Rome, Italy in 23hrs

First of all I am an advocate for travelling solo, long connections, layovers and cheap flights.

I’ve been an expat in Arequipa, Peru since February 2015. So last December instead of visiting my family for the holidays back in the US, I decided to take on Spain. My first official trip to Europe. While searching for tickets from Lima, Peru to Madrid, Spain I opted out of the direct flight (12hours). I went with 19hours  going and 42hours return flight which made stops in Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. Which by the way was cheaper by about $400 USD. After purchasing the ticket I was more excited about going to Rome more than my original plans to go to Spain. I was spending 8 days in Spain and upon my return my first stop was in ROME for 23HOURS!!!  First thing I did was book a hotel near FCO airport on Booking.com and figured I would get to see one or two things. The Colosseum and the Vatican being on top of my list. Then I went on to just focus on adventures in Spain. It wasn’t until 2 day before I left for Rome I figured that I should start planning my day in ROME. This type of planning gives me so much excitement. The fact that I was going to experience a new city, in a new country all by myself. I was too excited. After doing some research on the hotel I had already booked (distance, transportation and check in time), I decided to cancel it. My flight was landing in Rome at approx. 8:30am and making my way to the hotel just to drop off my luggage was a little bit out of the way and would take time away from my adventure. Did more research and found out I could store my luggage at the airport for only 6 euros for the entire day. DEAL! Then figured out how to get from the airport to the center of Rome. The train was 36 euros roundtrip directly from the airport for 30mins ride. The bus however was only 8euros roundtrip for 45mins. DEAL! I booked online ahead of time. I try to avoid the taxi because unfortunately with my experience as a tourist you get treated unfairly in most cases. Oh! Being the inspector gadget that I am I found a perfect self-walking tour guide on the google (lol). https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=zGR0qrgGNRDQ.kpZr656InfEE&hl=en_US

So I was all set! …So I thought, but of course with my experience with travelling nothing ever goes exactly as planned. That’s all a part of the adventure.

I arrived to Rome on a rainy and cloudy morning. I knew the day was going to be interesting but I refused to make the weather steal my joy of being in Rome. Flight landed on time, found the luggage storage place with no problem and thought to myself “this is easy”. Until I got to the bus without my printed ticket. Even though it stated that I should print my ticket before hand, I ignored it. ( I mean c’mon its 2016, who needs to print that stuff out when there’s smartphones…NEGATIVE). Anyways thank God for the great customer service at FCO they were able to print of my ticket for FREE but which took up to 30mins to figure out. I was praying not to miss my 9:45am bus to the center of Rome. I love doing things earlier in the morning, you get more done and avoid huge crowds. So I made the bus on time and when we got to the city I had to figure out how to get  on the metro train to the Colosseum (2 stops about 5 minutes). As soon as I walked out of the metro there it was. In total ahhhhhh….

Colosseum 1 - CopyColosseum 2 - Copy

The line to get in was super long so already decided I wasn’t going in (still sad about that). Took tons of pictures on the outside and then it started to pour heavily. Bought  an umbrella and poncho and  was on off to find my next location. Of course, I went the absolute opposite direction of where I needed to be. Walked for at least a mile then finally stopped at a coffee shop to regroup. It was too early to get lost. Lol. I am a very friendly person but when I comes to asking for directions I’d rather get lost a few times and figure things out on my own before I ask someone for help. Little weird I know. Rome is just absolutely beautiful, full of architecture and rich in history. I ended up visiting many more places than I originally anticipated. I am a very fast walker so I think I covered all together about 7/8 miles of walking that day. Yes I still got lost a few more times, met people along the way and had some delicious Italian Pizza for lunch. Rome is now on top of my list of places to revisit so that I can enter the Colosseum and the Vatican (probably need a full day each)

Piazza VeneziaIMG_6521 - Copy

Pantheon

(I remember writing a paper on this is college; for my list favorite subject…wonder if I can still access blackboard to find it. hehe)

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The Vatican

(Hey Pope Francis!)

Piazza Navona

Castel  Sant’Angelo

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