Europe’s Top Cities- #14

              For the 4000 miles Bani and I travelled around Europe, I drove all of them. If you know Bani, you’ll understand why, he doesn’t have a great record behind the wheel and there’s no way I’d let him drive my Fanny. He tends to be a moron. However, there is a brief exception to my monopoly of the driver’s seat as a Bani ‘drove us to Rome’. This logic only applies in his absurd thought process as his ‘driving us to Rome’ was me driving us all the way from Pisa to the car park, and then Bani reversing the van from one space to another. This took him a couple of attempts. That car park in a Roman suburb was one of the worst urban camps we had but we had made it to Rome and I couldn’t wait to explore.

              Rome had always been high on my bucket list and required a sizeable detour down into the shin of the boot that is Italy but I knew it would be worth it. It is one of those cities filled with monuments from its epic past with a list of famous sights recognized around the world. We had only scheduled four days to fit them in, but by the first attraction we had already shortened that time frame to just a day. We had joked about intruding on my family’s holiday in Portugal that week and that joke blossomed into reality once we had booked flights whilst sitting on the steps of the Altare della Patria. That left us with the remainder of that day to conquer Rome, and then the day we flew back to visit the only country to be inside a city- The Vatican. 

              The Vatican is a strange place. It is a city and a country but it is smaller than the Pentagon. It has its own licence plates, football team and national anthem but a population of just over 800. Most schools are bigger. It is the home of Pope and full of all manner of wonderful things, most notably the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (and the rest of the chapel) which was painted by someone who shared their name with a ninja turtle. It is a fascinating island surrounded by a fascinating city. 

              A city in which I now had to dart around in order to see as much as I could in my short visit. Luckily (debatably) Bani had been before as a fourteen-year-old on a school trip and declared himself tour guide as he led me to the various sites. His facts were sporadic and questionable, but always interesting as we wandered around the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Roman Forum amongst others in our frantic expedition. 

              Our flight to the Algarve that night meant we didn’t have enough time to see Rome properly as that day went by in a blur. We didn’t have any fine Italian food or watch a football game and we didn’t even go inside the Colosseum. I didn’t have the chance to go to any museums and never found out why the Romans decided to found my home town of Gloucester and the build the road I live on. From my brief time I did like Rome, just don’t go there only to fly somewhere else as soon as you arrive. 

Original Rome Post-

And the Vatican-

Great Photography of the Colosseum

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