Rome, Italy

I make it a policy when I go to a new country to experience 3 things; the post office, a bus and the train. With this policy I have found that it is amazing what you actually manage to see and do on your trip!

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We booked our train tickets to Rome the night before and were up early for a three-hour trip from Jesi in the east of Italy. We knew the time that the train was due to arrive at Roma Termina, so at this time we jumped off the train at the station, but something felt wrong. I couldn’t see a sign saying Roma Termina, or any name at all. I asked an elderly woman standing close to me on the station. I can’t be sure but I think she told me off in Italian and promptly walked away. Feeling panicked I asked a younger man who was hopping on to the train we had just departed if this was Roma Termina. He confirmed my suspicion that Roma Termina was actually the next stop just in time for us to jump back onto the train before the doors closed.

Inside the Colosseum, Rome

Inside the Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum was magnificent, it was everything I expected it to be and to walk inside the Colosseum while reminiscing on the history of the gladiators was truly magical. What I didn’t expect was the magnificence of the Trevi fountain. Although I enjoyed seeing the Colosseum, it lived up to my expectations, while the Trevi Fountain was so much more than I expected. It is better to experience the world with out pre-conceptions.

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Trevi Fountain, Rome

From here we ended up jumping on a bus to the Vatican City. I have been on a couple of bus rides on this trip to Italy and the bus drivers are very friendly and don’t seem at all bothered about your ticket, they just kind of presume you have one and you’re an honest person. Maybe it’s the weather.. who can be grumpy when it’s so sunny! I noticed people filling up their water bottles from small fountains around the city. For 1 euro for a bottle of water I was able to drink fresh cold water throughout the day.

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Me at the Trevi Fountain

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The underground or Metropolotina in Rome is fairly simple, with only two routes to decide from, this is a lot easier than navigating around the London underground. The problem is that there are fewer options to enter the Metro around the city than there are in London. We walked around Rome all day feeling like tourists as we consistently consulted our map of Rome. At the end of a long day we headed for the nearest Metro that would take us back to Roma Termina, only to accidentally come across the Spanish Steps, an atmospheric setting in front of a magnificent fountain and the place where Keats died at just 25 years old.

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I find catching a flight or a train last-minute very stressful and always make sure I arrive at my destination in plenty of time. We were at the train station an hour before the last train was due to leave. We found the platform and picked up some snacks for the journey back. Everything was going well, but as the time drew close to the hour we sat at the platform wandering where our train was. The tannoy suddenly piped up with a message in Italian that the Ancona train, our train, was now due to leave at platform 2Est. A man who I had seen wandering up and down the platform suddenly asked us in English, ‘did the tannoy just say 2 Est?’ We told him it did unaware that Piano Est actually meant platform East. We watched the man literally run across the train tracks and scamper up platform 1. He could move pretty quick for a hefty man! Now we were worried, we didn’t want to leave the sanctity of platform 2 but this was the last train back that night and we didn’t want to miss it!

I have been to train stations in the past where there is a small additional platform further up for local trains. I made the decision, it may have been the wrong one, but if we had stayed or run around to platform 1 we would have missed the train. I ran over the train tracks and we started running down platform 1. We were going to miss our train. Then the Carabinieri (Italian military police) showed up in one of those platform buggies, they let us hop on and drove us to platform Est. We arrived at the same time as the hefty man did puffing up to the train. It is incredible how often the Universe will leave signs to help you on your journey. If the hefty man had not mentioned platform Est and if I had not seen him run over the train tracks I would never have followed and we would have missed the last train home. The signs are around you all of the time, but maybe you just notice it more when you are travelling! When you are travelling your senses are more alert and your mind is more open.

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4 thoughts on “Rome, Italy

  1. lkwatts says:

    Hi Amanda,

    What a fabulous policy to have!

    I do agree with you: Experience IS everything. I’ve also travelled much of the world myself on this theory. I’ve also written two books about it.
    Have you been to Australia, New Zealand and Canada? Russia is also a great place to go to and I also love Ireland and Mongolia!
    Best Wishes
    Laura
    http://lkwattsconfessions.blogspot.com

  2. Thank you for your comment lkwatts, I have been to 21 countries so far, travelling is my passion and inspiration, but you just mentioned six countries I have yet to explore (although I did visit Ireland once I have not really explored it enough yet)! I am writing a fiction novel based on my travels in Laos in Southeast Asia at the moment. What are your two books about?

  3. Well, this certainly looks like an amazing time! I like your list, it really would give you a better idea of what every day is like in a place than the usual tourist high points. I’ve never understood the rationale for traveling somewhere far away then never leaving the areas specifically catering towards tourists.

  4. I agree with you Connor, I try and experience everything I can when I visit a country or anywhere new, so that I can get a better understanding of that culture. Otherwise how can you really say you have been there and done that!

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