Thursday, 3 April 2008

Trip to Rome, Italy - Day 1

Our trip to Rome.
We took our flight to Rome and reached Fiumicino Airport.
There are trains from Fiumicino Airport to Rome City Tickets can be bought over the counter. These trains are different from the Metro Trains that run within the city.
We had our room booked in a B&B near Termini Station (Metro Station).

We bought tickets and boarded Leonardo Express which connects Fiumicino Airport and Roma Termini. You need to validate your ticket in the ticket machine before boarding the train.Ticket machines will be present in all the platforms.Make sure you do this otherwise you will end up paying huge fine. It is not enough that you buy ticket, it is more important that you validate it. This is applicable in Buses as well.There will be a ticket machine present within the bus. The driver will not ask you for ticket.You will have to go to the machine and validate on your own. Ticket checker will not accept a ticket if it is not validated.

Coming to transportation, Rome is well connected and any location within Rome can be reached by Metro Train/Bus.There are two train Lines Metro A (also called Red Line) and Metro B (also called Blue Line) which covers almost all the important sight seeing locations.

We had two days planned (not complete 2 days though) and we had the following in our Itinerary.
First Day Noon:
  1. Colosseum
  2. Arch of Constantine
  3. Palentine Hill
  4. Roman Forum

All the above can be covered by Metro Line B (Blue line)

Second Day:
Morning:

  1. Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
  2. St.Peter's Basilica

Noon:
1. Trevi Fountain
2. Spanish Steps
3. Pantheon

We reached B&B around noon. After refreshing, made our way to Colosseum.
We walked towards Roma Termini station, bought a day ticket - B.I.T - Biglietto Integrato a Tempo, costs about 1 Euro.This ticket can be obtained from the automatic ticket machine (in the station) and is valid through out the day in all the buses and Metro trains.

We took Metro Line B and got down at Stop Colosseo.

Once you come out of the station...there it is..

Colosseum:

Colosseum so called Colosseo in Italian language a giant amphitheatre. It was used for contesting gladiators and sometimes between contesting ferocious animals themselves. The entire amphitheatre could accomodate upto 50,000 people.

Source: wikipedia

Renovation was going on when we made our visit.

In order to save time we reserved tickets online. It was a good thing we did. The queue was long...not very long though.

Check out the season of your visit. If during April-June tourist would be more. There were people standing outside the colosseum offering guided tours. They came to us saying ' English English...Guide...'Since we had reservation we moved on.

Be aware that most people in Italy speak only their native language (ofcourse it is natural for anyone to speak their native language), hence take all the necessary things with you so that you will least take their help. We had a very bad experience with this. I will share it in my next post.

There were basically two queues

1.For Group
2.Individuals

If you have online reservation you can directly by-pass both the queues and go to the Counter to get the actual ticket.

There were audio guides in various languages. Costs around 6.50 Euros. We took one each. It really helped. Without a guide you wouldn't be able to find what it is inside the colosseum. You should return the Audio guide within 3hrs time. They also provide Manual Guided tour which works out cheaper to Audio guide. But the problem with it is the time and the duration. We cannot take our own time with it. Hence we went for Audio guide. There is no perfect markings inside the Coloseum , we had to guess and play the audio guide.

We were given a map (not really a map) matching that with the actual picture we had to play the audio.

It doesn't say this is No.1 and Play No.1 in audio.It took solid 3 hours to get around the Coloseum.

Once you get into first floor you will get the view of Arena - where the contests used to take place. Just below the arena is the ruined shopping place(used to be) and rooms to hold the equipments.

More info about Colosseum here

Outside the collosseum there were lot of people dressed up as gladiators and lot of small soveneir shops.

We picked up soveneirs and moved towards Arch of Constantine.It was erected to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius Arch of Constantine

We spent some time sitting outside the Colosseum. It was so pleasant.

We captured few pictures and moved to Palentine Hill. The Colosseum ticket includes entry to Palentine Hill as well.

There is nothing great to see, but you will get the view of Colosseum, Arch of Constantine and Roman Forum from there.By the time we got onto Palentine Hill, it started raining...we were caught.We couldn't make it to Roman Forum.

View of Colosseum taken from Colosseo Station



View of Arena from First Floor


Another view of Arena - Work in progress !


View of Arch of Constantine from Colosseum



Close shot of Arch of Constantine pillar


View of Roman Forum from Palentine Hill


Metro Train in Rome



Colourful Tram in Rome


Yellow coloured Ticket machine in the bus. This is where you need to validate your ticket by passing your ticket through the machine.


Monitor in the bus displaying the next stop. I know this helps a lot.
After spending the whole noon in Colosseum area , we made our way back to B&B catching Metro Line B from Colosseo to Roma Termini.

The next day...to be continued.





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