I decided that once I had got my Christmas bonus from work I would use it to book some flights throughout the year and one of these was a trip to Rome.
I had been to Rome in 2012, but this was a whistlestop tour whilst Jamie and I were on a cruise. I think we had less than 10 hours here and it was a minibus taking us to the main tourist sites with just a little bit of time for pictures. You can read about that trip here.
About 6 weeks ago, I decided that I didn’t really want to go so cancelled the hostel I had booked and didn’t bother booking train tickets to/from the airport and transfers in Rome.
I then decided about 3 weeks ago that I did want to go so I found a different hostel and booked my train tickets to/from Stansted and the transfers to/from Ciampino airport.
I decided that I would do the sightseeing bus when I was in Rome and booked a 3-day ticket as I knew there was a lot to see and do.
In this post, I will detail what I did on each day and provide some pictures. I don’t really want to go into the history of Rome as this will make the post way longer than it needs to be.
I got severely sunburned on this trip but it was totally worth it. I have suncream but it is over 100mls so couldn’t take it with me and I didn’t want to buy some in Rome to have to leave it there too. I am not looking for sympathy as I brought it on myself.
I left the hostel early this morning (owing to the heat of the hostel and needing to make a phone call) to head to the Termini station to pick up the sightseeing bus.
I picked up the bus around 9:15 and decided that I would do a full route of each line and then see where I wanted to get off when I went round again.
I decided to mix it up a bit on this trip and use a different sightseeing bus company. I usually use City Sightseeing (not really been impressed with them in the last couple of cities I have been to) but decided to use Big Bus Tours this time around. I never had an issue with them and I would use them again.
The red tour took us by Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Colosseum, Circo Massimo, Piazza Venezia, Vatican, Ludovisi, Piazza Barberini and then back to Termini station.
Once I had done this all the way around, I decided that I wanted to see Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore and the Vatican for sure.
I then jumped on the purple line to do this route to see if there was anywhere I wanted to visit. There really wasn’t so I did this route only once.
The purple line had the following stops: Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Colosseum, Porta San Sebastiano, Catacombs & Church of San Sabastiano, Caffarella Park, Domine Quo Vadis, Terme di Caracalla, Circo Massimo, Piazza Venezia, Termin station.
Once I was back from the purple line, I then decided to find some lunch just to get a break from the heat and to rest my weary feet.
After I was done, I then walked down to Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore as it was a short walk from food. I took some pictures there and then decided I wanted to go inside. You have to go through security here. Try to take as little as possible. Inside of this was really ornate. I spent about 45 minutes here just in awe at how ornate the inside was.
Once I was done here, I then headed back to the bus stop so I could head round to Vatican City and have a look there. I had drunk so much that I had to find a loo so I could make sure I could walk around without making a fool of myself!
It was really weird to be back in Rome and have some idea of where I was going. I usually go to places I haven’t been before so I don’t generally know the area.
After I was done with seeing these places, I then headed back to the hostel for some respite. I then decided I would go back out to have some food and then pick up the night tour so I could see Rome at night – it was totally worth it. We had a live guide doing the commentary on this route and he was quite funny and gave us some good info.
Below are some of the pictures from today
Today I decided to have a lie in as I didn’t want to get up early (even though I did wake up early) and wanted to have a bit of a lie in before I left for the bus.
I went and picked up a big bottle of water and a nice cold Sprite (the weather was really hot). Once I was done here, I went to the bus and decided that I would visit the Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Spagna, Circo Massimo, Altare della Patria.
They say if you visit the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain, you will return to Rome. I did this on our trip in 2012 and I guess it’s right. Haha. I got there fairly early – like 10:00 and the crowds were crazy already. I pushed my way in to get some good pictures and pushed my way down to the edge of the fountain to get some pictures too. I was there for about 20 minutes before I had to leave due to the crowds.
I found a friendly policewoman to ask for directions to the Spanish Steps and Spanish Square. I was pointed in the direction and that was it. Thank goodness I had access to Google Maps to point me in the right direction.
Last time I was here, I climbed the stairs to the top just for a picture and then came right back down.
This time around, I pushed my way in to get a picture of Fontana dell Barcaccia. After that, I climbed the stairs and took some pictures of the view and then took a look inside Trinità dei Monti.
Once I was done here, I headed back to pick up the sightseeing bus. It was a nice walk (despite the heat. Haha) back to the bus. I got on the bus and headed to find some food.
Once I had eaten, I decided to get back on the bus and headed to Circo Massimo for a couple of pictures and then headed around the corner to take some pictures by Teatro Marcello and Tempio di Portuno and the area around there.
Once I was done, I then headed to Piazza Venezia and Altare della Patria and climbed the steps to the top (which I didn’t last time) and had a look around. After I was done here, I headed back to the bus to head back to the hostel to get some dinner. I then walked around for a bit before heading to bed ready for the last day.
Below are some pictures from today
Today was my last full day and I decided that I would visit The Colosseum, Chiesa del Gesù, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Sant’Agnese in Agone before heading back to the hostel to pack ready for an early start to head back home.
I spent about 45 minutes at The Colosseum before heading back to the bus round to Piazza Venezia to visit some churches and the rest of the itinerary for the day.
It was nice to walk around again and see the back streets of the city too. I made sure I took it easier today as I wanted to be not tired for the flight tomorrow.
I found somewhere to sit and made a phone call to a friend and had a chat about religion and life.
I came to the realisation here in Rome that the feeling of peace I felt in the churches was not a religious peaceful feeling but one of quiet. I came to the realisation that religion no longer has a place in my life. I did say to him ‘…I see the ornate churches and the suffering of people and it makes me wonder why all this money is ploughed into churches and not helping people… I will keep visiting churches where they are free. I WILL NOT contribute to the upkeep of them…’
For one last hurrah, I decided to do a night tour again before bedding down for the night for the early start.
Below are some pictures from today.
All in all, I had a really good time in Rome and would definitely recommend it if you are thinking of going.
It was an early start on the day I went home and a long day as I still had to do a shift once I was back home.
It was so nice stepping off the plane in Stansted to 16-degree temperatures and rain. I slowly made my way to the terminal whilst everyone else was running. It was so, so nice.
You can view all of my Rome pics here