Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five Minutes Walk from the Colosseum

This is where I found myself at this time last week, in fact at this time last week I was sitting in my favourite Italian Restaurant L'Orso 80, on the Via Dell' Orso in Rome, my lovely big sister Clare took me there for my birthday, the restaurant not Rome. We stayed in an apartment and have decided that this is the way to go, the apartment was five minutes literally from the Colosseum which is so central and it was beautifully dressed and decorated and even had it's own private terrace which was well used for lunch and an evening's glass of Prosecco before heading out to dinner.

Having been to Rome a couple of times now I am getting the hang of the public transport (Bus if you want to see the sites and have time on your hands; the metro if like us you are there for four days and time is of the essence), the site seeing (even got to see the Sistine chapel this time) and the food (try and stray off the beaten track for the best deals).

The first time I went to Rome was with the church for World Youth Day 2000 and I remember thinking what a beautiful city that Rome is and how clean etc. The city has never lost it's attraction to me and I find myself every so often wanting to return. When we entered the flat late on Saturday night the girl Francesca (who could not have been nicer) asked us if we had been to Rome before the usual chit chat and we advised that we have been a couple of times, when she asked why I quipped 'Because we keep throwing money in the Trevi' Francesca giggled as did my sister and I but it is one of the reasons I return to keep throwing that money in so that I guarantee that I come back.

I have included some of my photos below of the Vatican museums (although not the Sistine chapel as no talking or photos are allowed in the chapel itself), the gardens and the general surroundings of Rome, I have also detailed below a couple of my top tips for travelling in Rome.

Top travel tips in Rome

Queues are not a big thing in Europe so if like me this annoys you and you are flying with a budget airline get speedy boarding or priority boarding as this will allow you to not have to queue and get on the plane first.

If you have limited time get the Metro it does not show you the sites of the city but if you get the three day pass you can get on and off busses and all public transport in Rome so if you want to take in the long road to the Vatican (the number 62 bus from Termini goes down this road and stops just around the corner) then just jump on the bus instead.

Always get lost! Half the fun in places like Rome and Venice is the getting lost, stick to the streets around the main tourist sites and you should be able to find a nice reasonably priced restaurant with great food (just remember and visit the tourist information office and pick up a free booklet with a map as it has the bus routes in it and is really helpful)

If you can, go to a football game, we went to watch Roma versus FC Basel and although Roma got beat it was an excellent experience and I would definitely do it again especially since a ticket to see the Champions league game only cost 10 euro's from the club shop, despite being quoted 80 euro's online. Add to this we got a discount because we were female?!?


If you are going to see the Sistine chapel get your ticket online before you go that way you beat the crowd, the queue every time I have been to Rome the queue is consistently down the road round the corner, down the road again and round another corner it is really busy so book first online at

Just outside Termini on the Terravision bus side of the building (at the platform one side) across the road there is a small shop that sells wine, food etc and this is open quite late (we got two bottles of prosecco and some food at the back of 11 at night) it is reasonably priced and a real wee find.

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