Rome on a Budget

Rome is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in the world – it has awe-inspiring ancient ruins, romantic side-walk cafés, exceptionally delicious food and wine (Roman pizza!), a wealth of history, lush green parks in the middle of the city, the best espressos in the world, beautiful people, and the most magical atmosphere as you walk the streets!

If possible, I’d highly recommend visiting Rome at least once in a lifetime. Even just a weekend is enough to leave a profound imprint on your soul. If you have a shoe-string budget but still want to experience Rome, then this is the article for you!

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Rome Walking Routes – 3 Short and Scenic Walks in the Eternal City

Rome is designed for walking – the multitude of hills, large public parks, narrow, cobblestoned streets, and charming piazzas offer ample opportunities for exploring the city on foot. While it’s always best to wander a bit in-between your tourist itinerary items, it’s also often useful to have an idea of where to walk, and what you can look forward to seeing on your strolls.

So, I’ve compiled a list of 3 Short and Scenic Walking Routes for you to choose from! Most of them are based in the old city centre, going to and from a Metro station. Find links to the Google Maps routes of each walk below the description!

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Travel Quickie – Flying with RyanAir

I am quite used to long-haul flights, since Cape Town is conveniently situated on the bottom tip of Africa (hah!) and it takes at least 10 hours to get anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere! I’ve already written an article about travel packing hacks, which is more for long-haul flights, so I thought I’d write about my recent experience with RyanAir, one of Europe’s budget airlines.

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The Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

The best introduction to the history, architectural marvels, and landmarks of Ancient Rome is a full day spent on the Palatine Hill and exploring the Roman Forums. Whilst it’s already overwhelming just walking among the gargantuan ruins of an ancient civilization, the archaeological sites are also large, complex, and often it is difficult to identify the buildings of interest! So, I’ve decided to highlight some of the most important bits, with some extra history and mythology snippets tacked on for added interest. I fully recommend a comprehensive guide-book as your faithful sightseeing companion – see the end of this post for my top 3 ancient Rome guide-book choices 🙂

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Falling in Love with Rome

Go thou to Rome,—at once the Paradise,
    The grave, the city, and the wilderness;
    And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise,
    And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
    The bones of Desolation’s nakedness
    Pass, till the spirit of the spot shall lead
    Thy footsteps to a slope of green access
    Where, like an infant’s smile, over the dead
A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread;
                  Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais 49-52
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Roman Imperial Forum

I haven’t seen every city in the world, but in my heart, I know that Rome will always be my favourite city of all time. My first visit to Rome was with my family, in the summer of 2003. I was 13, a full-on self-conscious teenager, and it was my very first time in Europe! (I exclude the 3 months when I was a baby, because I don’t remember that!). Rome simply left me breathless.

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My 5 Worst Travel Experiences!

Despite what instagram and Facebook might tell you, travelling is not always glamorous, exciting, or inspiring. Sometimes you get violently sick, or get precious stuff stolen, or you simply get disappointed when your high expectations are not met. So, in the spirit of sharing some “real” travel stories, I’ve (reluctantly) picked my Top 5 Worst Travel Experiences for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

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German Christmas Markets

Christmas in Germany is nothing short of magical, especially to someone whose Decembers have always been hot and sunny. I never quite understood the whole “festive Christmas spirit” until I visited a real Christmas market for the first time, wrapped up in a huge calf-length winter jacket, thermal hat and gloves, and a cup of Glühwein in hand. I actually got excited, whereas back home our plastic Christmas tree, carols about snowmen, and steaming hot Christmas meals simply made no sense in the 30° C beach weather. I still adore summer Christmases back home, with chilled rosé wine, family, and a lekker fish braai by the pool, but European Christmases are extra-special to me due to their novelty.

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