What’s next? Rome with Laurence Norah

There is always one place you will never tire of seeing no matter where you travel around the globe. We talk to some of top travel influencers and give them expert insight into their favorite places around the globe.

Now is the time to get out your travel bucket lists and fill them up!

Laurence Norah is joining us this time, the man behind Independent Travel Cats and Finding the Universe. We are jealous of Laurence’s passport stamps, as over 1,000,000 people follow his travels on FB. Laurence chose Rome to be his favorite city out of all the places he has visited around the globe. That’s something we can agree with! For expert travel tips on visiting the Eternal City, read on!

What were you doing before you started traveling?

After graduating with a degree, I worked for several years as a software developer in the UK. But I didn’t love working in an office environment or for someone else. Before I was thirty, I decided to travel for a bit to see if there was a better path.

My passion for photography and writing was rekindled during that year-long trip around Australia. This led me to create my blog. Since 2010, Finding the Universe has been my blog, and Independent Travel Cats has been my blog with Jessica since 2013. In 2016, I launched a course in travel photography. I am definitely busy!

What is Rome’s most special thing?

It is amazing how rich in history Rome and Italy can be. It is fascinating to hear the amazing stories of those who lived here, and see all the layers of history. There is something for everyone, from the historical interest mentioned above to the cafe culture and food.

What do you think more people should know about this area?

There’s so much to do, you will need to spend more time than you think. This guide covers 3 days in Rome. It’s just a small part of the whole. It’s great to visit Rome with someone new. They’ll ask questions like “what church?” and “what’s that building?”. Many of these amazing buildings are not on the tourist trail, they are part of the incredible fabric of Rome. It’s possible to spend a lifetime here exploring and not see all of it.

What’s your favorite thing to do?

The Baths of Caracalla are my favorite attraction. They were the second-largest public baths in the city, and really show the extent of the Roman’s construction skills. They aren’t very popular, unlike many of Rome’s other attractions. There is also a lot of green space, which is really lovely.

I must admit that I am a huge fan gelato. One of our trips to Rome was spent trying to find the best gelato, which was great fun.

What would you do if you had 24 hours?

What else can you do but eat gelato? If this was my first visit, I would want to see the highlights. The Colosseum would also be there, as well as the highlights of the old city center, such the Trevi Fountain or Pantheon. Finally, you could visit the Vatican. This would be a wonderful way to spend one day in Rome. Walking tours offer a great tour which actually visits all the attractions. I think that this would be a good idea to save time and queuing. Guides are a great way to get around, especially when we first visit a new place.

Having visited Rome multiple times, I would be looking for lesser-known attractions. Rome is home to so many amazing sights and museums that aren’t visited often. That’s where I would spend my 24 hour vacation.

What is your favorite place to eat here?

We are honest with ourselves and find that when we travel to a city like Rome, we tend not to look at the most recent ratings for restaurants. Restaurants can change so quickly that recommendations may not be up to date. Come il Latte is a great place to get gelato. It’s amazing!

Are there any unusual or off-the-beaten track spots you would recommend people visit?

Although it might sound sad, the Non-Catholic Cemetery can be a tranquil place to visit. There are many well-known writers buried there, including Keats and Shelley. It is also the site of the last surviving Roman Pyramid. This was constructed as a tomb to Gaius Cestius. This is definitely an unusual find.

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