When in Rome...Do as the Romans do?
Rome Travel Blog› entry 5 of 16 › view all entries
Our arrival at Fiumicino Aeroporto (Leonardo DaVinci Airport) was pretty smooth and only marred by the cutoms agent, as usual! I happened to get an agent who decided that his day's mission was to make me pee my pants from fear! Daniel sailed through cutoms being a UK citizen, therefore part of the E.U. Me on the other hand had to stand in a long line of non-Eurpoean Union citizens with one cranky customs agent. I had to stand there for a good five minutes at his little window while he leafed through my passport muttering things in Italian, eventually calling over another agent to look at my information. He asked a few brusque questions in Italian which I didn't understand and then made hand gestures at me.
Once through with baggage in hand we had to figure out how to get from the airport to the actual city of Rome. Anyone who has been to Rome knows the the Airport is a good 30 minutes or more outside of the city by train, which at the time I did not know. For about 19 Euro each we were able to get our tickets from Fiumicino to Roma Termini, which was a block or two from our hotel.
Our hotel (Hotel Scott House-see my review*) was in one of the best possible locations! It was so close to Stazione Termini, where you can catch buses and trains to just about anywhere you need to get to in Italy.
For those of you who have never been to Rome let me explain how perilous it is just to walk down the street or try to cross the street. You really do put your life in your own hands when you try to do either of those activities. I watched scooters and cars alike drive up on the sidewalk to get around other cars. I think we stood at our first intersection for at least 5 minutes while we tried to figure out how we were going to get across the street. It is no joke when I say that we often waited for nuns or priests to walk across the street first so we could follow in their wake, figuring that Roman drivers would let them and therefore us, cross safely.
The church of Santa Maria Maggiore is a beautiful site! There is a magnificantl medieval bell tower and statues with flowers strewn at their feet. Renaissance and Baroque mingle with history. It is said that the ceilings were gilded with the first gold brought back from America by Christopher Columbus.
After we left Santa Maria Maggiore we wandered off to the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine.