…we conquered (Rome the final chapter) 

So today is our last day in Rome – did we conquer or did Rome conquer us?

Last night was a bad night with very little sleep. Rome decided to welcome us by providing us with a night of storms. This for us personally is not a problem, however one of our boys is not so fond of them and spent most of the night shivering and panting under the bed (unfortunately there is nothing we can do, not through lack of trying, but to wait the storm out). Early hours of the morning and the storm finished so we managed to get some sleep. 
Luckily by morning it seemed to calm down so we had breakfast and off out early we went. We repeated what we did yesterday and walked through the park towards the centre of Rome. 
Campo de fiori (Markets) 
Once we were close to the centre, and we crossed the Ponte sisto bridge, we came across the campo de fiori. It was a lovely atmosphere and we had hit market day as there were stalls upon stalls of different foods. It’s a great place to really get the taste of Rome, with all authentic and fresh products for you to try. We made our way through the crowds and made our way towards the piazza. 

The walk was nice, with small cobbled streets for you to stop and have a look at the shops as you walk past. 
Piazza navona 
Once we made our way through the small streets, we came out into a large piazza. It was a beautiful square with buildings surrounding it. 
In the centre of the piazza was the Fountain of four rivers, with Egyptian obelisk in the middle. It is a marvellous fountain and looks so different to other fountains we had seen so far in Italy. 

To the South of the fountain was the Fontana deal Moro, which has four Titans displayed on it. 

To the north of the fountain is the fountain of Neptune. There are many fountains of Neptune around the whole of Italy, but each is as beautiful and well built as the next. 


With having buildings surrounding the piazza and three large fountains in the centre, it makes it a great place to visit and you can see why over the years it has been used for many events and competitions. 
Pantheon 
Now personally, this is one of my favourite parts of Rome. You turn the corner and it’s just standing there in its glory, still as beautiful yet powerful as when it was first built. It is now a church which used to be a Roman temple. This particular building is brilliantly preserved, and you can imagine that’s how it used to look when being used as a temple. 


Although a tourist attraction, it is still a religious building so it is important to treat it with such respect. It’s free to enter so we went in one at a time with us having dogs, and soon as you walk in you can feel the history of the building. You can get a guided tour but you can also just walk around. They do request silence when walking around so do so respectfully. 


If you look up you can see the great dome which opens up at the top. This is still the worlds biggest dome made out of concrete that is unsupported. 

Trevi fountain 

I’m not really sure what I can say about this attraction without sounding stereotypical. Everyone who knows Rome will have heard of the Trevi fountain, and you can tell that when you walk around the corner and see the masses of people surrounding it. 
Oh and it is as impressive as people say it is. The photos don’t do it justice, it is a great sculpture that is so rightly visited by millions every year. Just don’t forget to chuck that coin in and make a wish. 
Tradition is to chuck a coin from your right hand over your left shoulder and make a wish. It also signifies that you will one day return to Rome.

Quirinal hill
Compared to yesterday, so far our walk had been pretty flat so we headed away from the Trevi fountain and towards one of the seven hills. It’s got some fairly steep steps but luckily we have our boys to drag us up. When you reach the top, you get to see the palace that is there. This palace has had several residencies in its history, including the pope and the King. It is now the home to the head of state of Italy. 

This area is fairly quiet and away from the crowds so was nice just to see the views with out the hustle and bustle.

Colosseum 

After making our way around Rome it was time to stop messing about and go to what we wanted to come and see. The colosseum. 
Unfortunately, at this point, it started to not only rain but pour, so we needed to get there quick to see it. We arrived outside and not even the weather could affect how this building looked. Even though it had suffered so much damage over the years, it still stands there proud and above all things around it. 
We wanted a little more time to take in the views but the rain had now turned into a storm, with the thunder and lightning now joining in. At this point we needed to cut this trip short and get our poor boys back to the apartment. 

Arch of Constantine 

Luckily our next stop on the list was right next to the colosseum so we didn’t need to really move to see it. We didn’t take too much time to look at it due to the storm, but it was like everything else in Italy – a beautiful monument that has been preserved. 
Roman forum 
As we quickly made our way back to the apartment, we passed the Roman forum. Although we couldn’t go inside due to having our boys, and the rain, you can get a glimpse of it outside. This is a series of Roman ruins which would have built up the Roman forum in its prime. 

Piazza Venezia 

This is directly next to the forum, and the main attraction of this piazza is the building known as the Altar of the Fatherland. This is a newer building than others that you will see in Rome, being built and completed in the early 1900’s in honour of the King that was in charge when Italy unified. It has been the centre of much controversy since it has been built, but it is still a wonderful building to go and see as, after all, is still part of Rome’s history. 

So at this point the weather was still pretty bad and our poor boy wasn’t enjoying it whatsoever, so we hurried along as quick as we could to make it back to the apartment.
By the time we got back to the apartment, the weather was calming down (I know about right) so we got into the house and settled down after a few long days. 
It was nice to actually have a place to call ours for a few days, so we could just sit back and relax, but now it was time to leave and carry on with our journey around Italy. 
Using Airbnb
Now this is not us bad mouthing a company, just a few tips on our first experience on using this service. 
We can see that a lot of people use Airbnb for different reasons, and at different times of the year, and it seems to carry good reviews so we thought this would be the perfect way for us to spend a couple of nights, every now and again, in a country. 
We thought we had a great experience when we stayed in Rome, and don’t get me wrong everything was perfect and we had a great host (who even gave us wine as a welcome). It was only when we left and it came to us doing our reviews that things changed. You can’t see what someone has written about you until you have finished your review (something I suppose to stop people being bias), so we wrote marvellous honest reviews about our stay. It was only then that we saw our review and, to our shock, it wasn’t what we expected. Although it wasn’t bad, it had some comments which sounded bad on our half, but nothing was said at the time or after our stay, so I felt hurt that these comments had been made on a review, as they were presumptions rather than fact. Everyone is entitled to there opinion, I just think that communication is key. 
Sorry rant over – let me get to the point!
I would definitely recommend Airbnb, it’s easy and quick to book through, giving you a lot of options. However, I would love people to learn from our naivety. I think questions were asked from the host, which should have flagged up more questions for us, but we didn’t ask. And through that I think people’s expeditions, of both party’s, were not met.   
So the key is to ask as many questions as you think you need, and make sure communication is met on both sides! 

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