Rome, Italy Travelogue Part
I - Palantine hill, Piazza della Rotonda, Colloseum
This travelogue is submited by one of the visitors to
1 - 18th April 2003
day finally dawned when we were to leave for Italy - Good Friday
18th Apr'03. Our flight was actually at 6:00 am Saturday morning,
but since there was no connecting bus to the airport from where
we stayed so early in the morning, we had no choice but to go
and wait at the airport overnight.
so we left by the coach (bus) at 8:10 pm on Friday. The day
was rather warm and sunny ( about 20 degrees ) Reached Stansted
airport at 10:30pm. Can you believe that there were lots of
people already settled cosily in the cushioned benches, all
ready to go to sleep ? We settled down on a bench and tried
to catch some sleep.
smell of roasted coffee emanating from a nearby café was too
tempting to resist, so we had a nice cup of coffee. Then we
settled down and caught some sleep.
2 - 19th April 2003
flight was at 6:10 am so we had to check-in
by 4:10. We were shivering in the cold as we
boarded the plane (Ryanair) even though the
sun was just rising. Since it was a small airline,
there was no aerobridge so we just walked to
the plane Had for company a young traveller
who was going to Italy to meet his girlfriend.
were informed that we were about to land in
Rome Ciampino airport at 9:15 (15 mins before
schedule). As we approached the runway we could
clearly see the dome of the Vatican and a lot
of other huge ancient monuments in the bright
landing in Rome we took the Ryanair shuttle
to the Termini station. After a short journey
by bus we reached our hotel called Pop-Inn Hostel.
Left our luggage at the reception as check-in
was only at 1:00 pm. So we decided to have a
look at some attractions. An interesting piece
of information -- In Italy one has to buy tickets
for the bus/trains at tobacco shops (tabacchi
in Italian). Strange !!! And even if you have
a ticket it is not valid unless you get it validated
at ticket validating machines installed in the
bus or at the railway platforms.
were once caught in a situation where there
were no tobacco shops open to buy a ticket.
So even though we had the money and could see
the bus passing in front of our eyes we could
not board it. Finally, an old Italian gentleman
was kind enough to give us two tickets from
the bunch of tickets he was carrying with him
(we paid for it of course).
In Rome a day-pass costs € 3.10. This is valid
on all local buses, trains and trams. The underground
train system is not very useful as there are
just 2 lines crossing each other at the main
train station called Termini.
bus service is quite good provided you understand
the routes. We went to see the Colosseum. The
Colosseum is actually a stadium inaugurated
in 80 AD. It took ten years to build and stood
160 feet high with 4 storeys and 80 arches.
This massive structure could seat up to 50,000
gladiators (condemned criminals, prisoners of
war and slaves) fought each other as well as
with animals mostly until their death. It had
subterranean chambers where gladiators and wild
animals were kept prior to their performance.
It seems that the arena could be turned into
a forest and could be flooded as well (to witness
mock naval fights).
was also a system wherein the stadium could
be covered so as to protect the spectators from
the sun and rain. What a bloody form of entertainment.
then went to the Palantine hill
next to the Colosseum - this
was once the garden of the Roman emperors residence.
Here we found some shade and settled down for
a lunch. We then proceeded to the hotel for
check-in, refreshed ourselves and then went
to see the Pantheon.
square near the Pantheon called Piazza
della Rotonda was bustling with tourists
from all corners of the world. At a street corner
near the Pantheon we came across a "Gelati"
shop - well that's Italian for ice-cream. There
were flavours which we had never heard of before.
We liked in particular the "ananas" flavour
- yes pineapple is called ananas in Italian.
The ice-cream was fantastic. We took a large
cone but soon realised that it was too much
for us - it was thick and creamy.
our way to the Pantheon we came across a shop
selling wooden articles - mainly toys, fridge
magnets, etc. There were a few wooden clocks
as well. It was a wonderful sight to see such
beautiful wooden articles all under the same
would love to visit Italy again only to eat loads of
Pizzas and Pasta.
Colloseum - Rome