Tag Archives: attractions

Interested in history – just visit the Rome

Sad to say but this was my last of ‘full sightseeing day’ in Rome. And last day of this short vacation trip as well.  Didnt feel like getting up early & staying in long lines for getting in  ‘must‘ visit… Therefore (please forgive me 🙂 ) instead of  visiting Vatican, I sleep in & spend few more hours near pool. I know – Vatican is one of the  ‘must’ for people visiting Rome & Italy but I leave it for some rainy day 🙂

Rome. Piazza NavonaAfter some ‘morning sun’ I’m ready for more sightseeing of Rome. Main check points for the day –  Piazza Novana, Coliseum and Castel Sant’Angelo in the evening. In between – a lot of walking in narrow streets of the central part of Rome. Of course a lot of picture-taking, some ice cream, ‘lunch’ in some park with shadow & nice views, a book/music store on the way.

Rome. Silvio Berlusconi mansionAnd yes, not far from Trevi Fountain I stumble upon mansion of Silvio Berlusconi – place hard to miss because a lot of people, some police, TV & news reporters on the street. Or maybe I just happen to be there during some meeting because many ‘important’ guests were arriving… But since I’m more found of Italian culture, history and architecture than politics, then I did keep going to explore other monuments, museums and places of tourist attractions in Rome 🙂

Coliseum - world famous attraction of Rome

Coliseum - world-famous attraction of Rome. If you take an audio guide, plan more than hour for this visit.

Activity for the evening – ‘Notti d’Estate a Castel Sant’Angelo’. Saw this place already some other night, because with all the illuminations it looks really great in the evening.Rome, Castel Sant Angelo at night

As special summer event this museum has weekly programme for visitors. Every night there is a different events going on from 8:30pm till 0:30am. With entrance fee of 9 euros, this evening visit to Castle Sant’Angelo was very impressive. Worth every cent! So those ones that are in Rome till September 4 – hurry up to spend a balmy summer evening in this wonderful place full of  art, history and culture!

Well, could I squeeze in some thing more for today? Maybe visit to Terme di Caracalla (they are not far from Coliseum) but since it was close to closing time, this stays for some other time…

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Day 3 – sightseeing of Rome

Love every day of my trip so far 🙂 . It is so nice to have a lazy mornings and simple enjoy the breakfast & relax an hour or more near the pool. I know I’m in Rome, & there are so many things to do & to see but these hours by the pool are nice as well. Chat with other people, read a travel guide about places to see and swim a bit in the pool. Well, to be honest I was in the pool more that outside. Because can tell you a secret – you get nicer tan while in the water & most important, skin doesn’t get sunburn so fast. Learned this during my swimmers carrier 🙂

Today is my ‘tourist attraction’ day. My picks for the day are cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano, Capitolini Musseum and Bocca Del Verita & Summer Night event along riverbanks of Tiber. Since I have Roma Pass that covers all transportation for 3 days and entrance to 2 museums of choice,  I need to take Metro to get to the Termini & bus to get to the San Giovanni. Here I‘d like to mention that till the end of 2011 there are some traffic limits set on Metro line A and not all stations are served.

Metro line A service suspention

So – San Giovanni in Lateranois the cathedral where the Pope officiates in his capacity as a bishop of Rome. Entrance is free & you even can get an audio guide for the visit; but if you want visit cloister (entrance at the end of left aisle), then there is 2.50euro for entrance.

San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome

Large builging of S.Giovanni in Laterno you definetely see but is not so impressive from outside as inside.

There are many cathedrals and churches in Rome. And every one of them is like a piece of art & architecture.

Cathedral S. Giovanni in Laterano is very impressive from inside

Cathedral S. Giovanni in Laterano is very impressive from inside

But San Giovanni in Laterano is really ‘wow’. Besides, right next to it there is another unique place to visit – Scala Santa. If you go out of cathedrals, main entrance, turn to the left – across the street there is a 16th–century building. This church holds a staircase from Pilate’s Palace in Jerusalem. Tradition says that 28 steps of this middle staircase can be made on knees.

Santa Scala

My next destination is Capitolini Museum. Information states, that this is most ancient museum in the world. In two buildings of the museum there is a significant collection of mediaeval and modern works Palazzo Nouvo and Palazzo del Conservatori are linked with underground tunnel, which leads to ancient Tabularium with monumental arches overlooking Forum.

Forum - one of most famous tourist attraction in Rome

Forum - one of most famous tourist attraction in Rome.

Right next to the steps leading to the Musei Capitolini there are other ones left side that lead to the Vittoriano Complex and its panoramic terraces. Again, great view over the Rome and Piazza Venezia. Or maybe I have to say Capitolini is right behind Vittoriano? Because that white monument dominates the area of Piazza Venezia.

Vittoriano monument complex, Roma, Italy

My next destination was Bocca della Verita. Many people are wondering where to find it but it turns out easy access from Piazza Venezia – I would say that you can just walk down the street on left side from steps to Capitolini in direction to the river. Church itself is not far from Palatino bridge.

