My Travels

ROME 11-13 OCTOBER 2016

   Day 1

I always wanted to visit Rome, but for all kind of reasons, I couldn’t till this October. I took 3 days off from my work, my wife Maria did the same…and boom! Rome, here we come!

We booked our tickets through this company in a very competitive rate. We paid 186 EUROS for 2 persons. The departure flight was in the morning and we returned late in the evening. I do not know what you think about low budget airlines, but this was not my first time and it will not be the last!

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Arriving at the airport. Ryanair rulezzz!!!

We arrived around 10 am. As we had only our hand luggage, in a few minutes we were to the bus terminal to pick our bus. We were dropped at the terminal (our line was the red one) Anagnina station. We took off in Ponte Lungo.

We booked our room through this site , actually it was really good! It was not a hotel in the strict meaning of the word. The owner, a very nice lady has almost one floor in her possession in an old building and she made 4 individual bedrooms. Its bedroom has its own bathroom, a huge really comfy bed and a balcony. All rooms are renovated and they are really cute! Unfortunately I realized that I have no photos of our room, but the photos in the link above are for real! Very good option for your accommodation , I totally suggest it! We had breakfast every morning in the kitchen. You could make coffee, you had juice, milk, cookies cake and all this kind of things.

It took us almost 10 minutes on foot to reach the metro station. The Rome metro has 3 lines, and it is very easy to wander into it with no problem whatsoever.

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Now for our first day in Rome we wanted to see as much as we could! We began our tour from the Piazza di Spagna. Fortunately the renovation was over and we could walk the famous steps , unfortunately the weather was a nightmare! It was cold and rainy! You could not walk the city as you want! Fortunately enough, my Nikon D700 is waterproof so I had no problem taking photos…!! Btw, Nikon D700 is an amazing dslr… Ask for info this guy.

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View of the Spanish Steps

Of course the place was really crowded! I could not imagine how bigger the crowd would be if the weather was a little better…

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Spanish steps view from the bottom

As I am ALWAYS the photographer, you will not find many photos of me!

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I wish I had just a slight smile on my photos!

You had the option of taking a ride by the carriage, but the weather was not the ideal for this thing. Actually, the weather was ideal for NOTHING!

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Love the hat!

There is no Rome without its boutiques, right?

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Drinking Nespresso while shopping for Valentino!

Next stop. Fontana di Trevi! OH MY GOD! MAGNIFICENT! I had seen many photos of the monument but nothing could describe my feelings when I stood before it! Very tall structure, the marble was bright, the statues formidable! Again, we meet a huge crowd, you could barely move your feet!

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The best fountain I have ever seen!

Of course we had to make a wish !After all, this is what we came for!

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We both wished for the rain to stop!

After that, we headed for the Pantheon. A really huge building with a hole on the top! The word Pantheon is a Greek adjective meaning “honor all Gods”. In fact, the pantheon was first built as a temple to all gods.

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The Pantheon as you approach

The interior had a weird effect on me, I sensed that this venue was very important in its glory days…but that’s a statement for the whole city or Rome, am I right?

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Yes! The hole is real!

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Time for mass and to catch my breath!

Rome is not only the ancient monuments but also the contemporary artists!

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Our last stop for the day was Piazza Navona. I could not find a single piazza (square) which I did not like!

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Piazza Navona in the afternoon

Had to take advantage of the rain!

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Playing with the reflections!

We tried to get to Castello di San Angelo, but by the time we reached there, it was closing! So sad…Then we walked to the Vatican, but again, everything was closed!

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Castello di San Angelo

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Saint Peter Basilica and my wife Maria!

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Love B/W in some occasions!

That’s the end of DAY 1

  DAY 2

We began our day really early! Our train to Florence was departing at 8.15 so we had to be at the station around 15 minutes earlier. We were there half an hour earlier.

The Termini station is an amazing one! It if full of shops, there is a bar along with some dining options all together in a spacious area, where you choose your meal and your sit. Really it is more that a station, it is a very nice place to have a drink in the evening!

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Our ride to Florence

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Getting the job done

After 90 minutes we reach our destination, FIRENZE! The sun was shining and the day was about to be really really good! 10 minutes walking from the station you will find the Florence Cathedral aka the Duomo. You should climb up to the bell tower. It’s about 82 meters and the view is BREATHTAKING!You also have the option to climb to the interior of the cathedral, but while we were there, the waiting time for that was about 90 minutes! So…no! Next to the cathedral there is the baptistery a really nice building that you should pay a visit to at least for a few minutes

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Florence Duomo

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The bell tower. Height: 85 m

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Felt like Ezio Auditore di Firenze of Assassin’s Creed having this view!

Next stop, Pallazo Vecchio. A palace and museum. I liked a lot the statues that you can see in this area. Really amazing and all the great personalities of an era. Of course, the statue of David casts its shadow to all the others!

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David himself

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You will find many statues like this

Ponte Vecchio is really close to the Palazzo Vecchio. It is an old bridge (the meaning of Ponte Vecchio), the oldest in Florence, and the most beautiful of course! You will find plenty jewelry shops on the bridge for all the tastes.

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A view of the bridge

One thing I enjoyed very much in Florence, was the squares. Big and flat! And very well made and preserved!

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Now thats a square!

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Photoshooting!

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Exchanging cultures somewhere in Florence!

  DAY 3

In our last day, we were exhausted! But it was not over yet! We had to go at least to one more site. Colosseum and Foro Romano! The weather was worse than the first day, but we didn’t care! We just went to see this!

Of course, the huge waiting line was again there, just waiting for us, but we were ok with that. We already had our tickets so we were just waiting. The Colosseum seems really enormous, and it is! Unfortunately, it is not in good condition and you only get an idea of how this venue would be back in the days.

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Just waiting in the line…

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The interior. You can see and imagine how this was with 60.000 spectators cheering!

Next to the Colosseum there is the entrance to the Foro Romano, the Roman Forum. A vast area full of antiquities in a really well-preserved condition!

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Leaving the Colosseum, heading to the Foro Romano

You will need a long time to see the Forum on its total. Unfortunately, we were short on that and we could do only the highlights!

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The Forum and the Colosseum in the other side

That’s it! This is what we could do and see within the 3 days we had! I think that we saw just a fraction of what Rome has to offered to all its guests, and we should definitely come back!

Just some spare thoughts

  •   I did not find not one piece of rubbish! Very clean streets and pavements
  • We paid around 80 euros for the train to Firenze, roundtrip. The train was awesome! We had wifi, plug for phone, a movie for free and of course the view from the window!
  • The train speed was 250km/h all the way from Rome to Firenze!
  • In general, I think Rome is not an expensive destination to be and worth all your money!

What about you? Have you been to Rome and Florence? What are your suggestions and the places to visit there? Would you recommend it to a friend of yours as an option for a forthcoming trip?

I will be glad to read and answer to some comments below!

 


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