Everything does not always go as it should and in the past it has generally been something on every trip, and this trip was no exception…
We got on the plane and arrived on time. We got out of the airport and jumped on a bus that took us into Rome. From the bus stop we took a taxi to our hotel for our stay in Rome, at least we thought so… We went inside and walked straight to the receptionist to check in, but he told us that the hotel was overbooked and that we should have been notified in advance. But we had obviously not heard anything about that at all!
Fun Fact: Rome is known as the “Eternal city” and also “Caput Mundi”, coming from Latin and meaning capital of the world.
They had arranged with another hotel in the same hotel chain in roughly the same area with the same standard, and they paid the taxi ride to the next hotel so we didn’t have much choice but to go there.
It turned out that the other hotel, Hotel Pace Helvezia, had a very good location for us, walking distance to most sites we wanted to see in Rome.
Fun Fact: The symbol SPQR can be found on many ancient buildings in Rome. It stands for “the senate and people of Rome.” (Senatus PopulusQue Romanus)
The first day (arrival day) we went to the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. We also ate some Italian ice cream (Gelato) and real Italian pizza. We were in fact in Italy 😉
The next day we got up early and walked straight to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps with a hope that we could get some pictures without too many people on it.
We got our photos and then walked towards Vatican City.
Fun fact about the Trevi Fountain: Every night about 3,000 Euros are swept up from the bottom of the basin. The money is donated to Caritas, a catholic charity, who uses the money to provide services for needy families in Rome.
We had tickets to 11 am, and it was not possibility to get in earlier, so we sat down at a café and waited.
After our visit to the Vatican City we took a cab back to the hotel, but we didn’t manage to get far before the taxi driver expressed his love for pizza and asked if it was okay if he could stop to buy some. Since he asked, we said it was okay, funny experience;) (he stopped the meter)
The dress code in The Vatican City is a little stricter, and we didn’t wanted to go around in too warm clothes, but after changing we went straight out again to find the hop on hop off bus.
After a tour we jumped off, ate some more ice and finished the evening with a nice dinner.
On Saturday it was according to the weather forecast reported rain, lightning and thunder all day, so we had set the day off for some shopping.
There were only a few drips and thundered a few times, so we had the luck with us this time! But we did go on a little shopping spree: purse, tunic, watch, dress shoes and dress belt.
We left the shopping bags in the hotel room and then took a cab to Castle Sant’Angelo. We wandered around a bit, looked and took pictures before we went back to the hotel.
The taxi ride was twice as expensive on the way back. The driver explained that it was more expensive after 6 pm, but we think we might have been cheated as he did not turned on the meter. We did not have the energy to argue with him.
Other than that, we relaxed a bit before we dressed up and went out for dinner. The restaurant we ended up at had no dessert to brag about, so we then went to another restaurant for dessert. There were a bunch of local people who ate there and who sang along when the musician played. It’s great to bump into places like that!
Us visiting a city without visiting a market? Oh no, not this time!
Every Sundays there’s a market in Trastevere (Trastevere is a medieval area in Rome that is separated from the central city by the river Tiber): Porta Portese Flea Market.
It have been said that Porta Portese Market is the mother load of Roman bazaars, with more than 1000 stalls. The market runs every Sunday, from soon after dawn until late lunchtime.
I think we went through everything there was to see, and we also bought something: Belt, purse and a small screwdriver set. Guess who bought what!
We left the day’s catch at the hotel before we went to the Colosseum.
The experience from last time was that it was a long line to get inside, and we wouldn’t join a guided tour this time as we did last time (there will be minimal queuing when you join a guided tour), so we had pre-purchased tickets online.
Fun Fact: The Colosseum in Italy only took 9 years to build using over 60,000 Jewish slaves.
It is thought that over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the Colosseum hosted people vs. beast games.
After visiting Colosseum we walked to Palatine Hill where we also could use the same ticket (we had booked a combination ticket for Colosseum, palatine hill and roman forum).
A tip: If you haven’t bought tickets in advance to Colosseum, buy a combination ticket for the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum at the nearby entrance to the Palatine Hill. It’s not too crowded over there.
We walked around for several hours before we headed to The Altare della Patria also known as the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument. We went to the top to get a great view over the city of Rome (cost 7 Euro p.p).
After a quick rest at the hotel we got back out and wandered around, ate Gelato (oh, the Ice is so good!), bought some souvenirs and ate dinner.
We unfortunately had to leave for the airport mid-morning 2 th of June. What we didn’t know was that June the 2 th is the Italian National Day. It had been fun to experience that, but we did see the Frecce Tricolori demonstration for the Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day) celebrations before we had to head for the airport.
Fun fact about the flag: The colors represent these virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).
We had a great time in Rome this time also, and we love that beautiful city, so it is not inconceivable that we travel back again later.
The hotel was fine, and we had a nice view from the 6th floor, but unfortunately we got the feeling of paper thin walls.
There was free wifi and breakfast included.