Princess Anna (Audrey Hepburn) travels around Europe. She has always been accompanied by a team of advisers, governesses and butlers. In Rome weary of life according to stiff rules, Anna abandons all this and escapes to feel like a resident of Rome. He meets a journalist, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), who offers her a stay in his humble apartment. This is the beginning of the famous film directed by William Wyler with unforgettable, great actors Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Was my stay in Rome similar?
Our day started very early, like a year ago. The road to the airport was practically the same, but this time our plane took off from the second Berlin airport – Tegel. We used the same operator – Easy Jet. After landing in Rome at Flumicino airport, we began to look around for transport to the city center. We knew that Italians are masters of scams and minor scams. We have already experienced this at the airport when they tried to cheat us by proposing transport to the city. However, I already have experience in traveling and I know that you should not make hasty decisions. That’s why I did not take advantage of the „great offer” for 30 euros per person just went outside the airport. After a dozen or so meters I noticed a bus stop and a ticket office. Price for a ticket to the Roma Termini station 6.5 euros per person. Good price!
After arriving at Roma Termini station, we quickly found our Italian host. Before we came to our place of accommodation our host showed us more important points in the area. It was not important for us. Reason simple. The location of accommodation is the most important for us and we always look at the map before choosing and we assess whether the accommodation is advantageous situated (distance to tourist attractions, distance to the subway, number of restaurants and shops). We knew then that our accommodation is located in the very center of Rome, 800 meters from the Coliseum and the Palatine Hill and less about 1,300 meters from Roma Termini. I believe that the choice of accommodation in a good location is one of the most important things when planning a trip. This allows you to minimize costs (time and money for travel). With a sense of security that you will not be late and you are not dependent on traffic jams, traveling is more enjoyable.
It is worth knowing a few things before traveling to Italy. Above all, it is worth knowing about the tax for tourists in Rome. This is a value of 3.5 euros per person for the first ten days of stay. This tax applies only to tourists visiting Rome. We forgot about it. The host reminded us of this. In summary, at the start we were a little over 40 euros on debit. That’s quite a lot. The second unplanned expenditure may be visits to restaurants. This does not apply to Rome but all places outside of Rome. Italians call this „coperto„. With each order in the restaurant is added 1-2 euros per person for service. It is also worth knowing that it is better not to reach for food placed on the table before the ordered dish because it can also cause a significant increase in the bill. However, this is not always the case. During our stay in Florence, we decided to eat dinner. We chose a restaurant near the Florentine cathedral. To our surprise, we did not find any additional costs.
Rome. Beautiful city. Virtually everything we touch is antique and beautiful. Naturally, our first choice, considering that we just arrived in the city and felt the hardships of traveling, was the Colosseum. As I mentioned, our apartment was located near this beautiful and historical place repeatedly used in film productions, such as in the film „Gladiator”. We chose the way through a nearby park. It is worth remembering that this park is closed for the night. You can see the way to the Coliseum through the park in a short video prepared by us. The film presents selected and visited places. However, it should be remembered that the places shown in the film come not only from Rome but also from Florence, about which I will try to write something.
Heading towards the Coliseum (the same applies to all other popular places in Rome) you will meet many people who will offer you a guide service. These people usually tell untrue stories about huge queues to historic places. And this is their main, although untrue, argument for which it is worth using their services – „If you do not want to waste time, pay more and come with me”.
Using our experience, we give up this kind of services. First of all, we are aware that this is an attempt to extort money. Secondly, a few moments around the Coliseum and we already know we are aware that the best time to visit is an hour or two before closing time. Then there are no large organized groups of tourists brought by large travel agencies. An additional advantage is of course a nice, warm light, which adds splendor to the place visited.
Our first day was limited to walking and observing historical places from outside. Our route led through the park towards the Coliseum. Then we headed towards Altare della Patria on the Venetian square. The last place visited on the first day was the fountain of Di Trevi. Of course, the whole distance by walk. All this in order to see nice views in no unnecessary haste and feel the atmosphere of the ancient city better.
