After completing mechanical engineering at McMaster University, Canada, four of my roommates and I went on a month long Euro-trip covering Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and Germany. Since we all wanted to have a real backpacking experience, we booked best possible hostels, apartments and rental cars to cover as much of Europe as we possibly could.
After relaxing on sunny beaches of Barcelona, Spain, we travelled through Italy. Besides enjoying delicious pizzas, pastas and countless plates of tiramisu, we drove across Italy and explored Rome, Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre and Lake Como.
On our very first day in Rome, we took a walking tour of the city and explored Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum and the Coliseum. Our tour started form the vibrant Spanish Steps. Hundreds of tourists and locals were simply sitting on the steps and enjoying the energy of Rome. You can just sit there for an entire day and watch the world go by.
After learning about the historic significance of the massive staircase, we continued our tour towards the Coliseum through Trevi Fountain. Built in 19 BC, Fontana di Trevi, is situated at the the junction of three ancient roads. Besides stunning sculptures, the artistic fountain is also famous for its “Make a wish” ritual which includes tossing a coin over your left shoulder in the fountain. They say if you stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin with your right hand in the fountain, you will surely come back to Rome.
From Trevi Fountain, we walked to the Roman Forum where each scattered stone remain has its unique story to share. Our guide showed us pictures of the current Roman Forum and compared the remains with illustrations of what the Forum might have looked like in ancient times. From the illustrations, we can clearly visualize how the Forum must have been a significant part of day to day lives of ancient Romans. Did you know that this 250 meters x 170 meters site took over 100 years to excavate?
While we were in Rome, we also visited the beautiful Vatican City.