My weekend break to Rome.
I have traveled quite a bit around Italy however, never quite reached Rome. This year I decided that this is something that I need to do as I have an overwhelming urge to keep returning to this beautiful country.
Flights booked through RyanAir costing £40 return Sunday to Tuesday. We booked a hotel near the centre so that we were only 10 to 15 mins walking distance from the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
When we got to the airport, it was pretty straightforward to find the bus station which is located right outside. We used Google Maps to find out which bus we needed, which was pretty straightforward. Depending on what part of the city your hotel is in will determine which bus you will board at the airport. We got a bus to Laurentina which took around 30 mins and then jumped on the metro to our destination. We should have purchased tickets for the bus as there was no way of paying on board, however, we were already on it so decided to just see what happens along the way. No one questioned us about a ticket, so we didn’t pay.
The metro was €1.50 and took us within 6 min walk to our hotel. I would say that when you are returning to the airport to check out the taxis as they have fixed rates. It cost us €35. We ended up in a taxi back to the airport after planning our journey and getting on the bus only to realise that travelling through the city on a work day in the morning is going to take some time. We got off the bus to jump a taxi. Be careful when getting off the bus! The drivers do not stick around and my friend got off first and I got left behind and ended up getting off at the next stop as he refused to let me off… it was comical but we eventually found each other and got to the airport in plenty of time.
Hotel Pomezia, Rome
The hotel was perfectly situated and was clean, friendly and everything we expected from the reviews. We paid £82 for 2 people for 2 nights with continental breakfast included in the price. We were not disappointed and when I arrived on crutches, (due to a knee injury) as they gave us a ground floor room with a walk in shower which was perfecto. The staff at Hotel Pomezia were lovely. They even let us have coffee and breakfast before we left at 7am. I would recommend this hotel for its location, cost and friendliness.
As we arrived at the hotel around 11.30am, put down our bags and headed to the Trevi Fountain. This took approximately 17 minutes walk from the hotel but with a bad knee we decided to stop off along the route to rest. We first came across so ancient ruins that is now used as a cat sanctuary. You can enter but it’s only open to the public certain times of a day. Across town we stumble across the Pantheon. Free to enter and well worth a visit. We stopped here for a glass of wine at a restaurant in the square and spent some time listening and watching the street entertainment… A glass would set you back around €7 which is a little steep when compared to other regions I have visited. There is so much police and Army presence throughout the city, which made you feel extremely safe. Our next stop would be the fountain. This is everything I expected, beautiful, grand and although there were a lot of tourists it wasn’t as packed as I had imagined. We decided to sit down by the foot of the fountain and eat Gelato (Lemon/ pistachio is my fave.)
We decided to buy a hop-on-hop-off tour bus ticket so that the next day we could see most of the sites without too much walking involved. There are people selling the tickets dotted around the city but make sure it’s an official seller (they have I.D and are usually on a Segway wearing some identification tabard.) We paid €19 each, which was well worth it.
On our first night we decided just to go to a local bar and grab a pizza and wine as it was a stones throw from our hotel. It cost around €21 euro for a large pizza which was extremely tasty and cooked fresh and a bottle of red wine it was delicious and we had no complaints.
Hostaria Al Gladiatore, Rome
Our second day was hoping on and off the bus and we decided that we would get off to eat near the Coliseum then walk the short distance to the entrance. The restaurant was directly opposite the Coliseum so it was always going to be a little bit more pricey due to its great location. The food was delicious along with the wine. The staff were attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The setting was relaxed and played Italian music while we ate. We could see the Coliseum from the window and what a monument it was. The cost for both of us to eat fries burger (amazing tasty cheese, bacon & beef) & side salad a bottle of red, plus another glass each of red! and tiramisu for me came to €80. We seemed to enjoy our self too much as when we got to enter the Coliseum we missed the last entrance at 3.30pm? although we were extremely disappointed at this, there is so much to see outside that you could just spend a few hours exploring the perimeter of this ancient site. This is one impressive place and I must one day return and get inside.
If I could say one negative thing about Rome it would be that it’s not great for anyone with limited mobility however I guess nothing is impossible if you really want to do it. I did and plan to return very soon.