After returning to the room and refreshing we opened a good Italian wine and watched the movie. The choice was obvious – ” นักรบผู้กล้าผ่าแผ่นดินทรราช” . It is a really great movie that allows you to feel the atmosphere that prevailed in the Coliseum in the old days.
The next day, early in the morning, we set out on a journey to Florence. Our journey began at the Roma Termini station. It’s the main railway junction in Rome and also one of the metro stations. We bought train tickets online a few months earlier. There are many configurations for everyone, even the most demanding passenger. We chose the cheapest tickets in the super economic class. The Italian railway – Trenitalia – is a very high and comfortable standard of travel regardless of the ticket price. After some time, we sat on comfortable armchairs. The distance from Rome to Florence is just over 200 km. The train overcomes the distance in just over an hour.
Our destination station in Florence is located near important monuments. Unfortunately, we chose Monday and this is the day when several famous places are closed.On the other hand, we are glad that we bought a lot earlier online tickets entitling us to enter the top of the Giotto’s belfry and the top of the dome of the cathedral in Florence. It is worth noting that if someone is not in good shape, he should give up climbing to both of these objects. On the other hand, both the top of the tower and the cathedral’s dome have a beautiful view of the entire city.
Our first place in Florence is the Giotto belfry. The entrance is regulated and despite the tickets you have to stand in line. Climbing to the top of the tower, you can observe such views.
After going down, we sat for a moment to relax admiring the unforgettable view of this amazing architectural monument.
Since the entrance to the cathedral dome is strictly defined on the ticket (you enter at a certain time), we still had a lot of time to walk around the city. One of the most interesting places we went to was the Ponte Vecchio bridge. This is the oldest bridge in Florence.
After a few hours of walking around the city and after lunch at a nearby restaurant, it was time to enter the dome of the cathedral. Entering the cathedral itself is a challenge for people who have no experience, strength and fitness. However, I think that the beautiful views from the dome are worth it.
End of visit to Florence. It’s time to go back to Rome.
Our next day was a day of relaxation and visits to historical places where the admission is completely free. There are a lot of such places in Rome. The most important of them is undoubtedly the Basilica of St. Peter . To get there, we used the subway – the red line from the Roma Termini station to the Ottaviano station. Of course, you have to remember that St. Peter’s Basilica is no longer Italy, but the Vatican. Preparing to go to Italy, I found information on the internet that in July you can expect big queues to this place. In addition, before we reached the basilica, in Rome we met as usual with people who told us that if we want to enter the basilica, we should do it with them. Of course, paying them for it. We knew it was nonsense. The queue was short and the time passed quickly when we talked with a group of Brazilians.
Our next day was originally reserved exclusively for a visit to the Museums of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel.Despite the few hours spent in the crowded museum, however, we wanted to continue sightseeing. Another walk this time to Castel Sant Angelo
This is not the end of attractions on this day.We returned to our room to freshen up. Then a walk combined with an evening visit to the Coliseum.
Pที่นี่นักท่องเที่ยวเยอะมาก และไกด์ก็เยอะเหมือนกัน ไกด์พยายามถามเราทุกครั้ง „คุณต้องการไกด์มั้ย” ถามบ่อยจนพวกเราถามกลับไปว่า ถ้าคุณมีไกด์ภาษาไทยเราจะเลือกใช้ไกด์ หลังจากนั้นพวกเค้าตอบ No พวกเรายิ้มและบอกขอบคุณพวกเค้า เพราะบางครั้งถ้าเราไปเที่ยวแล้วมีใครมาถามมาก ๆหรือเซ้าซี้ เรามากเกินไป ก็จะรู้สึกน่าเบื่อ แต่ก็เข้าใจว่าคืองานของพวกเค้า เราใช้วิธีนี้คือตัดปัญหามากกว่า เราซื้อตั๋วเข้าชมด้านในโคลอสเซียมในช่วงเย็น เพราะช่วงเช้าคนเยอะมาก ตอนเย็นคนน้อย คิวสั้น และไม่ร้อนจนเกินไป ด้านใหญ่กว้าง เหมือนสนามฟุตบอล สวยประทับ