Brief Time In Rome
Rome Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
After approximately 25 hours since leaving home (3 hour wait over in Bangkok) I finally landed at Fiumicino airport. My arrival in the morning of early October bathed me in blue skies and warm weather. After clearing customs and contacting the hotel transfer service, I was whisked away to my city hotel. My expectation of a soon to be refreshing shower was unfortunately dashed, for within 15 minutes of leaving the airport we encountered Rome's daily traffic congestion.
An hour later I reached my accommodation and thanked my shuttle driver (grazie). The budget hotel I selected was certainly cosy enough, clean and tidy. It was also situated close to the Roma Termini Stazione and the starting point for the hop on hop off tourist buses. Before leaving home I was told to be careful in that particular area as pick pocket activity is supposedly quite rampant. I did not encounter any of these problems, and as a matter of fact my whole stay in Rome was trouble free. In the next street to where I stayed, a daily street market operated. Here one can buy fresh fruit, veges, clothing, small consumer electronics, baggage and many other items. These local markets are great for the budget minded traveller and very popular with the locals. It was great to eat cheap fresh fruit daily and I also bought some low cost tee shirts which replaced the ones I forgot to pack at home.
Rome has so many attractions and landmarks to see and of course I could only see a few of these in the time available to me. I will not comment in depth about Rome's attractions and landmarks as other relevant travel stories submitted before me, have done this well enough. However, I will name a few places I liked the most.
Rome's central attractions are easy to get to for travellers who are keen to walk. If walking is not your buzz the various “hop on hop off” buses are handy, the upside of this is:
Most attractions are easy to get to.
Recorded commentaries in various languages give a good informative insight into the history of the attraction and surrounds.
Discounted guided tours can be bought when purchasing your bus ticket. Another advantage to this is you will probably avoid the long waiting lines and go straight to the entry area (with the assistance of a guide).
Ideal for travellers with only a few days available in Rome.
The downside is:
The walking tourist may beat you to the attraction as the bus can be stationary for periods of time during heavy traffic. This may not be a bad thing as you will get a bird's eye view (from atop the bus) of those daredevil Roman motorcyclists threading around vehicles at speed and with very little space to manoeuvre in.
My favourite places were the Vatican Museums, I was totally captivated by what I saw and experienced there. The Trevi fountain was another place I liked, although hot and crowded when I visited. The constant movement of water gave a cooling effect and also a sense of tranquillity. The majestic Colosseum where the Gladiators once battled was always an interest to me. LOL. I suspect a legacy from my childhood days watching those old movies depicting Gladiators who not only battled each other, but wild beasts as well.
For those who travel to Europe from New Zealand, Australia or similar distances, it is a special occasion for us. We have such a loooooong way to travel and we tend to visit multiple countries in the region to maximise quantity, sadly quality suffers. All in all, I'm glad to have touched down in Rome, albeit briefly. It is certainly worth another visit sometime in the future...certainly a more in depth stay next time.