The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” have a much stronger meaning after visiting in August 2014. The sight of the city, the buildings and the incredible decorations and carvings are just outstanding. No wonder why this city is on top of many people’s travel list.
Before i bought the Fujifilm XT-1, I always brought my heavy DSLR with a bunch of lenses when traveling. But for this trip i choose to bring only my Fujifilm XT-1 with 3 prime lenses. The Fujinon XF14mm F2.8 R, Fujinon XF23mm F1.4 R and the Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R. These lenses have a full frame equivalent focal length of 21, 35 and 85 mm.
I was still in doubt how I would cope without any zoom lens. My D800 with the 24-70 2.8 have been my workhorse combo on trips before (E.G New York) But aside from a couple of occasions changing back and forth betwheen lenses, my 23mm f.1,4 was the most used lens. The 35mm equivalent focal length is so versatile. In the following, I’ll try to give some tips and experiences from my trip. I have also attached the shooting data (Exif) to all the shots. All shots have been edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. If you haven’t read my mini-review of the XT-1 yet, you can check it out here: https://kjetilkvienmadsen.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/fujifilm-xt-1-back-to-basics/.
Remember that you can click on the pictures to watch them in higher resolution!
The city of Rome has so many sights what are worth seeing. But don’t forget to step inside if you see a random church on the street. Like this church on Via Del Corso. The outside looks fairly modest from the outside, but inside it’s size and decorations is breathtaking.
We stayed at the Trevi Collection Hotel (Via Gregoriana 56), and I can highly recommend it. Located one block away from the Spanish steps, you have a great starting point seeing the city. Even great for a short pit stop at the Hotel during the day. As I stayed in August it was pretty hot. If you can come another time of the year, I recommend it. If there is no wind, 30C° and above is hot when you are not at the beach. The locals also have holydays in August, so be aware that some of the smaller local shops is closed.
Unfortunately the fountain by the Spanish steps (Above) was under restoration. This picture is taken from the Spanish steps, looking down Via Condotti. The Via Condotti is where the high end (Read expensive) shops are located.
Here is a shot from Via Condotti, looking up to the Spanish Steps.
Other streets where shopping is in the focus is, Via Frattina, Via del Corso, Via Nazionale and on the other side of Tiber River (The big river running thru Rome, Called Tevere in Italian) is Via Cola di Rienzo. This street runs all the way up to the Vatican state.
At the Vatican, i skipped entering Saint Peter Church. The lines was running all the way from the front door and in a half circle around the St. Peter’s Square. You can off course pay up and go with a guided tour, and then you can enter without waiting in the long line.
But I went to the Vatican museum instead. I had online tickets bought ahead of going to Rome. And I’m glad i did. The line was ”miles long”. But with an online ticket, you have your own line, and I was inside in no more than 2 minutes 🙂
The Vatican museum consists of to many things to list. But it contains an immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church. There are 54 galleries, and you also go thru the Sistine Chapel when taking the recommended route. The Sistine Chapel has its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo. I have no photos from it unfortunately, because it’s the only place where it’s not allowed to take photos. Remember to cover your knees and shoulders, or you won’t be allowed in the Sistine Chapel.
You also get a great view of the city from the Vatican Museum
The most photographed object in the Vatican museum has to be the Spiral stairs (Designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932)
Here is a more unusual view from the bottom and up.
One of the most known places in Rome has to be the Colosseum.
Built in 70–80 B.C, it’s quite astonishing that there is still something left of this monster amphitheatre. It is estimated that it could hold as many as 50-80.000 people. The genius layout of sectors, levels and stairs meant that the Colosseum could be emptied with people in a couple of minutes. The construction is so effective that it is still used today with little change (see for instance football stadiums is structured in the same way as the Colusseum)
Eating in Rome is of course high on the list. But to distinguish the real good Italian restaurants from the tourist traps can be difficult (Use Tripadviser). One advice, especially good on pizza/lunch is Osteria della Vite (Via della Vite 96-97).
Another place I recommend is Sofie Ristorante (Via di Capo Le Case 51). It’s not only traditional Italian food served there. But stil highly recommended.
Restaurant Antonio al Pantheon had good recommendations in Trivadviser, but I was honestly a bit disappointed.
And don’t leave Rome without eating Gelato! (Italian style icecream)
The Italians are also known for good beer J (Personaly I liked the piazza navona draft the best)
One of the things I was most looking forward seing was the Trevi fountain. But unfortunately it was under renovation. (I think its under restauration for 18 months)
Here is the Roman temple Phanteon, buildt in 126 B.C. Thinking of the manpower it had to take building this over 2000 years ago. Yet again the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” come to my mind.
Here is the backside, showing the enormous dome.
Piazza Navona is not a long walk from Phateon.
Drinking fountains is found all over Rome, and yes you can drink it! (Saves you some Euro’s from the local guy trying to sell water on every corner)
The Altar of the Fatherland or Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II is an impresive building.
Measuring 135 m (443 ft) wide and 70 m (230 ft) high. If the quadrigae and winged victories on top are included, the height is 81 m (266 ft). You must see it to gasp the enormous size of this building.
If you have never been to Italy before, you will be surprised how many variants of “police” they have. Polizia di Stato, Guardia di Finanza, Arma dei Carabinieri, Polizia Penitenziaria, Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Interforces, Provincial Police and Municipal Police (Probably there is even more ?)
My last advice would be to only take official taxis. They are white, with a “TAXI” sign on the roof and the Rome crest on the doors. Don’t say yes to any “special taxi offers” at the airport!
My conclusion after using the XT-1 on holiday would be that my back and shoulder feels less sour. The handling of the camera is a joy as you probably read in my mini-review of the camera. The picture quality is in my opinion top notch.
The newly announced update to the XT-1, that fixes some of my previously pointed out issues is also coming true. Did you read my blog Fujifilm? 🙂
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Some related blog posts to the Fuji XT-1 and 14, 23 and 56 mm fujinon lenses you can see here: