Italy 2016: Rome

Rome. The capital of Italy. Who visits Italy without making their way down to Rome? We left for Rome as soon as we reached Milan. We t...

Rome. The capital of Italy. Who visits Italy without making their way down to Rome? We left for Rome as soon as we reached Milan. We took the overnight bus and went on a journey for ten hours. It may seem like a gruelling experience given the fact that we already had close to thirteen hours of flight. However, it was a pleasant journey. I slept the entire journey only waking up for nature's call. 

From the Milan airport, we took the train aka the Malpensa Express to transfer to the metro station Lampugnano where the bus station is. The ticket to Cadorna sets us back 24Euros. We got on the wrong train at first until we realised the train that we were on wasn't going to our destination. We asked the staff and got on to the right one soon after. The trains in Italy, from our observation, comes right on time. 

We took the Metro at Cadorna and transferred to Lampugnano. We paid 5Euros for the tickets if I remember correctly.

We reached Lampugnano at 10pm and our bus wasn't scheduled till 1155pm. We booked our bus with Megabus. There were other buses going to Rome but looking around, I thought ours looked more premier. It was a double decker bus and there weren't too many passengers travelling with us. We paid a total of 26.50Euros for our bus ride to Rome. Money well spent. Do check out if you are travelling to Rome from Milan like us!

I woke up sometime around 6am and was greeted by beautiful country sights. A friend told me to look out the window and enjoy the view of the villages along the way. It was really a beautiful view. Filled with mountains and haystacks. We saw random sunflower patches on the Florence - Rome expressway.

We reached Rome at approximately 9am. We dropped off at Tiburtina Piazzale Mazzoni Bus Station which was just a stone throw's away from the Tiburtina Train Station. So convenient. We bought our metro tickets to our next stop, Numidio Quadrato, our apartment.

You can buy a few different kinds of tickets. You can get single tickets which is valid for 100 minutes. You can switch metro lines at Termini Station with one ticket. You can also purchase the 24, 48 or 72 hour passes. Or even a 7 calendar day travel pass. We ended up purchasing the 48 hours pass since we were going to stay in Rome for 3 days. This means we saved time and money buying metro tickets every time we want to travel around the city. I highly recommend getting the pass if you are going to stay longer in the city.

Since we reached Rome rather early in the morning, we decided to go sightseeing after checking in. Our apartment is very convenient, located five minutes away from the train station. I am glad we chose an area away from the city centre so we go to experience the Rome the way Romans do. We were in a legit town. Food was so easy to spot. There were many halal food places around us. Our favourite was this restaurant selling briyani. Damn it was good. A few steps out of our apartment, there was a fruit stall. It was good. The watermelon was so juicy and sweet I can taste it in my mouth right now. If ever I go to Rome again, I would probably visit this town again.

After checking in and washing up a little, we set out to look for the Colosseum.

We took the metro to Colosseum having to transfer at Termini to the other line. I swear the metro is so convenient and easy. Much like our very own MRT.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. It wasn't until we were out of the station that we realised the Colosseum is right in front of us, standing huge and majestic. We didn't expect the Colosseum to be right at the station. It was the greatest feeling ever. To be surprised by something full of history right in your eyes. It was rather busy that day as it was a Sunday. It was nice to see tourists getting excited and taking pictures everywhere.

We decided not to pay to enter the Colosseum. First, the queue to enter was very long and we didn't pre-purchase the tickets. Second, I really don't mind not going in this time so that I can come back again and do all that the next time. I was content seeing it up close. We then went to a restaurant overlooking the Colosseum and had our first Italian meal.

We were told that the pizza is for one person. So we ordered pasta with it. Only to realise that the pizza is at least a medium. But it was the best pizza I had in Italy. If you do eat in a restaurant, you will sometimes realise in your bill this thing called Coperto. Especially if you are in a touristy area. You are being charged for a seat, the bread that they served which you didn't order (even if you don't eat it). I heard that it is illegal for restaurants in Rome to add Coperto but heck they were delicious. So look out for the itty bitty charges!

After google mapping, we realised that the Trevi Fountain is about thirty minutes walk away from the Colosseum. So we walked. I am glad we did. From the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain, there is a stretch of road that is so beautiful, I can still remember the sights and sounds. It was around 6 or 7pm when we walked so the sun was slightly setting. The breeze was cool, almost cold. You will see even more ruins as you walk by. We saw Fori Imperiali and stood in the center of Piazza Venezia. We didn't manage to visit the Pantheon though. Bummer.

The walk to the Trevi Fountain took us longer than we expected that by the time we reached, we were quite tired. It was also crowded with many tourists who wants to have a shot at throwing a coin and making a wish. We didn't stay long and left for our apartment soon after. The nearest metro station to Trevi Fountain is Barberini.

Our second day in Rome was a little uneventful. We started our day really late. We were so jet lagged we slept in the entire afternoon. We had plans to visit Vatican City but by the time we were there, it was already closed. So we decided to metro to Colosseum. The Colosseum is even more magnificent in the dark. We sat around the area for a bit, even contemplated walking home because we wanted to walk the same stretch of road and see the sights at night. But it was almost twelve and the last train to our station is at midnight.

I have always loved going to the same places at different times of the day because they usually look even more magnificent at night. Seeing the Colosseum at night was a sight not to be forgotten.

Our last day in Rome, we walked around a little bit at Termini station before catching our train to Florence.

All in all, I fell in love with Rome. I was surprised to see that the Rome I had imagined, looked exactly the way it is. The balconies in the apartments, with flower pots around. Rome took a bit of my heart. Three days wasn't enough to explore the city. I hope to be back and see more sights.

You know how they say about your first love? I didn't regret going to Italy for my virgin Europe trip. We'll meet again Rome.

See you in my Florence post!



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