We were in Rome for four nights and managed to squeeze in alot of sights and things to do; we visited all the main attractions within Rome, spent half a day touring Vatican City, and even did a day trip down to Pompeii and Sorrento, we were busy!
We travelled to Rome from two nights in Florence and caught the Italo fast train for $76 AUD for both of us – $38 each person to travel about an hour and a half in comfort, you little beauty!
There was plenty of space for us to store our luggage on the train, and we managed to be sitting opposite some travellers on their honeymoon from New Zealand who had been travelling for the past four weeks around Europe, it was a nice way to kill time on the train.
Once we got off at Roma Termini, it was almost 2pm and we were pretty hungry, so we walked off the platform and in the station there were so many food options! We opted for the busiest place, as busy normally means good, and the panini’s did not disappoint. After scoffing down our lunch, we then popped up our Google Maps to determine the best way to get to our hotel, and as it was saying it was only a twenty minute walk, Luke decided we would be walking it… and boy was it a walk!
I am not kidding, Google took us up and down hills on some of the narrowest and wonky walkways we have covered in Europe, and by the time we made it to our hotel, Luke was absolutely dripping with sweat as it was extremely humid in Rome. To make matters even worse, no one was answering the door bell at our hotel. I called one number through Expedia, and they told me to call someone else. Called them, they said they had no booking for today!!! After a few more minutes, they found the booking along with my email advising of our arrival time and let us up. I am not kidding, once we tried to use the lifts just to get our luggage up the five or six levels, and made our way up the stairs to meet the luggage, we entered our “hotel”… It was literally someones apartment, and they had basically stuck up wall panels as thin as sheets and some doors – this was by far the worst place we had ever stayed in.
Due to the humidity, we turned on the air con – it made so much noise it was unbearable. Then the bed was broken – slats missing and super thin mattress… and the bathroom; moldy, broken shower head and broken doors in the shower that wouldn’t close – this was going to be a long 4 nights!
We quickly showered and headed off to walk around Rome. First stop, Spanish Steps. We walked down our alleyway and came across a massive queue at the Fontana del Tritone – it was a huge set up for the TV show ‘Friends’ 25th anniversary. We continued on our way. We were in awe and couldn’t believe all the sights we were seeing in real life, you always see them in documentaries but in real life is indescribable. Once we made it to the Spanish Steps (with Luke asking “where is the Spanish Elevator?”) it was already 32℃ and humidity was insane. After the huge crowd here, we headed towards the Trevi Fountain. Now, I thought the crowds at the Spanish Steps were insane… Wait until you watch the video to see how mental the crowd was at the Trevi Fountain! You would have been confused and thought there was a concert on it was so jam packed. After some pushing and shoving, I was able to get a decent view of the fountain, but no chance was I attempting to get closer to throw a coin in to the fountain.
By this time, it was getting close to dinner, so on the way home we stumbled across a Hard Rock Cafe – this would become our home for the next few days as the service was second to none, food was amazing, and everything was so clean. We enjoyed some dinner and unlimited soft drinks, before heading to the hotel to pass out ready for another day.
The next day we woke up ridiculously early as we wanted to check out the Colosseum (stupid me didn’t pre-book tickets and were told the day before that the lines gets insane). So we walked the 2km to the Colosseum and queued up for approx. half an hour before entering. The tickets were about €16 each which would give us access to both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. We spent the next couple of hours walking around the Colosseum, as it is so much bigger than expected. You always see it in the background in movies or videos, but you cannot judge the scale of this impressive structure. It is a must-visit when in Rome.
We then decided to wander around and slowly make our way to the Pantheon, and along the way we stumbled across some amazing places such as the Forum of Augustus, Piazza Venezia (which Luke said he was more impressed by then the Colosseum!) and Piazza Navona, before arriving at the Pantheon. One tip I will give – do not travel to Italy in September. The crowds were insane and you couldn’t get in anywhere unless you pre-booked or got there super early, otherwise you were wasting most of your time in lines for hours. Pantheon was another such line.
That night we were absolutely wrecked, but again, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner.
The next two days were what I was hanging for; our day trip to Pompeii and then our tour of the Vatican! I will post about these day in my next blog posts as they need one entirely of their own.
With Vatican City though, make sure you pre-book! We managed to snag the last two guided tour tickets (at $60 AUD each!) for the Tuesday as otherwise you could be standing in line for hours just to enter!
By Tuesday, especially after our lousy accommodation, we were excited to leave Rome and head for France. We were up ridiculously early to walk to Roma Termini and caught the 6:20am train to Roma Fiumicino Aeroporto which was a 32 minute train ride and was only $24 AUD each – much cheaper than any Uber or Taxi. Then we waited for our 10am flight to head to Nice! I cannot wait to do this blog and video!!!