Travel | Italy: Rome


Hello everyone!
I've been thinking of how to start this post in a creative way, but since I have problems with creativity, let's just start with what I have. (Just for you to know - this is going to be a veeery long story.)

Disclaimer:
these post is kind of a part of Italy series post, so let me explain.
I'm going to make it as helpful as I only can, with all information that I have and with all my honesty.
There's also a "quick look" at the city in every post where I just mark some details that I can associate with a particular city.
There are all tips that I can give at the end of the post (in case you can't read the whole post). All pictures are clickable.

My mom and I were planning this trip since, I think, October 2015 and now it finally happened! The fact that we've started to plan this journey quite early before the actual departure, helped us to save a lot of money on transportation and accommodation.
First, and the most important part of planning every trip, is transportation. We bought our flight tickets in November (3 months before departure) and this saved a lot of our money, so the first tip is: the earlier you plan & buy - the cheaper your tickets are.
Our flight was with Aegean Airlines (Greek company) and it was truly amazing, starting from taking off and landing and ending with food and catering. It wasn't a straight flight and, as I live in Russia and our flights are usually from Moscow, these tickets are way cheaper than on a straight flight.

So our first stop was Athens. We had 16 hours in this city, but as we landed on about 5pm, it was getting darker outside and we just got to wander the streets a little, got lost and I'm going to share some photos but without any special explanation.





Acropoli

After our long walk, Greek yogurt and a cup of hot chocolate we got back to Syntagma Sq., took a bus and returned to the airport. Athens airport is really nice, actually. So we tried to get some sleep and had our flight to Rome the next morning.

And here it is! Wonderful, lovely, amazing
Rome
Quick look:
Smell of the city: women perfume
Most impressive thing: Vatican
Most memorable thing: Colosseum
Special note: graffiti everywhere

We had great plans for our 3 days in Rome. And by plans I mean seeing as many wonderful "must-see" places as possible and feeling that city spirit. And pasta. And pizza. I told you, great plans.

We landed in Fiumicino airport which is about 25km from Rome itself. Right in the airport we've bought traveler's Roma Pass card for 48 hours.
Then we got on a bus to Roma Termini station, changed on a metro to Re Di Roma where we had our room booked. We lived in very nice district San-Giovani with cute streets and trees everywhere.


Though the district is perfect, I used to have a 24hour supermarket or minimarket here at home. And it's something that you won't find there. I'm not sure if it's a district, current season or it's usual to Italy at all, cafes, shops, gelaterias and all these close in about 7pm. So you should be prepared in advance.

As I already said, we had great plans. And the first place that we were going to visit was Vatican. We bought our Vatican Museums tickets in advance and just had to change them at a ticket window. I seriously recommend to buy your tickets online to skip the line.





Vatican museums is a huge building with a lot of rooms, corridors and kind of different museums, some of which dedicated to particular persons. I'm not even sure that one day is enough to walk through all these rooms and see everything.


Everything in Vatican is just outstanding and breathtaking. Decorative parts of walls, ceilings; wonderful sculptures and overwhelming paintings.
Sistine Chapel is located at the end of the entire museum and it's wonderful and unbelievable. Seeing paintings that I've seen only in books, films and magazines is just overwhelming. Unfortunately, photography is forbidden in Chapel.

I'm really sad I can't put all my photos in this post.

The same day's evening after having a delicious plate of pasta and pizza Margarita, we headed to Spagna Square and became really upset when we've learnt that Spagna Steps (huge stairs) were open only until 5pm. 


Anyways, our evening's goal was the most beautiful fountain I've ever seen in my life, famous Fontana di Trevi. I've never seen that many people around one fountain.


Our next day started with a huge queue to Colosseum. It was first Sunday of month, so the entry to Colosseum was absolutely free. We've been staying up in this line for 1 and a half hour, but I've met a very lovely girl Mina and we've been talking quite a lot so the time didn't seem so long. And you always can skip the line by buying a ticket from some guide, so you can get to Colosseum with a tourist group (the cheapest price that I've heard was €15).


Colosseum somehow has always been the most important and associating thing not only with Rome, but with entire Italy to me. And seeing it in reality is something really breathtaking and overwhelming. Though I still can't believe that I was there, especially now when I got back to my daily routine.

After visiting Colosseum we went to the next point of interest - Palatino and Roman Forum. The ticket to Colosseum and Palatino is the same, you buy it wether in Colosseum or Palatine and it works for both of these places.


Then we were just walking and catching up some other things that we wanted to see such as Piazza Venezia and Piazza Navona. Architecture and it's colors and just environment is truly outstanding.


Same evening we've found Pantheon with its great decor.







We had one more day to wander the streets of this wonderful ancient city, to see Piazza San Pietro one more time and just walk and walk and walk. We were very lucky as the weather was really nice and mostly sunny.



Next stop: festive Venice!

TRAVEL TIPS & LINKS
  • Firstly I want to mark again the most obvious tip - if you plan your trip, it's cheaper to start buying tickets and booking your accommodation early. I've read some sites recommend to buy tickets even 6 months before your departure, though I think it's too early.
  • We've been moving through Italy on the trains. I can highly recommend Trenitalia site for buying tickets online. And here it is again - on the early dates before your train trip you can find super cheap tickets even for the 1st class carriages. I also recommend to stay on Italian version of Trenitalia, as the English one has a lot of bugs.
  • I'd also recommend to buy museum tickets online to skip the line later. You can find a lot of tickets on Select Italy, where we've bought our tickets to Vatican.
  • First Sunday of every month is a free day in a lot of museums and galleries (list of free places). 
  • Be sure to check the official site of museum you want to visit if it's possible. Some of museums are closed on Mondays.
  • Roma Pass can save a lot of money if you plan to visit a few museums. There are 2 tapes of the card: for 48 hours and 3 days. Pass for 48 hours [at the moment] costs €28 and gives you access to all public transport, 1 free and discount to your next museum visits; pass for 3 days costs €36: 2 free museums, transport and discounts.
  • At the same time if you feel that you don't need Roma Pass, you can get Transport Tickets for 24, 48 or 72 hours and 7 days. More information here.
  • Vatican Museums, Villa Borghese, Colosseum

Have you been to Rome or Italy? 
Personally I loved staying there and, spoiler, I enjoyed this city more than any of those that we've visited.
xx, D

Instagram