EuropeItalyRome

Rome - crazy Taxi drivers, crooks, a fire and a lot of fun.

Rome Travel Blog

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Central station during the strike

I was really looking forward to Rome. My girlfriend was not sure what to expect. Some of her friends had really enjoyed it and one of them gained 3 kilos in one week due the fantastic food that they are serving in the restaurants.

We had a morning flight; we were leaving from Brussels 7.25 am which meant that w were up very early. I think for the first time we had managed to pack the day before so we felt quiet organized when we woke up at 5.00 am. We had some quick showers and some light breakfast.

Inside the first café we visited

The airport was no that busy " I had expected more action because I had picked my girlfriend up the day before and at that point of time the airport was actually more than full. Everything went well at the airport and the flight left at announced time.

My girlfriend slept good on the plane; it must have been the first time ever! After less than 2 hours we approached the Da Vinci airport in Rome. We flew pretty low over some very interesting view along the east coast of Italy.

In Fiumicino airport everything went well. We got our luggage and found the train that was leaving towards Rome. The train was completely full so we were standing in the hall looking out the window for the 25-30 min it takes to go to the central station in Rome, Stazioni Termini the price was 11€ for each of us (one way).

Look at these cakes!

When we arrived at Termini, we tried to find our Metro that should have been line B. After some minutes walking up and down the different metro entries, it became clear that the entire network was on strike, so we had better to find a taxi to reach our hotel. We stood in a queue for about 30 min before we had a taxi. The scenery in the queue was funny; people were in general very calm and smiling, except of some Italian suits, most of them women as well!, that had to be somewhere else in a hurry. Along the queue you had also the normal hustlers trying to make an extra buck on cheating tourists with their black taxis. The hustlers all looked like crooks, and I would recommend them to work a bit on their appearances’.

The taxi driver that we finally got was everything that you could imagine of a man on traffic steroids.

The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre
He started with the traditional “I don’t know that hotel routine” spending some extra time, but I must say that he suddenly change his mind when I rather exactly could explain him where it was. He drove like a maniac " we were both suddenly in a Grand Theft Auto computer play". It was the fastest city drive I ever had seen. As long as he was on the road I didn’t mind. We reached the hotel in 15 minutes and the meter had gone up to 18,90 euro when he stopped. Then he started with some baggage calculation and suddenly we were at 26,90; some suitcases! I gave him 30€ and he just took the money and left! I was just laughing, welcome to the city of players.

The hotel was situated 5 km from the city centre, which were only 4 metro stations from Colosseo. The hotel turned out to be a nice quiet hotel close to one of the city universities. At the reception desk we were met by a very efficient desk clerk, she was one of the fastest I have ever seen, and she spoke fast as well.

We had arrived early before lunch so our room was not ready. We dropped of the suitcases and went for a walk in the neighbourhood to get a sense of where we were, because the taxi driver had made everything surreal with his driving.

We located the metro station that would be our starting point every day and there we bought a week card for the busses and the metro in order to be moving freely the coming days. At the train station we found a small lunch café and had our first taste of Italy. It was great and we finally were where we wanted to be.

After a couple of hours we went back to the hotel, checked out the room and changed clothes before going in to town again as fast as possible.

We went in the Colosseo which were the part that my girlfriend had looked forward to the most.

The house along Via del Pantheon with their wonderful yellow colour
We walked around it and just enjoyed it together with the other half of the European population who apparently had the same idea. We had also our first encounter with the tourist prices of Rome 4 euro for a ½liter coke light, a bit steep, but what can you do when a woman is in need. We left towards Monomento a Vittorio Emanuele II along the Via del Fori Imperali where I bumped in to an old colleague of mine which I hadn’t seen for years. After some hugs we left for the monument which is huge! We went all the way to the top and even took the last elevator for 5€ each to get a good view of Rome. The view from up there was amazing; it was well worth the money.

From the top we could see a fire in Via del Corso and decided to go that way, not because of the fire but because the street was blocked by the police, so it was possible to walk very freely in that direction. We were absolutely not the only ones with that idea. The fire turned out to be in a small clothing shop.

Street art - I only saw it there the first day. Via de Monte Brianzo
We strolled along the small streets in the neighbourhood and finally ended up at the Pantheon which is one of my favourite buildings. We found a restaurant in front of the building, it was not the best restaurant but we had a good mushroom soap and a great view. After diner we went and had one of these fabulous Italian ice creams on our way to Piazza Navona.     

 

ken2010 says:
I really love Rome! your blog of it makes me think of another visit to this amazing city. Thanks!
Posted on: Sep 05, 2010
Chokk says:
Yes - a lot of times you just know you are gonna get cheated. Once in Barcelona though I had a fantastic female taxidriver that booked table for us at a good restaurant when she heard where we were going and we hadn´t booked yet.
Posted on: May 24, 2008
X_Drive says:
I'd rather get a tooth pulled than take a taxi! :)
Posted on: May 23, 2008
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Central station during the strike
Central station during the strike
Inside the first café we visited
Inside the first café we visited
Look at these cakes!
Look at these cakes!
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origina…
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origin…
The house along Via del Pantheon w…
The house along Via del Pantheon …
Street art - I only saw it there t…
Street art - I only saw it there …
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origina…
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origin…
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origina…
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origin…
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origina…
The Colosseum or Coliseum, origin…
Clivo di Venere Felice
Clivo di Venere Felice
Piazza Venere e Roma
Piazza Venere e Roma
Piazza Venere e Roma
Piazza Venere e Roma
The Colosseum from Via dei Fiori I…
The Colosseum from Via dei Fiori …
Picture of the magnitude of the Ro…
Picture of the magnitude of the R…
Walking down the Via dei Fiori Imp…
Walking down the Via dei Fiori Im…
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuela II
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuela II
Piazza Venezia seen from Monumento…
Piazza Venezia seen from Monument…
A fire in a clothing shop at Via d…
A fire in a clothing shop at Via …
The fire at Via del Corso
The fire at Via del Corso
Piazza Venezia and Via del Corso s…
Piazza Venezia and Via del Corso …
The guards of Monumento a Vittorio…
The guards of Monumento a Vittori…
Outside the first café we visited
Outside the first café we visited
Foro Traiano seen from Monumento a…
Foro Traiano seen from Monumento …
Foro Traiano seen from Monumento a…
Foro Traiano seen from Monumento …
Colosseo seen from Monumento a Vit…
Colosseo seen from Monumento a Vi…
Colosseo seen from Monumento a Vit…
Colosseo seen from Monumento a Vi…
One of the two statues at the top …
One of the two statues at the top…
The elevator up tp the top of the …
The elevator up tp the top of the…
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuela II
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuela II
Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia
The fire at Via del Corso
The fire at Via del Corso
The fire at Via del Corso
The fire at Via del Corso
The fire at Via del Corso
The fire at Via del Corso
Yet one of the many wonderful chur…
Yet one of the many wonderful chu…
Underwear from Rome
Underwear from Rome
The roof at Pantheon
The roof at Pantheon
The wonderful Pantheon
The wonderful Pantheon
Another street artist in a frozen …
Another street artist in a frozen…
The roof at Pantheon
The roof at Pantheon
The evening life at Piazza Navona
The evening life at Piazza Navona
The fountain at Piazza Navona
The fountain at Piazza Navona
The fountain at Piazza Navona
The fountain at Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Via de Monte Brianzo
Via de Monte Brianzo
Street art at Via de Monte Brianzo
Street art at Via de Monte Brianzo
Streets of Rome
Streets of Rome
Streets of Rome
Streets of Rome
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photo by: vulindlela