Italy is a unique pilgrimage site of European history, tradition, and art culture. In ancient times, a small town developed here, which the Greeks called ‘Italia.’ Combining ancient civilizations and modernity with picturesque beaches, alpine lakes, and the Alps, Italy is simply enchanting. This country is one of the most attractive destinations among the world’s tourist destinations. Whether considered the birthplace of the modern Western world or the center of Catholic Christianity, Rome and Roman civilization is among the important places in history. Spread on both sides of the Tiber River, this city was founded 753 years before the birth of Christ. There are so many traces of history scattered in Rome that it would not be wrong to call the whole city a living museum. My three-week Europe tour this time starts from the historic city of Rome, Italy.
According to my plan to tour Europe after the holy Eid-ul-Fitr, I completed all the preparations, including visa, ticket, and hotel booking before the sacred Ramadan. I was very excited to tour some new countries in Europe. After celebrating Eid with my family, I said Bismillah, left for Dhaka and boarded the plane after completing immigration from Dhaka Airport (Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport) on time. Since I was on a Kuwait Airways flight, there was a three-hour transit in Kuwait, and I finally landed at Rome airport around 2 pm after a long fifteen-hour flight. Rome airport is lovely and clean. The immigration officer asked how many days to stay and about my return ticket. I replied appropriately and showed my return ticket from London. The immigration officer said, “Ok,” and stamped my passport without asking anything else. Then I left the airport and took a train to Rome city center. The city center is called Termini in Italy. I arrive at Roma Termini, roughly 40-45 minutes from the airport.
After arriving in Roma Termini, it took me a while to find my hotel as I couldn’t find the name on “Agoda,” but after matching the address, I finally found it and checked into the hotel around 4 pm. Then went out searching for food and found some Bengali-owned and-operated mini super shops and restaurants nearby. I bought food and brought it to the hotel. After freshening up and eating, I fell asleep around 5:30 pm. Because my journey from Dhaka started at 3 am on 28th April, and I could not sleep at all the previous night. I woke up around 3 am and couldn’t sleep again in the excitement of exploring Rome in the morning. Coming here, I met Amal from Jharkhand, India, in the seat next to me. After breakfast at the hotel in the morning, we explored Rome together.
In terms of beauty, Rome is one of the best cities in Italy, rich in history. Rome is arguably the world’s most spectacular tourist destination, Italy’s capital and largest city. There is barely a person who has not heard the name Rome, the city rich in history and the oldest in Europe. There are many historical sites for history buff tourists. In addition to the prestigious buildings, museums, and restaurants, there are about 900 churches throughout the city, so you will see beautiful small and big churches everywhere.
Colosseum: We begin our Rome exploration phase by visiting the Colosseum, one of the Seventh Wonders of the World. Since the tourist spots in Rome are not too far away, we decided to explore on foot to explore more of the surroundings. After leaving the hotel, we walked to the Colosseum with the help of Google Maps. Italy’s most famous monument of ancient Rome is the Colosseum, which is almost two thousand years old. It is one of the finest columns in the world and is an eye-catching masterpiece of Roman engineering. The construction of this amphitheater was completed under the supervision of the cruel emperor Titus. The building was used for stage plays, gladiator fights, animal fights, and the execution of rebels. We could not enter the Colosseum because of not booking the tickets in advance.
Roman Forum: After visiting the Colosseum, we went to the Roman Forum, which is located next to the Colosseum. At the center of Rome City, there is a rectangular forum or plaza surrounded by the ruins of many of the official buildings of ancient Rome. Although there were forums in all cities of ancient Rome, the Roman Forum was the largest and most important. It is situated in a lowland between the Capitoline Mountain and the Palatino. During the days of the Roman Republic, public assemblies, arbitrations, gladiatorial battles, etc., were held here, and there were many shops and open markets. After Rome’s transformation into an empire, many temples and monuments were built here when it became a center for religious and secular events. All in all, for several centuries, it was the central meeting point of all social activities and civil life of the ancient Roman Empire, including religious, political, social, economic, commercial, and justice.
Altar of the Fatherland: The Altar of the Fatherland stands between Piazza Venezia Square and the neighboring Capitoline Hill. The monument was constructed to honor Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of united Italy. The 230 feet tall structure has Corinthian arcades, fountains, and an equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel in the middle and two statues of Vijayasree Devi in a four-wheeled chariot on either side of the top.
Pantheon: Wandering through Rome, we came upon perhaps one of Rome’s oldest and most iconic structures, the Pantheon. The Pantheon is the only entirely preserved example of ancient Roman architecture today. Its current form dates back to about the 2nd century AD, when it was used as a temple for all the Roman gods of the time, usually with separate temples for different deities. The gigantic dome of this 2,000-year-old structure is the largest ever built without reinforced concrete. Crowns have circular openings through which sunlight can enter. It contains several essential tombs, among which the Italian painter and architect Raphael and the first ruler of Italy, Victor Emmanuel, are two notable ones. Entry inside the Pantheon does not require a ticket but a reservation a month in advance. Here you have to stand in a long line and enter serially, which may take half an hour to an hour.
Trevi Fountain: After leaving the Pantheon, we went to the Trevi Fountain. If you don’t take a picture in front of the fountain, coming to Rome will be incomplete. It was built in the 18th century at the intersection of three old streets, hence the name Trevi. It is the giant baroque fountain in Rome and is considered one of the best beautiful fountains in the world. Every day people throw coins here for various reasons. Basically, according to local folklore, it is said that if one closes his eyes and throws three coins into the water of this fountain, his wish will come true. Previously, the amount of money thrown into the water of this fountain was about three thousand euros per day. Collecting cash from this fountain was prohibited, and every night, the coins deposited here were removed and donated. But now there is no opportunity to throw money there. Nowadays, throwing money into the fountain is forbidden to protect its beauty.
Basilica: Finally, we walked towards Roma Termini and visited a Basilica (Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) on the way. The facade of this Basilica is built in Neo-Renaissance style, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer placed in the bell tower. After entering the Basilica, the chapels contain many paintings by the Roman painter Andrea Cherubini.
We almost forgot about food while exploring Rome. Finally leaving the Basilica, we had our meal at a Bengali restaurant. I had Mutton Biryani, and Amal had Chicken Biryani. Finally, back at our hotel, I met a Bangladeshi brother in the canteen who has been here for almost 12 years. After meeting and talking with him, we went back to the room. These are how far we have been exploring Rome on this journey. I hope to present some information about the surprise of a new destination in the next part.
It costs around BDT 15000 to get an Italian Schengen visa on priority service. The total cost of a two-year UK visa is $470. My Dhaka to Rome and London to Dhaka return ticket cost BDT 98500 on Kuwait Airways. The quality of Kuwait Airways is worse than that of Emirates because it has fewer facilities and food quality is not as good. Renting a seat in a hotel dormitory room in Rome costs around $40-45 per day. From Rome Airport to the city center or Roma Termini, the train fare is 8 euros, the bus fare is 7 euros, and the express train will cost at least 19 euros. The price of mutton or chicken biryani in a Bengali restaurant is 7 euros. Also, you can buy different types of food at different prices from restaurants or mini super shops. Tickets for the Colosseum cost 16 euros and must be purchased one month in advance.
Some Essential Tips for Rome Tour:
- Book your plane tickets in advance if you want to save much of your expenses on your trip to Rome.
- Hotel dormitory rooms are the cheapest and can be booked in advance to save even more.
- Depending on the summer or winter, you must take the necessary measures accordingly.
- The tourist spots within Rome are so close that I find it best to explore them on foot, as you can reach them earlier by walking rather than waiting for a bus or tram.
- The most important thing you will need in Rome is Google Maps. With this map, you can easily understand how to reach your destination.
- Walking tour packages are available in Rome at different rates. One of the benefits of this is that one can get detailed information about the historical places from the guide. However, many people do not enjoy this way, and without spending unnecessary money, you can do a little research on your own.
- There is an opportunity to visit various museums for free one day a week, and it is good to find them on the Internet.
- When entering the Colosseum, it’s best not to buy instant tickets from black marketers, as this can get you scammed. Colosseum tickets must be purchased at least one month before travel.
- It is better not to buy a ticket to enter the Roman Forum because everything is better seen from outside.