 Long day come to end and there was just one thing left – Lung il Tevere Roma (Along the Tiber). This is event, that already goes during the whole summer till the end of August in backsides of Tiber from Palatino bridge till the Sisto bridge. With 3 thematic areas – culture, reception, entertainment this is nice place where to take evening walks.

Summer Nights along the Tiber , Rome

Day two of my short ‘vacation’

My first morning at the hotel Exel Roma Montemario. This is a comfortable and modern hotel in surroundings of Montemario Natural Reserve. It was kind of confusing to find it at first (because I took a public bus from the Lepanto metro station) but now it’s fine already. Though it was funny, when I asked how to get to the hotel at the Tourist Information center, got info that I have to take a bus #913 and it’s 20 stops…

hotel Exel Rome Montemario

hotel Exel Rome Montemario

I was not lucky enough to get a room in upper floor to enjoy nice views over the Rome. But I like it anyway because one of the reasons I did choose this hotel was outdoor pool.

Nice way to start a day - few hours of morning sunshine

Nice way to start a day - few hours of morning sunshine


Castel Romano Designer Outlet has shuttle bus service. Return ticket - 12euro

Castel Romano Designer Outlet has shuttle bus service. Return ticket - 12euro

I know for many it sounds not smart, but for today the main thing is … shopping. I decided go to the Castel Romano Designer Outlet. It is located 25 km outside of Rome. This outlet is easy to reach by car but there is no connection with public transport. For customers convenience there is a direct shuttle bus from Termini Train Station or From Piazza Risorgimento (near Vatican).

 Some can wonder why to go shopping, if there are so many things to do. Well, the thing is that on Mondays many museums are closed, therefore I leave sightseeing for some other day. Besides I had great evening program because during the summer there are several cultural events & festivals going on in Rome. I was lucky to see opera singers at first at Trevi Fountain, but later near Spanish Steps.

Opera singers at Trevi Fountain, Rome

Opera singers at Trevi Fountain, Rome

One of the great summer events in Rome - concert at Spanish Steps

One of the great summer events in Rome - concert at Spanish Steps

Sightseeing of the Royal London.

Have you been wondering about visiting London this or next year? I think todays Royal Wedding Ceremony broadcasted all over the world will be a little buster for many travelers who havent mada a mind about it. Besides next year, in 2012 London will host Olympic Games. Both these events will make people pay more attention to London as a travel destination.

If you are one of them, then here is something for you 🙂 For a limited time, here is a free download of Royal London Audio Walking Tour provided by Lonely Planet Publications. Explore the sights of London with some additional information. Round Tower of Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey are the places many travelers are looking forward to visit. This walking tour shares a bit on information about London’s best attractions. 

If considering trip to Europe, London is one of the destinations people pick for various reasons. Art, culture, heritage, famous attractions, special events, shopping, leisure, entertainment and so on. Any of these are good reasons for visiting London. All you need is to book a hotel & find the best way to get there 🙂

Visiting Stockholm. Day 2 – Outdoor Activities

Stockholm is build on 14 islands. Water cover on third of the city area. If to compare with other European travel destinations Stockholm often is called Northern Venice. Therefore a lot of sightseeing includes boat trips, ferries and crossing many bridges.
On my todays route thee was just one because I was going to Djurgarden. Island where you can find Skansen, Vassa Musseum, Junibacken and Tivoli. To get there you can go by ferry, bus or tram.  I took the tram N 7 – though there is just one line for it.

Stokholm's Tram N7

Stokholm's only Tram N7 Sergels Torg - Djurgarden

My idea was to go till the last stop & then I’ll see – go to the Skansen or there are some other things to do.  As day was really nice & sunny, many local people were heading same way. Because there is a big public park ( actually sometimes it was like forest) there but place was very nice.

People use it for a walks, runs, hikes, biking. If you are looking for some kind of fitness activity – it takes around 2 hours to get around the island. And as everywhere in the parks around the city – a lot of people are just sun tanning. Or setting themselves for the picnic…

Stockholm. Outdoor Activities

Stockholm. Outdoor Activities at the Djurgarden

Stokholm. Sculptures at the Prince Eugens Waldermarsudde

Sculptures at the Prince Eugens Waldermarsudde

If you have come so far – one of the places worth to visit is Prince Eugens Waldemarsudde. Formerly the residence of Prince Eugen (1865-1947) now this place is popular art museum. There are around 7000 works of sculpture, painting and craft.

