Rome Day 2 (Part 1)

This could have been re-titled as Vatican Museum Trip Report, but in keeping with the standard nomenclature that I have set for the rest of the Eurotrip, I will just stick with Rome Day 2.

Woke up early again today, found a simple cafe near to the apartment that we were staying called Il Espresso. It was also the first time we came face to face with the sitting charge of €2. But since they provided some freshly baked bread, I have no complaints, in Rome do as the Romans do.

Getting to the Vatican Museum or Musei Vaticani, was a different kettle of fish altogether. It was a working day and we were caught with the office crowd at the Metro station.

Tip: Get tickets to the Vatican Museum way ahead of time to skip the queue

“I think this could be summed up as too many people, too few trains,” according to my wife. We had to squeeze into the packed subway trains in order to get to our destination in time. The nearest stop was still some walking distance away from the entrance but no worries, you could just follow the crowd as they make their way from the Metro station to the entrance.

It was just hitting 8:30-9:00 am in the morning of a working there but the lines were already 300 to 400 metres long, spanning half a block. Not to mention the number of tour groups waiting to go in.

“Luckily we got ourselves the tickets in advance,” I whispered under my breath.

The famous photo redone my style (click to enlarge)

The famous photo redone my style (click to enlarge)

Continue reading →

Advertisements

Rome Day 1 (Part 3)

Instead of all roads lead to Rome, we had all roads lead to the Trevi Fountain. One unique feature of Rome is the way they manage to supply the city with numerous fountains, both big and small. And the water is served piping fresh!

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain (click to enlarge)

Trevi Fountain (click to enlarge)

One of Rome’s famous fountains, the Trevi Fountain was completed in the late 1700s. To signify the beauty of this fountain, the sculptor built it with an ocean theme. This fountain has water gushing in from 20+ different sprouts onto 30 different plants as Triton blows his conch shell.

Tip: Even if you don’t have an accurate map of Rome, just follow the crowd and you are bound to reach the fountain from one of Rome’s little arterial-like cobble paths.

Stand back and admire the fountain from afar, although you might need some jostling to get the best spot. Then go nearer to the details of the statues that make up the fountain. Then, as do all other tourists, throw a coin into the fountain to ensure a swift return to Rome in the future.

“Are you sure?” asked the wife, always the skeptic.

“Why don’t you try and see?” I replied.

“Worse comes to worst, it’s just a 10¢ Euro coin, no big deal.”

Symbol of Rome

Symbol of Rome

If you want a quiet spot near the Fontana di Trevi, look to your right along the lower steps

Il Peperone

Il Peperone

Il Peperone

I’ve forgotten who suggested this, if I’m not mistaken, it was Spotted By Locals, but when I tried to search for it on their website, the page cannot be found. Anyways, this restaurant is located on Via Veneto, just a little ways from Fontana Di Trevi.

We just wanted to give the Italian spaghetti another try, and since this place was recommended, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to drop by. There is a nice covered space outside on the curb as well as indoor dining, it was still early in the evening, so we thought it would be fun to watch the Romans, as we enjoyed our meal.

As we were amongst the earliest there, service was pretty fast and without any hassle. The food was palatable although the portion wasn’t enough for the 6 of us, despite ordering one each, so we added a pizza and a salad side dish to top off our hungry stomachs.

Il Peperone's Spaghetti

Il Peperone’s Spaghetti

Il Peperone Salad

Il Peperone Salad

Day 1 Conclusions

If you’re a historical buff, or even if you’re not, the Colosseum complex together with the Palatine Hill is a must visit. Dab on loads of sunscreen if you’re going in the summer. We were just there in early May but it was already quite hot, but not as hot as we are used to back home.

Walking around Rome is not too tricky but it would be advisable to take good care of your belongings, especially wallets, purses and handbags. Not to say that it isn’t safe, but any snatch thief could easily slip into one of the numerous paths and alleyways even before you could call for help.

The abundance of tourists around the famous sights made taking photos a little bit tricky, some will inadvertently ‘photo-bomb’ your pictures, so it would be advisable to take a lot of photos. And do be quick about it.

 

 

 

Rome Day 1 (Part 2)

“Man, this is hot!” said the wife.

“Come on, we came from a place with sun all year round, this is nothing,” I replied.

The whole family started to put on their hats and sunglasses. It is indeed hot after the relatively cold weather of Paris and Amsterdam, Rome weather could be considered closer to home, the weather that is, not the place.

The sun was on top of our heads and shining down brightly, which wasn’t a good thing if you were planning for the tour of the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, since all the architecture and stuffs are underneath the hot sun with only a few trees providing shade at certain areas.

We took the entrance which was nearer to the Colosseum, they have public WC here just right after the entrance, so don’t worry, modern plumbing goes hand in hand with ancient Rome!

They never heard of tiles or cement

They never heard of tiles or cement

Continue reading →

Rome Day 1 (Part 1)

I am on the last leg of my Eurotrip, another 3 days in Rome and that is the end of the 2-week journey. This, however, has not curbed my enthusiasm to travel more and do more in the remaining days of the Eurotrip.

The whole family had to wake up early (again), I think that during our time in Venice, we have been waking up early for almost every day. Venice is a small place and it gets crowded with tourists really fast, so in order to get some really nice shots, as the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. Nevertheless, it was all worthwhile.

We had an early train to catch — the 613am train to Rome from Venice

Our stay at the Antiche Fugue was planned to perfection, we didn’t have to walk far with our luggage, the hotel is situated right in front of the Venezia Santa Lucia train station. The ‘real’ Venice can be seen in the mornings, as the barges and boats with wares pass by the train station. Venetians can be seen with their ingenious contraption that allows them to cross the bridges with heavy goods almost effortlessly, things that we never expect.

We had to catch the early train (613am) to Rome.

“What?” was the response from QS, who as noted in family history, wasn’t one of the early risers when I told her the departure time the night before.

Rome Termini

Maybe it was the timing or maybe it was the usual, Rome Termini was anything but organized. Everyone was going in every direction available. They were no lifts available, only elevators, and even so, some were not working. The mad rush and tangle of bodies did not come as a shock to us, it was pretty much the same back home but after 12 days of organized bliss, this was an eye-opener to say the least.

There were also long queues for the tickets, fellow travelers like us, had to queue up with our luggage on tow, blocking the way for those who were rushing to board their trains. The corridors were darkly lit, no wonder there were some comments on how unsafe the area could be at night.

We had to catch the Metro to our AirBnb apartment on Via dei Ciancaleoni, just off Via Cavour, somewhere near the Cavour Metro station.

Continue reading →