12 November 2017

Rome & Vatican

Dear readers,

today is another travel story time, this time about our last trip so far, to Rome, Italy. It was a destination high on our travel list for a long time - the transport is pretty cheap, the accommodation and food normal priced plus, it is THE place in Europe to go to, to get historically and artistically enriched.
We spent only 2 full days there (18.-20.9.2017), having the flight from Bratislava in the morning and returning on the 3rd day again in the morning, so we were up on our legs for the whole time. 
Well, our first day started before dawn, taking a bus to the Bratislava airport (for 1€ one way, Slovak Lines is amazing). Then continuing with Ryanair to Rome. The flight was pleasant; of course, we were sitting apart, since the company just wants to rip you off at all times; and after one and a half hour we arrived. Stepping out of the small Ciampini airport, the sun hit us real hard. It was so warm and bright, the opposite of Bratislava that day! You can instantly feel the Mediterranean climate and September was just the perfect month for visiting this beautiful ancient city. We were staying in an outdated but cute hotel (Domus Mea Rome), mainly because of the price. The room was a standard size with a little balcony, bathroom shared. It also offered a breakfast option, but since Italians have crazy delicious bakeries (and gelato, duh), we skipped that part. After checking in, we went to Vatican Museums right away, because we had reserved tickets for a specific time (do it online before your departure, because the lines without the tickets are just too long). Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, Caravaggio, da Vinci, high class art works wherever you look. Then we continued to the St. Michael's Basilica but the line to get on top was so long, we decided we would rather go on and explore Rome. In the first day, we visited many highlights, such as Castel Sant'Angello, Pantheon, Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Borghese park and different churches with works from famous painters.
On our next day, we decided to explore some more iconic attractions. We started at the Baths of Diocletian, it was so interesting to see the ruins of a public bath. The ticket includes four different museums and galleries (Baths of Diocletian, Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Massimo and Palazzo Altemps), so I definitely recommend it, because it has a lot of important art work and historical information about different eras of Rome, plus there is never a line and it is really cheap (even cheaper for students under the age of 26). After visiting Palazzo Massimo, we headed straight to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum with the Palantine Hill. Masses of people, standing in different lines to visit the main attractions of Rome. It was another hot day, but we were lucky, because we were waiting for the tickets (the line for a card payment was much smaller) about half an hour and to get inside the Roman Forum and the Colosseum also about half an hour each. Colosseum is for sure one of the most majestic objects I have ever seen, stepping inside it instantly takes you into the past - the gladiators fighting animals and a huge audience squeezing on the steps cheering. We sat down on a ruin of a stone pillar and ate some snacks. Our energy level was slowly dropping, but we still had almost 10 hours to spend in Rome. That is why we continued with a more laid back tempo, visiting other the Altar of the Motherland, some churches and the Crypt. After our last indoor activity (Palazzo Altemps), we went on a traditional Italian dinner - antipasti (toasted bread with olive oil and tomato), pasta (carbonara and bolognese) and wine. The sun has already sat down when we left. Now we still had a few hours until our bus pick-up for the airport (at 4 AM). We crossed the river Themes to a vibrant district Trastevere, where we did some tourist shopping and got a bit tipsy at a Limoncello tasting. We decided to visit some more outdoor attractions, but then, out of nowhere, it started raining. We did not take an umbrella with us so we were literally standing under a construction site next to a local theatre for around an hour, shaking because we did not take any warm clothes with us (even though I had a body, 2 shirts with long sleeves and a cardigan on me, it was still really cold). Well, when it stopped raining, we were really happy that we could continue with the sightseeing. In our last hours we stopped at McDonalds for coffee, at the Colosseum to take some night pictures and in an awesome bar/restaurant La Base, which is open until the dawn and has incredible Italian food (but has an American style interior). I really recommend La Base, because the setting is really cosy and you do not have a feeling that it is already past 3 AM.
So, our Rome journey came to an end at 4 AM, we took a bus shuttle to the airport and a Ryanair flight (where we finally sat together because I switched seats with a nice woman) back to Bratislava, disappointed because of the cold weather and our lack of warm clothes.
To conclude, the whole city is a big monument and there is something historical anywhere you look, so the best way to explore Rome is by foot (We made roughly 25 km per day!) - so take good shoes with you. You can get though Rome pretty cheap if you do not eat out every meal and if you are a student under the age of 26, since you get discounts on every ticket.


  1. Aww.. So nice I just want to transport myself to Italy right away. Beautiful site.

  2. Wow! You had an amazing trip. That coliseum looks amazing

  3. awesome! thanks for sharing, your pictures are great, I feel like I was there :)


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