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Things you should Do and see in Roma, Italy

By Lorena Boanda

Rome, Italy’s capital city, is one of the most famous travel destinations. What you will want to do when in Rome, especially if it’s your first time, is to check off the list some of the city’s most popular landmarks and points of interest.

Rome’s most famous ruins

Start off by visiting the mighty Colosseum, probably Rome’s most relevant symbol. Inaugurated somewhere around 80 A.D. and said to have been able to hold up to 80.000 spectators, the structure used to be the center of epic gladiatorial combats and animal fights. Besides its grandeur, the most astonishing fact is that is has remained relatively intact despite centuries of neglect and despite the fact that it has been used as a quarry.

Strolling through the ruins of the Roman Forum is yet another must-do activity in Rome. You don’t have to be passionate about history or architecture to be able to appreciate one of the oldest places from Ancient Rome. Hiring a guide might be extremely beneficial, especially if you want to hear the very interesting stories behind the place.

Enjoy the magnificence of the Spanish Steps and The Pantheon

A visit to Rome without also climbing the Spanish Steps is said to be incomplete and for a good reason. Climb the steps leading to Trinita dei Monti church for an inspiring view of the Piazza di Spagna from atop, one of Rome’s fanciest and most crowded places. It is said that throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain will ensure that you will someday return to Rome. Whether that is true or not, you should still visit Rome’s most legendary fountain.

Located in the Piazza Della Rotonda in central Rome, The Pantheon is one of Rome’s best preserved Roman buildings. It’s also said to be the only architecturally perfect building in the world. Make sure to walk inside and be amazed at the stunning views offered by its incredible dome.

The Vatican and the surroundings

St. Peter’s Square is another unique tourist attraction. Located at the front of the Vatican state (Rome holds a small country within a country), the place is sure to leave any unsuspecting wonderer or tourist in complete awe. Slowly take-in the enormity of the square, its central obelisk, and the incredible architecture of the St. Peter’s Basilica. While in the area, also consider visiting the Sistine Chapel, famous for its impressively detailed decorations.

Enjoy a bit of tranquility in Rome

While in Rome, you should also ponder about exploring Trastevere, a very bohemian and romantic place in Rome. It’s home to some very extravagant jewelry, perfume, and handicrafts boutiques, and also to charming cobblestone streets and beautifully ornate buildings.

If you want to get a feel for the typical daily lives of the people who live in the city, then visiting the Market at Campo de’ Fiori is a must. Immerse yourself in the local culture by watching people go about their day or by buying some fresh produce for a picnic. If you’re more of a panorama type of person, then consider climbing the Gianicolo Hill for a stunning view of the city and all of its amazing landmarks.

Last but not least, remember that you are in Rome, so make sure to indulge yourself in the local Italian dishes as much as you can. Also, don’t forget to try some of Italy’s lovely wines, and, of course, don’t forget about the mandatory, daily espresso shot.

Finally, probably the best advice of them all: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

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One week in Paris

By Lorena Boanda

Is Paris, The City of Lights, on your travel wishlist and you’ve finally decided to spend a week there? If the answer is yes, check out our 1-week itinerary with the must-see attractions for the world’s most touristy city.

Day 1 – Montmartre and the surroundings

Located on the top of the highest hill in Paris, Montmartre is probably the perfect place to start your visit. Our best advice would be to just lose yourself in the crowded and sometimes romantic streets.

Stay away from typical gift shops and overpriced cafes and instead maybe opt to do some cheap Parisian-style shopping on various in-the-street shops from the area. The Basilica Sacre-Coeur, Moulin Rouge, and the Elysees Montmartre Theatre are other noteworthy points of interest in the area.

Day 2 – The Eiffel Tower and a scenic boat cruise

If it’s your first time in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is a must-see. It’s hard to describe the feeling of viewing the tower in all its glory from the bottom of one of its four platforms. You can climb up to the second floor for a decent view of the city, or you can opt to visit the third floor which is done only by elevator. If you’re not on a budget, then enjoying a meal at the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant is definitely worth it.

End the day with a relaxing boat cruise, preferably within an hour of the sunset, so that you can get the best of both “worlds.” Just sit back and enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise while you smoothly pass near the most important landmarks of Paris.

Day 3 – Spend a day at Versailles

The palace of Versailles is the personification of grandeur and lavishness. Visiting its exquisitely glamorous and artful rooms will undoubtedly inspire a sense of “they don’t make them like they used to.” Located at a short train, bus, taxi drive away from Paris, the chateau is a true reflection of King Louis XIV’s power. Make sure to check out the Hall of Mirrors, the Chapel, the auditorium, Marie Antoinette’s apartment, and the Grand Apartment.

Once you’re done with the royal residence, take a stroll in the impressively grand estate and get lost in the unique gardens, have a relaxing picnic, and visit the Grand Trianon located nearby.

Day 4 – Spend a day watching art at Le Louvre

Regarded as the world’s most important museum, The Louvre Museum is well worth your time. More of a monument than an actual museum, it boasts some of the most important pieces of artwork from all of the major civilizations. Make sure to visit the famous Mona Lisa, yet we won’t judge if you won’t be impressed.

Day 5 – Visit some of Paris’ most important landmarks

You should really spend some time just strolling the streets of Paris and checking out some of the famous landmarks. Rent a scooter or a bicycle and go to see the Place de La Concorde where you can see the 23-meter, 3000-year old Egyptian obelisk. For a bit of glamour and high-end shopping, make sure to visit the Champs-Elysees boulevard. While you’re in the area, also visit the Arc de Triomphe, one of Paris’ most iconic symbols.

Day 6 – Notre Dame and the surroundings

Visit the most renowned gothic cathedral of all time, home of numerous legends and multiple fascinating stories. Visiting the Notre Dame cathedral is probably the closest you’ll ever get to feeling how it was to live in the 13th century. While in the area, also consider visiting the St. Chapelle.

Day 7 – Other interesting places

Your last day in Paris should be the day that completes the whole experience. Some noteworthy suggestions include visiting the Catacombs of Paris with their spooky winding tunnels that are home to thousands of human bones, the Pantheon, Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, Centre Pompidou, and the relaxing and gorgeous Jardin du Luxembourg.

Have a wonderful time in your week-long vacation in Paris. We hope this guide was useful!