I belong to the category of people who do not like group excursions and group trips. I like to plan a vacation by myself, to be in a place I like as much as I want, not having to chase anyone, not having to adapt to anyone. That is why the trip to Rome with my husband was planned by me personally.
We went in March 2017, not in the season - I wanted to avoid too many tourists. I bought tickets in Aeroflot – they cost around 320 euros. And even if we add to this amount the cost of visas, insurance and accommodation (we found an apartment through tripaways.com), it turned out significantly cheaper than through a tour operator. At least, compared to the rates of our agency, the savings amounted to almost 40%.
The Leonardo express train drove us from the airport to the city. Ticket price - 14 euros. And now about the impressions of the trip to Rome...
Sights: what to see, tips before visiting
Rome is a real open-air museum, and the beauty of this city is not exaggerated in colorful guidebooks, but even understated - in reality the city is even more beautiful. Walking around Rome, you catch yourself thinking what I am doing in Moscow among gray high rises, when I could live in such beauty...
The first place we visited was Colosseum. It is majestic and beautiful, without this visit, a trip to Rome would not be considered complete. Downsides: a half-kilometer long queue (and this is not the season!), you can’t see the beauty behind the backs of tourists, trading tents ruin all the charm of this place. Advice: come here after 23:00 and you will have a view of a completely different Colosseum, and the backlight will enhance the experience.
If Rome is among your plans for travelling, check out the review of Italy’s capital written by an independent tourist. An interesting and useful experience!
Roman forums are in fact the ruins and there are plenty of them throughout the city, but there is something in them which makes them worth a visit.
I also recommend seeing at least two of the seven famous Roman hills - Aventine and Janicul. There is a monastery located on the first one, with a lot of greenery, fountains, orange and lemon trees grow, and a house for cats. However, the most fabulous is a stunning view from the Aventine Hill to the Cathedral of St. Peter. Advice: you must see the sunset here.
Janicul Hill is not very crowded with tourists (not everyone wants to climb), it offers a panoramic view of the whole city. The decoration of the hill is an original fountain resembling a church facade.
We visited Vatican on Sunday, when Pope led the service. Many tourists were with binoculars and almost everyone had a camera. The performance was transmitted on giant screens. This was very impressive! Saint Peter's Cathedral is a wonderful architectural creation. But I'm not sure that it is necessary to pay money in order to climb the steps to its roof to contemplate the surroundings - expensive, crowded, not worth the money and effort spent. Tip: Admire the cathedral from the bottom.
You can also see the Pantheon, the Mouth of Truth, go to several basilica (churches) and go on an excursion to the Trastevere district. It is the opposite of the luxurious center: narrow streets, laundry on the balconies, many cheap shops and snack bars. But this place has its own, absolutely special charm!
Impressive Roman squares (in fact, this is the name of all intersections). This is the place where people gather, walk, laugh, and where street performers perform. Almost every square is decorated with a fountain. The most famous is Trevi, if you manage to approach it, throw a coin to return to Rome again.
Our trip to Rome initially involved visiting the Vatican museums, but it was not so easy to get there because of the queues. When we finally approached the contemplation of the Sistine Chapel, it turned out that ten more rooms with exhibits from the Renaissance should be passed. The tour was a long and tedious, but gave a feeling of satisfaction.
Prices, street food and roads of Rome
If you compare prices with Moscow, the prices in Rome are not so horrible. At the very least, you can eat salad, pasta and pizza for about 30 euros, which is a reasonable price. Tip: do not buy anything at tourist points, prices are wild there, for a half-liter bottle of water will have to pay 3 euros. And there are almost no shops in the center. It is better to stock up on water, walking around the same area of Trastevere, and then take it with you.
The subway ride costs 1.5 euros, we did not use taxi as we prefer to walk. The prices for clothes are not high, but we didn’t go shopping, so we didn’t pay much attention to stores.
A trip to Rome has changed my view on pizza, here it is a masterpiece, and there is no such pizza in our country. The most delicious pizza is in a cafe near Piazza Navona. And in general, in Rome it is difficult not to have a great meal, even in small cafes on the outskirts they cook quickly and competently.
Roads of Rome are a different topic. Drivers do not particularly like to stop even on a zebra and sometimes it seems that they will simply crush the pedestrians. But then you get used to it.
These would be the impressions of Rome: very beautiful and tasty, but crowded. Would we go again? Of course!