Welcome back to my Europe trip. This time, I will lead you to one of the most ancient cities in the world: Rome.
I am the one who has an interest in Roman and Greek cultures. My interest was originated from what I saw on TV when I was a child. Therefore, Rome is one of the must-visit places on my travel list.
As usual, I will talk a bit about transportation in Rome. We arrived at Rome Ciampino Airport. It is a small airport that is about 30-45 minutes to get to the city center. We chose bus 520 to go from Ciampino Airport to a train station, then catch a train to get to Roma Termini Station (Rome’s central station). We bought tickets at the arrival hall at the price of €5 per person.
When you are in Rome’s center, the bus and metro are the most convenient way to commute. There are various types of tickets: 24-hour ticket, 72-hour ticket, or C.I.S. (valid for a week), depending on how many days tourists spend in Rome.
Our itinerary was usually to start at the Rome Termini Station to one bus stop/train station, and then we would walk from there. Therefore, we chose the B.I.T. standard ticket (single ticket) for €1.5 per person.
The most surprising thing we saw in Rome was that no one tapped their card on the bus. Yes, no one.
We chose to take a flight from Eindhoven Airport to Rome Ciampino Airport in the morning to have time to visit Colosseum on that day. We came to the airport quite early and received terrible news: our flight was delayed. Many flights were delayed during that day because the airport did not have the capacity for all flights. Therefore, we had to wait there. During the waiting time, a consolation was that the airline gave us two cards for food and refreshment, with €4 on each card. It made us, at least, feel better because you cannot do anything when you are starving. That was a long waiting time, and then we finally departed after four hours.
Colosseum – One of the New Seven Wonders of the World
Our plan for Colosseum had to be changed a bit due to the delayed flight. We would first visit the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill before accessing the Colosseum at 17:30. However, we could only have enough time to visit the Colosseum on the first day, and then we would see the other two in the next day.
At the time of our visit, there are several options for you to purchase tickets. Tickets to Colosseum will combine the visit to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. You have to fix what time to visit Colosseum while the entrance time to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are not reserved. The regular adult price is €18 per person for you to access Colosseum at the scheduled time and the other two in the next 24 hours. Please note that you cannot access Arena with this ticket.
If you don’t have much time, you can choose the Afternoon Reduced Ticket (A.R.T.) to visit from 14:00 to 19:15 (during summer). Please note two points: firstly, you are allowed to access the Arena (from a separate gate), but you are not allowed to get to the higher levels of the Colosseum; and secondly, you had to visit all three places on the same day. Nevertheless, this type of ticket has no longer sold for visiting Colosseum at the moment.
It was easy to commute to Colosseum by the metro. You can take the metro Line B (Laurentina) and stop at the Colosseo station. Getting out of the metro station, just two to three minutes, you can get to the entrance of Colosseum.
Accessing the Colosseum was a fantastic experience. We were put in the Roman Empire period, where the emperor and spectators sat from the high level to watch the gladiator to battle. It was constructed nearly 2000 years ago. Although this site got through severe damages during its history, the area’s inside architecture has still brought the Roman Empire’s spirit. I still could feel a part of one of the greatest empires in human history when I visited Colosseum.
Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
We visited Roman Forum and Palatine Hill the next day. As I mentioned previously, you can choose to visit Colosseum at a fixed time one day and visit these two sites on the day after. They were remains of one of the greatest empires in the world. That would be worth visiting.
The biggest hurdle we had to overcome was the weather. It was the hottest day during our trip to Rome, around 32 degrees Celsius. It was not easy to climb up the hill, walk around the places under this weather.
Palatine Hill is one of the Seven Hills in Rome. It was the place where the imperial palaces were constructed. Before that time, Palatine Hill was a place that belonged to the houses of the rich. What visitors could see at Palatine Hill was the vestiges of, among others, the imperial palaces, the rooms of the emperor and empress, garden, and stadium.
Moving down from the Palatine Hill, we could easily to find the Roman Forum. It has a shape of rectangular, and it was a center of Rome for centuries. What surrounded the Roman Forum were the ruins of ancient government buildings of Rome. Roman Forum was where many public events happened in the past, such as elections or public speeches. Most of the buildings were damaged and ruined, and we could only see some remains of those constructions.
We visited Pantheon on a hot summer afternoon. It is free to come inside to see the old temple of the city. You have an option to choose an audio guide for €7 per person. We booked one audio guide for a visit, and it provided us sufficient information about the place.
Pantheon was a former temple of the Roman empire. It was built in 27 B.C., which was dedicated to the seven gods (the name “Pantheon” means, in Greek, “of all the gods”). Nowadays, Pantheon is a Catholic church. The Pantheon’s most outstanding feature is the dome, where the sunlight can go through and shine the center of the temple. One more notable thing was the drainage system of the floor. Because the temple’s oculus was never covered, the rain can fall through the ceiling onto the floor. With the floor’s unique design (with a slight decline), the water will run off and keep the floor dry.
Because the temple has been going through a long history, we expected that there would be more things to discover. However, we felt a bit disappointed because the Pantheon was only a rounded room. And there was one way to visit all things and discover the story of the temple.
That is all for the first part of our trip to Rome. See you next time at four other famous places in Rome, and together with us to enjoy some Italian food.