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A Roman Holiday

Rome Travel Blog

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St Peter's Basilica

it took me weeks to plan my 1 week trip to rome.  the stress of choosing the right hotel was incredible.  there were so many things to consider: price, location, comfort, safety and the staff's attitude.  i had around 20 hotels in my list adn i had to google each one to get teh feel of what the hotel is like according to those who have actually stayed in it.  my starting point then was trip advisor, yahoo travel forum, trav buddy, travel blog and the rest was from the google search result.

after doing all teh due diligence, i ended up with oen hotel, hotel colombia in via della conzilliacione. it was an old palace where the previous popes used to live. and the location was perfect. it was a few steps away from st peter's basilica and the vatican museum.

SPB's forecourt - right
  i opted to stay in this hotel because of its rustic, historical and old palatial charm. i didn't want to stay in a modern hotel.  and the price was perfect too. i paid 200 euro per night with breakfast.  when coming up with the decision on which one to choose, i balanced the pros and cons of those who reviewed it.  if i could live with the cons, it was good enough for me. just as long as it met my basic criteria of price, location, safety, comfort and great staff.

i slept on my decision for 2 nights before i finally went to their website and booked my reservation.  getting the accomodation completed was a big tick off my list.

the next on the list was my itinerary. i bought a DK eyewitness travel guide for rome. i studied the sights and read through their recommended walking tour guide.

SPB's forecourt - left
  with 4 days up my sleeve for touring, i decided to follow their walking tour guide to the letter. it was all i ever needed to see all the sites in rome (within the historical centre parameter).  another tick off my list.

so far, i had my airfare ticket purchased and booked, hotel reservation booked, itinerary ticked off, i need to worry about what to bring.  i made a conscious decision to travel as light as possible.  so i packed what i thought i would be needing for the trip 6 weeks in advance.

every week, i took one item out of the luggage and by the last week, i had almost halved the items i originally packed. yipee!

the next one on the list was to calculate how much my daily budget will be, so i can buy euro dollars.

Fountain
  i neede to purchase euro dollars and british pounds because i was going to london for a week after rome.  i ended up buying 1,500 euro and had my credit card as back up, depending on the currency exchange on the particular day.

and so the day has finally come.  after a year of planning (i bought the ticket a year before), i was standing in a queue ready to board my flight to rome, teh eternal city.

finally, i can tick off rome from my list.

the plane touched down at 6:30am at fiumincino airport. this was my first trip to this historic city. as soon as i cleared customs and immigration, i went straight to the arrival section so i can scout for a ride to the hotel.

i've met a filipino guy and i was hoping that he would be able to give me some tips on the best way to ge to the hotel.

Obelisk
i thought he was just waiting to welcome some relatives of his arriving on the same time.  i didn't realise that he was one of those who offers a ride to hotels for a fee.  because i did not know the place and i was the only one so far he has approached, i was a bit worried. good thing i overheard these americans negotiating for a ride to their hotel. they needed around 8 people to fill the van. so i joined in.  i paid 20 euros for the ride to the vatican city.

i arrived early at the hotel. around 9+ am. the check in time was around 2pm. and there was no room available.  so they allowed me to leave my bags so i can do my look around and made me come back after 2pm. and so off i went.

i headed straight to st peter's basilica and because it was early morning on a saturday, there was not much people.

Swiss Guard
it was great. not to mention the weather was perfec too. sunny but cool.  on entrance, i looked amazed and awestruck at how huge the basilica was. very high ceiling, huge gigantic statues in every columns and paintings too.  on the left from the entrance was the famous michael angelo's pieta. it was encased in a glass because of an unfortunate axe incident in the past.  and then i walked my way up to the north side until i reached the magnificent altar. what a holy site. i went to the tombs of the popes as well at the basement. saw pope john paul 2's newly built tomb.

after the St Peter's Basilica visit, i followed the first of the nine walking guide of DK travel guide: A One-Hour Walk Along Via Giulia. that will be for the next blog.

 

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St Peters Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
SPBs forecourt - right
SPB's forecourt - right
SPBs forecourt - left
SPB's forecourt - left
Fountain
Fountain
Obelisk
Obelisk
Swiss Guard
Swiss Guard
pieta
pieta
pieta
pieta
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
inside st peters basilica
inside st peter's basilica
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photo by: vulindlela