03 Mar Rome
After spending several days sightseeing Florence we made our way to Rome. Sadly with every campsite being closed between Florence and Rome, we decided it would be more economical to just take the train. The cost of tickets was about the same price as one night in a hostel and way cheaper than a hotel, plus we would be there in 4 hours instead of 4 days.
From the Rome train station we had about a 30km bike ride out to our campsite. However, on the way there we still had to get food and fuel. Maneuvering on bike in a new, big city, with crazy traffic can be a little nerve-wrecking but exciting all at the same time. Once we found everything we needed, we headed to our campsite, where we arrived in the dark–again.
We initially picked the campsite, because it was right by the public beach and close enough to Rome, where we can just jump on the Metro to get to all the major touristy sites…not to mention it was one of the only two campsites open during this time of the year.
What we soon discovered though, was that in an effort to clean up Rome’s streets, the mayor decided to ban all prostitutes out of the city limits. Unfortunately, they all decided to move right into the streets and the forest area that are surrounding our campground. Also, during low season, nobody seems to care about the beach, which was littered with garbage and made for a short, disappointing walk by the water.
Fortunately, Rome has several major tourist attractions, that make up for the situation.
We knew beforehand, that there are lots of Roman ruins and antiquities to see; however, we did not expect the countless sites and the sheer size of ancient remnants, that are strewn all over the city. One could spend a couple of weeks in this city and still explore more sites.
On our first sightseeing day, we decided to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. It was also our lucky day, because on the last Sunday of the month, admission to these sites is free of charge. All we had to do is stand in the very long line leading into the Vatican…it was well worth it!
Also the St. Peter Basilica is free of charge at anytime.
There are several museums inside the Vatican, which could take all day to explore.
Most of the rooms have astonishing paintings and many old artifacts.
We were very excited to see the Sistine Chapel. Unfortunately, it was not allowed to take any pictures inside the Chapel, and there were numerous “photo-police-officials” to make sure of it.
The following day, we just meandered around town and checked out the Pantheon, several Piazzas, and Forums.
On our third day, we took on the task to explore all of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, while the Colosseum occupied us for most of the last day, we were visiting Rome.
With our Florence and Rome visits in the books, we have accomplished to see what we were really interested to see in Italy. Now it is time to move on…Croatia here we come!