Most of my roommates are traveling Europe in a counter clockwise direction, while I was traveling clockwise. They’ve all been to Paris and Rome so I got loads of tips for these cities. In my itinerary, I put these cities at the last leg to “save the best for last”. I’ve heard oooh and aaah stories about the magnificence of Rome but it always ended with a word of caution: “Beware of pickpockets in Rome”. I’ve read a fair share of warning about this ancient city crowded with pickpockets.
|Leaving Santa Maria Novella of Florence|
The train ride from Santa Maria Novella of Florence to Termini Station of Rome took around two hours.
Upon landing in Rome, I felt like I traveled back to Manila. It was hot, crowded and I heard people conversing in Filipino. After more than a week of not having a full conversation in Tagalog, it felt good to hear your own language.
I’ve been away from home for two weeks already. My dad sent me an email to meet his former colleague who now works in Rome who can help me with my needs (Of course, somebody has to check up on me. Hahahaha). I traveled to Rome with a heavy luggage and some occasional phlegm in my throat. Note ha, phlegm lang, walang coughs and colds.
My hostel was a 15-minute walk from the station. I didn’t really have a difficult time finding the street because there was a Filipino in every corner. I am not kidding. Parang naglalakad lang ako sa Pilipinas. I guess it was Sunday too so it is the day-off of most of the workers.
I just had a couple of hours of daylight so I just threw my luggage in the locker and headed off to explore the city. I was itching to see the Colosseum. I went back to Termini station and bought the 24-hour integrated metro-bus ticket which costs €4 . It is valid 24 hours on any means of transport. Warning: this ticket is valid until the midnight of the day it was validated. So it isn’t really “24 hours”.
I found the public transportation system of Rome quite disorienting. Its buses cover more ground than the metro. I was more comfortable with riding trains instead of buses so I wasn’t really planning on studying the bus network at all. However, most of the metro stops are quite far from the tourist spots so there’s major walking involved. I found walking along the cobblestone streets quite enjoyable anyway.
The metro reminded me of the MRT which I ride everyday to get to work. Their metro had this funny smell too - Hmmmm, I guess I was just expecting too much civilization from this first world city. I got of the Colosseo stop and this wonderful sight greeted me.
I AM IN ROME.
Another dream came true.
|The purple camera case makes it to Rome|
Ongoing pictorials here.
The Colosseum has a lot angles to share. You have to take multiple shots.
I lost track of time and my grumbling tummy reminded me that I haven’t eaten anything since I left Florence. I explored the convenience stores around my hostel and found these nice surprises.
I gladly paid for €1 for a large pack of Boy Bawang. I got two packs actually.
The guy at the cashier: "Filipino?"
Guy: "Good good."
I guess he has a lot of Filipino patrons - based on the goods he sell.
My authentic Filipino dinner in Rome. The perfect combo to combat homesickness.
When I was studying my itinerary for Rome, I realized I just have TWO WHOLE DAYS in this city. Since one day is allotted for Vatican City, I have to explore Rome in ONE DAY.
Day 1 - arrived in Rome around 3pm.
Day 2- Rome
Day 3 -Rome, explore Vatican City
Day 4 - depart for Paris at 3 pm
I went to bed early and I didn't get to meet all my roommates until the next day. I needed my energy to do everything I intended to do for this city.