Friday, December 4, 2009

Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)

Well I didn't really conquer Rome last month but hopefully I will on my next trip :). I managed to spend 2 whole days exploring Rome and the Vatican and since I arrived on an early Sunday morning, Vatican was my 1st destination.

Day one – Vatican city - Saint Peter’s square

To start off the day, i walked roughly 5 minutes to Eur Magliana train station from Sheraton hotel. Bought a 1 euro train pass that’s valid for 75minutes to travel on metro A and B, you can also opt for the 4 euro train pass which is valid all day through going in and out of the train station.

To reach the Vatican we took the train that was heading to Battistini, changed platform at termini and stop at Ottaviano (Vatican city). Walked for 5 minutes to reach the Vatican and toured around for 3 hours.

Upon arrival we went straight in the queue to enter the Basilica of St Peter which offers an amazingly beautiful interior, no matter where your head turns this place is just astoundingly beautiful.

After exploring the Basilica, we went below the Basilica that houses the Vatican crypts which contains a collection of numerous tombs of Popes.

Then, we entered the Cupola which had a long queue despite having to pay 5 euro per entrance and climb 551 steps or pay 7euro and take the elevator halfway after which you would have to climb 321 steps to reach the top of Saint Peter’s Basilica. We took the 5euro option and had a great morning workout : ) and not to mention the view from the cupola was just wonderful.

View half way through

View from the top

Our grumbled tummies lead us over to a nearby kebab stall where we grab a vegetarian pizza for 5 euro.

We head back to the train station and decided to spend the rest of the day just walking around Rome city .

Day 2 – Tour Rome city

We started our day early and took the bus from our hotel to Rome city to start our colosseum tour at 9am.

The ticket price to enter the Coloseum is 12euro and 10 euro if you would like to hire a guide. It is advisable to get a guide, not knowing the history would make you think that the colosseum is just one boring building. Anyway, audiphones are also for rent for 5 euro.

We arrived at the Colosseum and a lady approached us offering 22euro for entrance fee for the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum which a tour guide. The benefits are that you will get direct entrance meaning you don’t have to queue and this ticket is valid for 2 days. Tour for the colosseum is at 12pm and to choose between 12pm or 3 pm for the tour to the Roman forum and Palatine Hill.

It’s best if you could find out other offers that would probably be better than what we experienced, nevertheless my guide did an excellent job giving us insights to this historical place. Before I forget, please find out about Roma pass its 23 euro, 10 euro for the guide and you get free transportation for 3 days as well as free entrance to the Roman Forum, Palatine Hillt and colessum. I came to know about this because someone in my group had it.

thats a photo of one of the many displays at the exhibition, try nit to miss this free exhibition on the Colosseum to get a little bit more idea on this ancient structure and what it was used for.

At 12pm we had our Palatine hill and Roman forum tour. The Palatine hill at its time is the Hollywood of today, it’s where many famous personalities of the time built their houses on this hill.

In this photo is the large stadium built by Domitian, which is know as the Dominican private stadium, it was used for horse racing decorated with marble statues and later used as a garden.

From the Palatine hill we descended to enter The Roman Forum where we walked to the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, mind you that the door is the original door of that time.

We then found a great spot to perform our prayer

and later exited the Roman Forum and head to the Victor Emanuel Monument which was dedicated to the memory of Italy’s first king Victor Emanuel II.

Next we went on a time machine which brought us 2750 years ago covering the history of Rome which the time elevator. my opinion on this is that it was okay, not remarkable but ok.. if you have that extra cash and need a little more information on Rome than this will do.. it basically gives a movie like view on Roman history and if you are interested check the show time before you decide to go.

And the back of the time elevator ticket is a 5Euro discount on tour Vatican museums and Sistine chapel Or Tour colosseum, Roman forum and the palatine hill Or walking tours of the city.

Price:- 12 Euro
Location:- via dei ss.Apostpli, 20-00187 Roma
Opening hours:- everyday 10.30 am – 7.30pm
Each shows lasts 45 minutes

Next we walked to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps. When it got dark, we walked over to Termini station and found a Halal shop..… so there we go, our meal for the night.

that was 6euro

and mine was 4euro (I like to reveal the prices of what i had done and what i had eaten so if you guys plan to go to this particular place you can roughly estimate how much you would have to spend)

After our big dinner we headed back to the hotel by bus and got ready for our departure to Malaysia the next morning. I do hope ill say hello to Rome for the second time in the future!


Sheraton Roma Hotel & conference
Viale del pattinaggio, 100-00144 Roma, Italia

Sheraton Roma provides bus service from the hotel to the city but Departures from the hotel wold require you to make a reservation and the bill will be charged to your hotel bill

But Departures from the city center back to the hotel is free

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