In Photos: Rome, the Eternal City

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As I stood at the entrance to St. Peter's Square, on the border between Rome and the sovereign state of The Vatican, I had a moment of deja vu. … Except that it really wasn't deja vu at all.

The scene laid out in front of me — a busy Roman street filled with tourists in sunhats and vendors selling knock-off purses; a square filled with camera-toting visitors and devoted worshippers clutching rosary beads — was one that was familiar not just from a dream or freak glance into the future. It was one that I had seen before, 8 years previously.

St. Peter's Square in Rome

They call Rome “The Eternal City.” This nickname dates back to ancient times, when poets and historians predicted that the Roman Empire would go on forever. After all, Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, and has been at the center of everything from sprawling empires to the Church over the centuries.

The Roman Empire may not have lasted forever, but there's no arguing that Rome is still going strong.

As I stood there in front of St. Peter's having that deja-vu-like moment, I finally understood the “Eternal City” nickname. Because, even though it had been 8 years since I had been in Rome, it felt like no time at all had passed.

Ruins at the Roman Forum

The thing I love about Rome is that the new is mixed in seamlessly with the old and ancient. And, in recent years, the city has started paying more attention to its ancient parts, preserving them and opening them up to visitors.

I spent 5 days in Rome this time around, exploring different parts each day — and of course all the old favorites, too. I want to share my experience of the Eternal City with you, so come with me now on a photo tour of Rome and the Vatican!

Rome

Trevi Fountain
The famous Trevi Fountain, where you can wish for love and a return to Rome
Piazza Navona
Fountain and church at the beautiful Piazza Navona – perhaps my favorite piazza in Rome
Roman Colosseum at sunset
The Colosseum painted orange at sunset
Roman Colosseum
Standing on the arena floor inside the Colosseum
Roman Colosseum
At the highest point inside the Coloseeum
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) in Piazza Navona
Pantheon
Outside the Pantheon, a nearly-1,000-year-old temple
Pantheon inside
Inside the Pantheon
Piazza del Popolo
At Piazza del Popolo, or “People's Square.” Above this sculpture lies the Villa Borghese Gardens
Victor Emmanuel II Monument
Technically the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, this is colloquially known as “The Wedding Cake”
Spanish Steps in Rome
A rainy afternoon at the Spanish Steps
Roman Forum
Exploring ruins at the Roman Forum
Roman Forum
In the Roman Forum, looking up at Palatine Hill, where Rome was founded
Rome
The view of Rome from Palatine Hill
Rome
Random church yard
Castel Sant'Angelo
Bridge leading to Castel Sant'Angelo (AKA the Mausoleum of Hadrian)
Castel Sant'Angelo
Statue at Castel Sant'Angelo

The Vatican

St. Peter's Basilica
Outside St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
Inside the stunning St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica dome
Looking up into the dome of St. Peter's
St. Peter's Square
The view out over St. Peter's Square from the top of the dome of St. Peter's
Vatican Swiss Guards
The changing of the Swiss Guards at the Vatican
The Vatican Museums
Inside the Vatican Museums
School of Athens by Raphael
The famous “School of Athens” painting by Raphael inside the Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums
Beautiful painted ceiling inside the Vatican Museums

 

For me, even though Rome may be “Eternal” and unchanging, it is nevertheless one of those cities that I think I will always love exploring, no matter how many times I've done it before.

I threw coins into the Trevi Fountain again this time around, because I definitely want to visit Rome again someday.

Check out these other posts about Rome:

Which Rome photo is your favorite?

 

 

*Note: I visited Rome as part of my Busabout trip around Europe. They provided me with transport on all 3 of their Europe loops, but all opinions of the destinations I visit are entirely my own! I also saw some of these sites thanks to tours with Walks of Italy.

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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38 Comments on “In Photos: Rome, the Eternal City

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  1. We spent three days in Rome on our honeymoon (mini moon, really since the wedding left us skint) and it was just so much more amazing than I could have imagined. I’ll return, I know I will. Hopefully soon…

      It really is a fantastic city to visit. Great choice for a mini-moon!

    Your photos are beautiful!

    Rome is at the top of my list of places to visit. I was a classics major along with archaeology, and I’d always intended to spend my time on lovely Roman ruins – but I somehow got diverted into Alaska.

      Haha, Rome WOULD be ideal for you! Definitely get yourself there eventually.

    I felt like I was on a tour of Rome! The pictures are so elaborate and nice! Rome is truly the eternal city.

      Thank you, Renuka! Glad you liked my little photo tour!

    That photo of Trevi fountain is just plain gorgeous.

      Thanks! An oldie, but a goodie. That fountain never disappoints.

    Gorgeous pictures! My favourite is the first one of the ruins, with the pink flower. Every time I go to Rome I try to visit the ruins all over again, or a different part of them (there are so many scattered also outside of the city). It’s so fascinating and I’m never tired of them…

      And they are constantly finding new ruins in Rome! It’s part of the reason why it takes so long to build anything there. Haha.

      As for that photo, it’s one of my favorites, too! It was even my computer background for a while.

    While Rome is spectacular, I felt very uneasy in the Vatican. So. much. gold. everywhere. So much wars to steal these things from people across the continent. It just reminded me how outdated Catholicism is in he 21st century… but the view was well worth the visit, though!

      Definitely know what you mean about the Vatican – walking around St. Peter’s and knowing that pretty much everything inside was “borrowed” from others… weird. Yet fascinating, too. So much history there to learn about.

    YAY for throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain!!

    Ahhhh, this makes me even MORE excited to visit Italy next spring! Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Happy travels!

    Rome has always sounded like a dreamy vacation to me! Roadside cafes, Piazzas, Fountains… I so want to see it with my own eyes someday!! Beautiful captures Amanda 🙂

      It can actually get quite overwhelming at times – big crowds, huge ornate buildings, ruin so old you can barely comprehend them… But it’s all SO worth it!

    I looove Rome. I’d love to take a long exposure of the Trevi Fountain.

      Good luck with that! There are always sooooo many people around that fountain, even if you go at night!

    Your photos are gorgeous, especially the one of the Trevi Fountain!

    I can’t wait to visit Rome for myself someday 🙂

      Thanks, Beth! Rome is certainly a must-see. Even after being there twice, I would happily go back again.

    Fabulous photos… Trevi fountain is awesome, no words to describe……. Thanks for sharing such fantastic photos.

    I’m going to admit something controversial, but I didn’t love Rome the first time I visited. We just didn’t click. But your gorgeous photos make me want to give the city another chance!

      Totally fine if Rome isn’t for you. I’ve visited a handful of cities (Athens and Amsterdam, to name two) that I just didn’t click with. Nothing wrong with that!

      But, having said that… I think I probably would give Rome a second chance!

    Eternal it is. It seems like time just stands still there. Or maybe it is just my imagination taking me back to the Roman Empire days and envisioning it as it was with as it is. I love this series on Rome you are doing, Makes my fantasy destination call to me even stronger, stellar photos Amanda!

      Thanks, Ryan! I’m sure it will look just the same when you finally make it there!

    Beautiful photos! I love the one of the Castel Sant’Angelo. This is my favourite place in Rome.

      It’s a very impressive building! I can see why it’s your favorite.

    The Via Appia Antica runs straight from Fiumicino Airport, right into the heart of Rome. I had the lovely opportunity of riding my bike along it, passing layers of history from different periods on both sides of the cobbled, ancient highway. I spent over a month in the city and there was still SO much to see. Eternal also describes the amount of time you can spend discovering this city where every alcove, nook and cranny has hidden treasure.

      Yes, it’s definitely a city you need to soak in, slowly, to really discover it!

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