Getting to Rome from the airport

Typically, you would fly into the airport with a funny name, Fiumicino – a main airport that serves Rome.  We took the EasyJet from London that conveniently arrived around mid-day.

From there, you have two options to get to the city:

  1. Take the train.  Outside of the airport terminal, there is a train station, but you need to find a ticket counter and then the right platform to board the train.  Instead, we preferred the second option that was a much faster option to find and figure out.
  2. Take the bus.  While the train departs every hour, the bus departs slightly more often.  In our case, it departed when it was full full – not when the schedule said it should depart.  It’s straightforward the find; the bus stop to the city is halfway between the international terminal and the train station. You pay in Euros directly to the bus crew.  They get you typically to Rome Termini station – which is the main train station anyway.  Yet instead of all the boring train tracks like in London’s Heathrow Express, you get to see Rome before you even get to your first stop within the city.

Once we got to Termini, it was a short 20-minute walk to our Bed and Breakfast for us.  On Venere.com, we were able to find the B&B as close to Rome’s main destination as possible: right in front of Colosseum.  It just does not get any closer than when you see Colosseum outside of your window.  Our Bed and Breakfast was run by a friendly family of four (dad, mom, a daughter and a very friendly dog called Fragolina, which in Italian means “strawberry”).  Nice bathoom, living area and a bedroom – much better than what we expected after a B&B in Bavaria, Germany.

The host family kindly offered us some morning Italian coffee, which we simply could not refuse:

Since we arrived from London and were already on the EU timezone, we did not lose any time and started sightseeing right away.  For the next few days we had a detailed routed prepared and planned for the Eternal City, but for now, we just wandered around and took some time to record our first impressions:

This is the view outside of our B&B, which turned out to be just a regular apartment within the city, the owners of which were renting the room in their “flat.”  Next to the Colosseum lies the legendary Roman Forum, which we will discuss in the later post, but turns out that on the opposite side lies another, smaller ancient city market which goes unnoticed by many tourists.

As you approach the actual Colosseum, you see the busy tourists exit the local subway station.  On one of the later days, we took the subway – with it’s separate adventure – to get to Vatican.

This is the street intersection with a mandatory tourist photo that any self-respecting tourist needs to take a photo of – typically a stop where the exploration of Rome begins for most people:

As you approach Rome’s central attraction, you are impressed by the huge 4-story building that was built tens of centuries ago:

Just like in Hollywood, local Italians put on the gladiator costumes to entertain the crowd in exchange for the photography fee.  If you are planning on taking a photo with a gladiator, any local would advise you to agree on a fee upfront: there is always a fee, and the “gladiators” can get pretty pushy if you don’t settle on the price beforehand.

That is why the local plaza is constantly patrolled by the local police.  Police also tries to repel the local street vendors that try to make money on the unsuspecting tourists:

Take a moment to walk around this magnificent building on the outside; we’ll cover the inside in more details later in a separate post.

Observe the street vendors who specialize in umbrellas in the fall and sunglasses in the summer – they are mobile and disappear in the crowd in an instant the moment police shows up.

Being a gladiator at the Colosseum is a serious business. Locals will often tell you about the bloody “turf wars” over the monument grounds.

As we start our adventure through Rome, one thing is clear: this city has a lot of stone structures, walls and Roman arches.  Let’s go explore them!

 

Useful links referenced in this post: