Go to the Trevi Fountain
I have to make this as a general tip as well since I have so much to say about going to the Trevi Fountain.
There is so much things said about the Trevi Fountain. I wondered why. I was kind of sad when I got to the Trevi Fountain because first thing, I dropped my camera at the airport and it wasn't working quite well. Second, I was just by myself and I was missing my family a lot.
As so many tourist spots in Rome, this is one of the crowdest and it is so hard to squeeze in to the fountain. I just walked around looked at the square and stood up at a corner and wrote my travel journal.
I observed that the entrance of the buildings are numbered starting at #90. And, that door number belongs to a boutique/Hotel Trevi. Passing that is door #91 and it has no name on it but it is a small space selling souvenir items. Then there is a bar and a pizzeria. I can't figure out where are the rest of the door numbers as I walked by, I saw door #97 which sells shot glasses, postcards and refrigerator magnets. I thought, I will come back here and buy refrigerator magnets if I see one I like.
Then the next door is Paul & Shark. Paul & Shark? A whale? Or is it a last name. It was kind of a weird name for a store.
Opposite the Boutique/Hotel Trevi is small store that sells Blue ice/shave ice and passed that is the Al Barroga that sells masks. Still, there are no numbers on the store's doors. Then there is the Pizza de Mortadella.
Finally, I saw door #15. This place sells a lot of t-shirts.
Surrounding the fountain itself are different business establishments like the Segatori, a gelateria, Paul & Shark (again?), shoe store, Hotel Fontana, Benatton, a souvenir shop, Angelo, Farmacia and a bar/gelateria - they sell crepes and Chinese food! I love the feeling that I finally got to Rome. I still can't internalize it at this moment so, I am just cruising along...
Sometimes Experience Trumps Taste
This is my favorite gelateria in Rome. Is the ice cream any better than that of any other gelateria? Probably not, but this shop, located just to the right of the Fontana di Trevi, holds special memories for me. I took my niece to Italy for her twelfth birthday and we stayed at the Hotel Trevi around the corner. Every night, after a long day of sightseeing, we would get a gelato and sit on the steps of the Fontana...talking about the day we had, the food we ate, and the sights we saw...as well as planning our next day's adventures.
So I urge all of you to find your own special place, and return often as the memories will remain and return each time. Fior de Latte gelato
Arrival in Rome
"from Termini to Hotel"
I flew into Rome and, after picking up my bags, followed the signs to the trains. I bought a ticket biglietto for the express train to Termini train station at the tobacco shop tabachi.
These little stands also sell bus and metro tickets so remember this for when all the ticket machines are out of order because they run out of change for ,77 cent tickets, and be sure to validate your ticket in the little yellow box before boarding the train. The ride from the Airport to Termini took about 45 minutes and was a little crowded but I got a seat and watched all the colorful apartments with fluttering laundry speed by.
Upon arrival at Termini I was going to leave my bags in a locker while I found the hotel but they were out of order. This didn't seem to be a technical problem. It seemed to be due to security concerns since 9/11. There were no lockers available anywhere I went in either Italy or Greece so be forewarned. I ended up having to drag my bags with me as I looked for the hotel.
If you can, try to choose a hotel that is within close walking distance from Termini for several reasons. First, Termini will most likely be your point of arrival and departure and you'll want a short walk with luggage. Second, Termini is also the crossthrough point for most of the buses and both Metro Lines. (LINE A : Vatican, Spanish Steps/Trevi Fountain; LINE B: Colleseum, Forum.).
I found the hotel after what seemed like a long walk. It really wasn't but I got a bit lost and the bags made it seem a lot longer. The room still needed to be cleaned so I dropped off my bags and went back out for some sight-seeing in the general area of the hotel.
Photo: Trevi Fountain.. the camera was not broken. I swear the Trevi Fountain actually looked this blurry... well... maybe it was all those beers.
Later, I head south on foot to Rome's famous Trevi Fountain. At night, the area around the fountain is populated with tourists, hawkers of cheap souveniers and local bored kids, including some old-school punk rockers who got in trouble because their pack of dogs started swimming in the fountain. It was pretty funny to watch the remarkably civil exchange between the smartly uniformed police and the mohawked and saftey-pinned kids.
It seems that there are not only a lot of police in Italy, but many different kinds as well. A girl that I met there, an American from South Carolina named Jennifer, remarked on how many different types of police there seemed to be. "Yep," I replied, "the girls here must find uniforms sexy, because everyone here wants to be a cop." "And so they've arranged it where everyone can be," she retorted.
Ha, too much fun, but all the ice-cream gelati, the long day of sight-seeing, (not to mention all the beer) eventually takes it's toll and so, after walking Jennifer to her hotel, I shuffle wearily to my hotel and retire for the evening.
Up Next: Naples >> >>
"Piazza della Repubblica"
I checked out some ancient Roman sculpture in a small museum and took pictures of the sculptures and fountains around the area. Then I explored the Museo Nazionale Romano, which was really cool. In addition to the classical sculpture I'd thought I'd find, there was a whole floor dedicated to fresco and mosaic work that had been removed from ancient Roman villas. Some of the frescos (esp. from Villa di Livia) was amazing and alot of the mosaic work was so detailed you had to wonder how long it took the artists to arrange all those tiny tiles!!!
Photo: Fontana del Mose (w/ statue of horned Moses)
Photo: Fontana delle Naiadi
Photo: Fontana delle Naiadi (other side)
I wandered over to Quirinal Hill where I happened upon a film shoot of some sort where the model was in a gold dress that sparkled in the late afternoon sun. (I took a picture but was too far away to properly capture her beauty, so there's no point in posting it)
The park was very nice, as well, so I sat on a bench and enjoyed the view for a while...
Photo: Statue in Giardini Quirinale
Photo: Fountain at Pallazo del Quirinale
The Pallazo del Quirinale was initially used as a summer residence by the popes, then was used by the kings of Italy, and now is occupied by the president of the Italian Republic.
I arrived at the Pallazo just in time to see the very end of the changing of the corazzieri or presidential guard. Actually I almost missed it as you can see in the picture. It happens at 4pm daily.
I decided to go exploring a bit. I'd read that the nightlife goes on at cafes in a plaza north of the Spanish Steps so I decided to head in that general direction, planning to stop at a bar or trattoria along the way and get some dinner. I passed several but was still a little intimidated by my lack of Italian language skills and before long found myself at the Spanish Steps and then ended up just getting a sandwich pannini and a couple beers from a little cart.
Hung out on the steps, snacked and drank and had a great time just people watching. A girl and a couple guys sat on the steps singing and playing guitar. The notes drifted down the steps, over the heads of the gathered people, merged with their spirited conversation and joyful laughter and tumbled into the babbling fountain at the bottom.
Wow... I'm in Rome!
Please can I take one home?.......
View of the Foro Romano, May 2007
Rome Travel Passes
I'm working in Rome and have purchased a CIS weekly ticket and travel into work using a combination of bus and metro. In the course of my reading around on the internet I get the impression that my ticket is valid for travel within the 'Rome Urban Area' or the 'Rome Metropolitan Area'. I'm worried in case my ticket doesnt cover me from where I'm staying which is halfway between Rome Centre and Fiumicino Airport.
Can anyone define how far the 'Metrpolitan' or 'Urban' area extends?
Re: Rome Travel Passes
Would it be possible for you to ask a fellow commuter? Or perhaps the driver?
Re: Rome Travel Passes
Thx for your response. From what I can see/hear all my fellow commuters(and the driver) are Italian and sadly I speak no Italian so making myself understood in the first instance and then interpreting the response could be quite problematic.
I think what I'll have to do is ask at the place where I'm staying, they have some English speaking people on the front desk.
Re: Rome Travel Passes
How about at the station where you get off in Rome? Termini? We have found that the ticket people in the mainline stations speak passable English, or at least enough to get by. Often more than passable! I am sure you have enough Italian to do a mixture of English/Italian/sign language and pointing at the ticket?!! e.g. Es okay (your station) e Termini? I am sure that you will receive a simple "non" or "si" in response and quite possibly, a reply in English!
Re: Rome Travel Passes
Another thing I hadnt thought of.