Travel :: Rome. Part 2.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy April! Today you get the final dose of our Roman adventures!

Our third and final day was both exciting and frustrating. I really wanted to see the Temple of Aesculapius in the Borghese Gardens so we started out with a long walk to the gardens from our hotel. I wouldn't have cared about the walk had we not finally made it up to the Temple to see that they drained all of the water. Ugh.

Just not the same when you have to cut out the non-existent lake.
We grabbed a cappuccino in a little cafe in the park before walking back down the hill and making our way to the bus station, where we hoped to pick up tickets to Siena for the next day.

Rick Steves tells you that a bus is better than the train to Siena, but what he doesn't tell you is that no one in the entire city of Rome knows where to buy said tickets. The whole 3 days we were there we tried to buy them, until finally we opted for the train out of desperation.

And because more shenanigans were in the cards for us that day, next up was a rogue cabbie who kept telling us the Ancient Rome sites were "very close" and wouldn't take us there. So we got out of the cab and walked. Let me tell you, it was a long haul. We were both livid.

Thankfully we managed to make it to the Colosseum in time for our Underground and Third Ring tour. It was an additional 9 Euro per person on top of your entrance fee, but we had the Roma pass so we only paid for the tour itself. We were so happy we made advance reservations because even during the slow season, the Colosseum line was a beast.


Unfortunately there was a good bit of scaffolding on one side of the Colosseum but we managed to cut it out of our photos.



The tour was fantastic and totally lifted our moods. I was geeking out over everything, snapping like 100 photos in the Colosseum itself. Steve used the panoramic function on his trusty iPhone and got some amazing photos as well.

We got to see areas that are off limits to general visitors, including underneath the Colosseum floor where the animals were kept. We also went on the reconstructed floor of the arena and up to the third level of seating. There used to be 5 levels, but this is the highest you can go these days.



FYI ladies... do not, under any circumstance, use the women's restroom in the Colosseum. Steve said every woman who left it came out looking like they had been violated. I assure you, it is that terrible.


That big white building in the background is the Victor Emmanuel Monument.

After the Colosseum, we walked around Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. We were pretty tired by that point so we were glad we didn't do a tour there. It was still so beautiful though and I'm glad we didn't miss out on it.





Finally, we made it to the Victor Emmanuel building and rode the "Elevator to the Sky" to see Rome from the rooftop. It was a gorgeous view, and since I'm scared of heights (but only when combined with steps), the elevator was okay with me. I just closed my eyes. I know, weird.

View of the Forum from the Victor Emmanuel rooftop
We hardly ate that day because there wasn't much time after the cabbie didn't cooperate, so we settled for one of the blah restaurants on the street near the Pantheon and our hotel that I warned you about. We followed it up with gelato though, of course.

Loved the streets of Rome... each was completely different

The next morning we cabbed it to Termini Train Station super early since we didn't know what we were doing. Thank God, because we couldn't find our platform. Apparently there are platforms, 1EST and 2EST, hidden way back behind the regular 1-18 platforms at Termini. Once we validated our ticket in the little machine and got on the train, it was easy, even with the transfer.

All in all, we loved seeing the sites in Rome. It was a beautiful city, full of winding streets, cheap but tasty house wine, outdoor cafes, and delicious gelato. On the downside, the bus/train/cab escapade and the annoying street vendors really hampered my opinion of the city itself. I guess I have the same feeling about NYC. By the end of our 3 days in Rome, we were ready to head to the beautiful, peaceful Tuscan countryside and one of our favorite stops on our trip, Siena! Stay tuned!

18 comments:

  1. ah! so fun that you were able to go to the bottom of the colloseum! we bought our tickets in advance too so i was thrilled to skip the massive lines but they werent doing the tours of the lowest level a few months ago -- ah well... just an excuse to go back! sorry about your ticket frustrations! i would have been annoyed too -- ROME is huge so sometimes it felt like we were walking in large circles trying to find things. can't wait to see some tuscany! xo jillian - cornflake dreams ps stop by! im hosting a great giveaway

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  2. The streets of Rome are breathtaking, such a different world huh.

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  3. These pictures are incredible. I want to go to Italy now!! Xx.

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  4. What remarkable pictures Caitlyn. I would LOVE to go to Rome, looks like y'all had a great trip!

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  5. rome is absolutely gorgeous and you are making me wish i could travel there now. love your photos and you are right each street of rome is completely different

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  6. I am drooling so hard over these pictures!! What an amazing trip. I am dying to go visit someday, but it's great to get to live vicariously through you guys for now :)

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  7. I had a similar experience trusting a guide book and went to the gardens looking for a hot air balloon ride only to find out they stopped doing them a long time ago! So disappointing! We also stopped by palatine hill at the end of a long day and I was exhausted. I wish I had enjoyed it more but I was too tired!

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  8. The Colosseum was by far my FAVORITE thing in all of Rome. So amazing to see in person!

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  9. Amazing!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  10. Gorgeous pictures! Sorry for all the mini frustrations. Sounds like you guys made the best of it though. And gelato always helps! :)

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  11. I did the same tour when I studied abroad there in college! It’s so interesting and fascinating that it’ll all still standing. Good thing I never used the restroom during the tour- ha!

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  12. I like this post! And I love your blog! Followed you here already. I hope you'd check my blog too and follow-back. :)

    xx
    http://www.thesenestedthoughts.blogspot.com

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  13. so glad you are recapping your trip! This is all so helpful!

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  14. Such amazing photographs! I didn't fight my curls either when I was in Italy! You are so lucky you got to go to the bottom level! I remember walking up those huge steeps steps to get into the colosseum and being amazed! Thank you for sharing your amazing trip! :)

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    1. Thank you so the sweet comments! The Colosseum really was amazing!

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  15. Such breathtaking photos!! Sorry about the frustrations, glad that you enjoyed seeing the sights of Rome though! Looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing!!

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  16. I have to say I felt similarly about Rome, so know you are not alone. But I am SO jealous of your underground Colosseum tour! I remember being there saying how awesome it would be to be exploring down there. These pictures are awesome.

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