. You can do a few circuits just taking in the city, then you can get off at the stops that interest you most. The cost works out to be much cheaper than getting taxis everywhere. So easy!

We all felt sad to be leaving Rome and the time went by all too quickly but it was time to pack up and leave for Lucca where our real holiday for the next month with begin…

By Kay Rayner