I have never been to Rome before and it was high time to catch up! We bought the tickets for one of December’s weekends hoping for the weather bit better than in Warsaw and Berlin. As you may have noticed we are not the fans of monuments and museums and it wasn’t much different this time. We wanted to feel the atmosphere of Rome but rather by walking, eating local food and just being there rather than shutting ourselves in museums.
Weekend in Rome: day 1
We left on Saturday 6 a.m. from Schonefeld airport. Same as during our trip to Venice, we were travelling by Ryanair. After a short flight we landed on Ciampino airport. From the airport we took a bus (prepare for waiting in a long line) that took as to Stazione Termini – Central Station. First glance on Rome was a bit dissapointing – having heard so much about the city I was prepared for an ancient beauty shock right after leaving Termini. Meanwhile our attention drew especially numerous stands with people selling all kind of stuff like socks, umbrellas, Roma t-shirts and statues of saints altogether. Didn’t differ much from what you can expect on a polish fest ;)
We stayed in Domus Maggiore located in an old tenement house right at the Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore. It was really nice and quiet with huge bed and high ceiling. The check-in takes place in a restaurant-cafe located close – remember that if you ever stayed there, as there is no info on the door, it took us some time to figure out how to get to the room.
Exploring Rome: Colloseum and Bocca della Verita
After a short break we moved to explore the city. First direction: Colloseum. It took us less than 20 minutes walking to get there.
I was impressed by Colloseum size. The fact that it was in such a good shape after being first built 2000 years ago made this experience even more amazing. The number of visitors was a bit overwhelming, place must be really crowded in summer.
After Colloseum we had a glance on Bocca della Verita (meaning the Mouth of Truth):
… and even saw well maintained version of Fiat 126p, once very popular in Poland :)
Capitoline Hill, Forum Romanum, Monumento Nazionale
After that we moved to the Capitoline Hill with its monuments, famous (and much smaller than you could suppose) she-wolf feeding Remus and Remulus and beautiful view on Forum Romanum.
Before we realised that we’re starving, we managed to see Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, also called “Roman Altar of the Fatherland”
Enjoying the atmosphere and amazing Fontanna di Trevi
Now it was high time for pizza and italian beer! Right in Roman sun both tasted delicious.
After filling our bellies with goodies we went for a short nap that turned into 4-hours bears sleep, but what to expect if you wake up at 3.20 a.m?
We spent evening simply walking through Roman streets, eating, drinking & enjoying our time. We saw Fontanna di Trevi – for me it was the most beatiful fountains I have ever seen, but also one of most magical places in Rome.
Did you know that Fendi once organised a fashion show here? Have a look:
Weekend in Rome: day 2
Rome by scooter
On the second day in Rome our main destination was Vatican. As we’re not early birds and like to enjoy ourself during a long breakfast with gallons of coffee, we left a bit too late to have a quiet walk to Piazza di San Pietro as we first planned. Looking for a bus stop we noticed a Cooltra scooter rental offering scooters for a decent price. After a moment of reflection – none of us has ever driven a scooter – we decided for 50cc scooter as you don’t need a special driving license for it (standard B cat. is enough).
For 6hours rental including two helmets and additional luggage box (first is built-in under the seat) we paid 20euro. We were ready for a first scooter round around Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore! The maximum speed of 50cc scooter isn’t higher that 50km per hour but it was super cool anyway!
Please do not mind our hamster faces ;)
Piazza di Spagna and Spanish Stairs, Rome
Before reaching Vatican City we stopped at Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square) to see famous Spanish Stairs. Well, the stairs was almost invisible because of the crowds of people sitting on it. Except for that fact, place was quite nice.
Ok, Plaza di Spagna checked, let’s move to the main spot of the day!
Vatican City and Basilica di San Pietro
That’s quite an odd feeling to cross the boarder to one country inside other. With its 44 hectares and 842 people living in, Vatican is the smallest country all over the world. The Piazza di San Pietro located in its center makes a great impression when almost empty, must look fascinating when gathers people for Pope’s speech.
We didn’t decided for entering basilica as the queues were impressive and we didn’t want to spent all time left standing there. I was told that it’s a sin to be in Rome and not visit it, so maybe this is a reason to come back one day.
After coming back to our scooter, and hiding bags to the box under seat, we jumped on a scooter, turned the key and … nothing happened. Once again and … nothing. After 20 more minutes trying still nothing happened so we called the rental service for help. After being told about 60 times that “everything is fine, you just need to turn the key” (like… seriously?), someone finally decided to come over and repair the scooter that – as we were told – was a victim of a theft attempt. The proccess took us about two, not very well spent hours. There wasn’t an option to abandon the scooter with my bag and all documents in. We were apologised by rental owners and got a refund of money so they behave very well after all.
Good thing about the whole story was that we were given much stronger 125cc scooter to get back so we could check what it means to speed along the Roman streets ;)
Right before coming back we had a look on Piazza de Popolo, famous for the twins churches. Unfortunately one of them was under construction which destroyed the impression a bit. You can see it in a background:
Just a good-bye picture of evening Colloseum from the scooter perspective …
… and we were ready to get back to Berlin.
Is it worth to spend a weekend in Rome? It definitely is, unless you are the museum-lover as waiting in lines will absorb lots of your time. Is it a good idea to go there in winter? Well, I guess Rome may lack some charm when it’s cold outside however what rewards the weather is much less people you have to wade.
What are your favourite spots in Rome? Share with me in the comments!