Besides a selection on Prince Eugene own works, there are works from collections and temporary exhibitions. Entrance fee of 100 SEK is worth to pay for the visit to this mansion ( though there are a lot of sculptures in a garden around the main buildings). Afterwards take a walk around the area. The translation of Djurgarden is Game Park…

But at the end of long day with a lot of sunshine, there was one more thing to enjoy. Take a look yourself 🙂

Stockholm. Blossom Trees at the Kunstradgarden

Stockholm. Cherry blossom trees at the Kunstradgarden


Sightseeing in Stockholm. Day 1

After yesterdays walk around central part of Stockholm I decide start with  a visit to the Royal Palace.  Maybe it ‘ s influenced by last years royal wedding of Crown Princess Victoria but some how it feels good place to start. With live broadcasting of this event Stockholm got a lot of attention and introduction.

I begin my Royal Palace sightseeing by visiting Church  Service in Royal Chapel. I’m not really religious person but this the way to see this wonderful Chapel in Royal Palace. In summer it will be open for public but right now it is open to public just during the services on weekends (or special events like Easter).

Afterwords at 12pm there is a Guards Change ceremony &time to get a tickets for the entrance into Palace.  If visiting all three – the Royal Apartments, The Treasury and The Tre kronor Museum – there is a special combine ticket for 140 SEK. At 1pm there are a guided tours in The Treasury and at 2pm in the Royal Apartments (in English). Why not to use the offer included in ticket price 🙂

It is not allowed to take a pictures inside the Royal Palace because of copyright of the Royal Collections. you have to believe me – it was nice & worth it. I liked  guided tours as well. Both of them last for 40min, with a lot of interesting information about Swedish Royalty and  some Scandinavian history. Visit to The Tre Kronor Museum is the shortest one because museum itself is small  – several rooms dedicated to the original Tre Kronur Palace in Stockholm, destroyed in big fire back in 1697.

Afterwords I go through narrow streets of Gamla Stan to Slussen area for Katarina Lift but it is closed and I have another physical  activity by climbing up to the sightseeing platform.

Then to make my Swedish experience complete I the rest of the afternoon I spend shopping. You can find many big shopping centers in Stockholm but I wish to visit IKEA – one of the Swedish well known trademarks. If you wish to stay somewhere close to central part of the city  H&M, Ahlems are so big that it is easy to lose some time there.

Since this is Easter time I have ti keep in mind that everything has shorter working hours. But anyway, getting back to the hotel before 9pm sounds good. Because after long day of sightseeing bubble bath & sauna sounds tempting  and very relaxing 🙂

Hello Stockholm

Today was my first day here in Stockholm. I would call it arrival day 🙂

This time for my trip I’ m using Ryanair. To be honest I have to say that I was a little bit afraid because of some stories about bad service and so on. But to my surprise I can’t say anything bad about the Ryanair or service during / before/ after the flight.

Maybe it more concerns people who are traveling with low-cost airlines… Most of the people in my flight looked like regular travelers but few men were a little bit drunk & wanted to have conversation with some girls. …but the girls were mad because their luggage was taken away as too big for carry-on. Whole situation was kind of funny (I was sitting in opposite row) but otherwise nothing bad for this flight.

After arrival at the  Skavsta Airport everything went fast I was pretty soon already on aboard of bus taking me to the Stockholm center. But on the way bus had some technical problems (which only drivers knows what – but Sweden is Sweden ) and we stopped to wait for another bus to come.

During the bus ride (normally 1h20min) I started conversation with lady sitting next to me. At first it was because of the bus problem, then what they are doing here in Sweden & so on. Turned out the lady kind of knows someone I know … all this sounds like a regular conversation but the woman was speaking just Italian…

Never thought that while going to Sweden I’ll start to remember my Italian… it’s not that I speak fluently or remember everything but it turns out when it’s needed everything comes back itself. But I like the language itself therefore will have to think about some language studies… preferably in Italy 🙂

So finally we arrived in Stockholm just after 4pm. One thing that I’m very happy about is nice sunshine here in Stockholm. When traveling around & doing sightseeing weather is important factor. So – it’s sunny, bright afternoon… I found the way to my hotel & went for a walk. It turned longer that I expected but it was nice. Went to Old town – Gamla Stan. After this walk I have more or less some understanding where everything is located and I’m ready for serious sightseeing tomorrow 😉

Three things that show that spring has come (for those who don’t know) to Northern Europe and Sweden particularly :

1. In Stockholm many water fountains are working already;

2. Stockholm City Bikes are out for hire. Very reasonable offer – 3 days for 125 SEK. To keep this price with no penalties, bike has to be returned or changed after 3 hours. If you stay longer – seasons ticket cost 250 SEK .  As I did see today this service is very popular amongst tourists & some local people as well;

3. & to know for sure that spring is here – there were some trees blossom already in Kungstradgarden & a lot of people enjoying the view & sunshine in open air cafe around the park area.

First impressions about Stockholm? Very nice, tourist friendly Scandinavian city. It is Easter time but many tourist attractions, museums & shops are open. Everywhere are street signs so it is easy to find directions. Actually today I met more tourists wandering around with the maps. And I was one of them…  🙂

P.S I wish I could upload the pictures but forgot the connection cord at home … ups