Finally, the day has arrived.
I cannot tell you how many months I had been counting down to this trip. Then weeks, then hours, and finally minutes.
We landed and needed to head to our Air BnB.
Fun Fact about Moi: I love to explore cities. Not from a hotel room. How do you expect to get absolutely everything you ever wanted when you are acting like a tourist? Live like a local. Take random streets throughout the city, find a sketchy coffee shop, order something different, do as the Romans do, ya know?
Travel Tip: You will need to take a train from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport or Rome Fiumicino Airport to Termini Station. I HIGHLY recommend doing this instead of taking a cab. For 2 people, we spent around €40 one way. Taxis can charge you up to €80 – €100 depending on where you are located in the city. If you must take a taxi, do it once you get to the station. It will be a lot cheaper.
Once we arrived at Termini Station, I decided to take the public bus instead of getting a taxi. I’ll admit, I am cheap, but that’s how you travel.
My choices were to take a bus for €1.50 per person, or get a taxi for €35. Bus for two, please.
Travel Tip: The buses in Rome are not free. You need to buy a ticket at a local newspaper or tobacco shop. Most of the locals do not even stamp their ticket, but do not let that fool you. If a member of Roman authority were to hop on the bus and check for tickets, the excuse “I am a tourist, I didn’t know” won’t get you very far. They can charge up to €50.00 per missing ticket.
After a few minutes of a packed bus, we got off on our stop and made our way to our flat.
We stayed in a room, basically. Our Air BnB was a private room (with bathroom and kitchen) a block away from the main roads in Rome.
For those of you thinking this is too much money….I spent about $210 for 3 nights. Definitely doable. In addition, some hotels in the same area were $150 a night in the same location! Not including taxes and other things they add onto your bill. My recommendation to you, get an Air BnB. You can thank me later.
This flat was 10 minute walk to Vatican City and a 30 minute walk to The Colosseum.
Here is a link to our flat. Alessandro (our host) was incredible. He answered any silly questions we had, checked in to make sure we were happy once we arrived, and was extremely helpful!
In Rome, I did not pay for any transportation. No buses, no taxis, nothing. Everything is relatively close. It’s worth the walk, and the calories. Especially for how much you eat.
We grabbed our things and headed out.
Within about 5 minutes of walking, we found Piazza Navona.
History of Piazza Navona: Originally built by Emperor Domitian in about 86 A.D., was used for festivals and local markets. In this square, you will find The Fountain of Four Rivers, Neptune Fountain, Moor Fountain and the Church of Sant’Angese in Agone.
Piazza Navona was alluring. The fountains were placed perfectly throughout the square. Many people surrounded the fountain throwing coins.
Luckily for us, we came at a time where there was a small carnival. There was a beautiful carousel in the center and many individual vendors with games and prizes.
Once we walked through the piazza, we began our walk to The Colosseum. It was roughly 30 minutes from Point A to Point B. It may sound like too long for some, but with all of the beautiful architecture and a surprise around every corner, it goes by really quick.
As we got closer, we found Altare Della Patria or “The Altar of the Fatherland”, which sounds much more intense.
History of Altare Della Patria: This massive monument was dedicated King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy or Italy’s first king after it was designed for his commemoration.
Its completely free to visit The Altar of the Fatherland. You can walk up to the top and see a view of Piazza Venezia.
Piazza Venezia is unlike most squares in Rome. This square has full traffic and is not secluded. Some refer to this square as the heart of Rome. You can see for miles. Its breathtaking.
Right around the corner, we see the short walk to The Colosseum.
The Colosseum entry fee is €12.00.
Tip: The Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill are all included in one price. Do not throw away your ticket if you do not have time to go to all 3 in one day. I made that mistake and paid twice 🙁
Back to the good stuff…
The Colosseum. What. A. Sight.
History of The Colosseum: C’mon, kids. You should know this one.
This 3-tiered amphitheater is unimaginable. Learning more about the history of the wild animal hunts, gladiator battles, and public executions will leave you completely infatuated.
We spent a few hours roaming around the large building reading every plaque we could find. Finally, the day was coming to a close, and we were ready for our first real Italian dinner.
On our way back to our flat, we walked through a few side streets and came across Campo de’ Fiori.
What are the chances? Of falling into another gorgeous piazza.
By day, Campo de’Fiori is a market full of fresh flowers, bread, and restaurants.
By night, Campo e’Fiori is a square full of life. These same restaurants come alive, there is dancing, music, nightclubs, and theaters that line the piazza.
We looked up the best restaurant in the square and walked into Antica Hostaria Romanesca.
This restaurant was very small, but had an unbelievable ambiance.
The streets were wet, the lights were dim, the food smelled amazing, and there was music in the center of the square. I could not be closer to heaven.
That is what is incredible about this city. You are surrounded by roads and streets full of culture. Discovering hidden gems throughout Rome was one of my favorite experiences.
Day one in the books.