More tips on how to make your trip to Rome more wonderful.
I woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to seize the day. Hotel Giuliana I found was staffed by young people of different nationalities who manned the front desk in shifts. Unlike the earlier front deskers, this person was Indian but like all Indians abroad, flatly refused to acknowledge a fellow compatriot. However, he did oblige me with a cup of coffee that was part of his duty. The Breakfast part of the hotel was really like what I have at home – a buttered toast – but for those who look forward to a hearty morning meal – go back to bed and dream on…….
Anyway, since I wanted to seize the day, I made my way to Roma Termini to get onto the Hop On Hop Off Bus which is my preferred way to see a city. Moreso if I’m doing it alone and have absolutely no idea of where things are and what I’d like to see. I reached the Bus stand too early it seems to seize the day as the tours begin operating from 9 am. But that gave me enough time to figure out which bus I wanted to catch and what sights I’d like to see.
Hopping on and hopping off – Red or Green or may be Blue?
Ancient Rome in Modern Times
I got off at the Piazza Venezia with the intention of crossing the bridge to Trastevere a once seedy district now revived and boasting of several good eateries. However, I got lost along the way and didn’t find the bridge so I plodded on to the Pantheon and followed the trail to the Fountain of Trevi, tossed a coin and moved ahead to the Spanish Steps. While walking along a trail which had signs in Braille at either end of the street, I picked up a panini and an overpriced gelato to slake my thirst which the salesman assured me was decidedly overpriced simply because it was sold in a place which was strategically located……..
While I was awestruck by the Pantheon and the Piazza Venezia, pleasantly amused by the joyous crowds at the Fountain of Trevi, I was terribly disappointed to see fake flowers flank the Spanish Steps. So put off was I by this discovery that I didn’t step inside the Museum dedicated to Keats & Shelley just beside the steps though I had oft dreamt of going there.
So I returned back to the hotel happy . A bit disappointed, though, that all the sights were not quite what I’d imagined them to be and decided to pick up my sagging spirits with a bit of retail therapy.
- Rome is entirely doable in two days for a quick whistle stop tour
- Half a day for the Vatican is more than enough but book your visit online and take a guide or at least read up the great stuff before entering the Museum
- Buy a Roma Pass if you want to use public transport and skip the lines at the Colosseum
- Plan a meal at Trastevere but zoom in on the restaurant you want to visit
- The walk from Trevi to the Spanish Steps is doable but keep a map on hand
- You can visit Rome entirely on your own. There are lots of on line resources to tap before you make that first step.