Gregg Wallace visits cat shelter at Julius Caesar's place of death
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Gregg Wallace is a television personality who has shared an insight to the lesser known parts of Rome. He explained the best things about the city while visiting for Gregg Wallace’s Big Weekend Away.
The MasterChef judge has been giving Britons holiday inspiration for when travel opens up again in his new Channel 5 show.
Filmed before the coronavirus lockdown, Gregg visited Rome in an episode airing tonight.
Many people will associate the Italian capital with the Colosseum, Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain.
However, Gregg explained the city holds a Michelangelo statue that very few people know about.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “[The most surprising place was] Michelangelo’s statue of Moses.
“It’s absolutely beautiful and is in a really little church in a little backstreet with no queues to get in, and doesn’t cost anything to get in.
“It is an absolutely beautiful Michelangelo sculpture of Moses. It’s a stunning piece.
“No one knows about it. Everyone knows about the Sistine Chapel and the Statue of David in Florence. Who knows there is another Michelangelo classic in a little church?
“You look at it and you think ‘how did you carve that from a lump of hard rock? How did you do that?’.”
He explained the rare artefact is free to visit and is based in Rome but many people don’t know it is there.
As well as the hidden gems, there is lots to enjoy about the city, including the history.
Gregg stated: “There’s so much in the Eternal City. People don’t know this but I’m a real history buff – I’m an amateur historian. My office is stacked with historical reference books. For me, it’s impossible to see it all.
“You’ve got the Roman empire, you’ve got ancient Etruscan history, of course you’ve got the birth of the Roman Empire there as well.
“You’ve got the start of Christianity, you’ve then got the Renaissance, Rome is the city which can’t stop going.
“Apart from that you’ve got the amazing food, the architecture and the art. Just to wander around Rome and soak it all in. “The people are smart and they know how to live. You can have a really good time out there without spending a lot of money.”
When visiting the main tourist attractions, Gregg explained how to beat the rush and get the best experiences.
The TV star continued: “A nice thing to do if you want to see the city is get up at 6am. Go and see the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps before everybody else does.
“Get up and get close to it before Rome wakes up. There will be coffee shops open, you can get a pastry and a coffee.
“Then you can tick off the big sights and you won’t be sharing them with thousands of other people. That’s my tip.”
While most of the world can’t visit Rome just yet due to the ongoing pandemic, Gregg recommended the best seasons to go when the travel does open up again.
“Not summer, [go at] the beginning of Spring or Autumn,” he continued.
“When the crowds are dwindling and it’s not red hot. That’s the best time.”
Gregg Wallace’s Big Weekend in Rome airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 5
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