To the eternal city - Roam in Rome

It was an impromptu trip, my partner and I only decided to go and booked our flight ticket less than 2 weeks before departure. Therefore we didn't get to book the accommodation and train ticket at cheaper price. However, this didn't make the trip any less interesting. In fact, it was one of the most amazing holiday we've ever had!


Rome - Florence - Venice - Rome

Click here to read my post for Venice and Florence.

From airport to city

By train
We landed Rome Fiumicino airport early in the morning and took Leonardo Airport Express to Rome Termini train station (the cost of the ticket is 14€ one way) before heading up to Florence. You can buy your train ticket from Trenitalia or ItaliaRail. Read more about Leonardo Express here. Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it. The ticket will expire 90 minutes after validation. 

By taxi
Taxi fare is fixed at 48€ from Fiumicino airport to Rome downtown or vice versa. Beware some taxi drivers will try to charge more. Sometimes taxis in the queue at the airport are not from Rome but from the nearby town of Fiumicino. These taxis are not bound by the fixed fare rule and are best to avoid. Some airport staffs may direct you to a "taxi" if you ask them for direction and the "taxi" could end up being a limo cab which will cost you double fare of a normal taxi and it may be too late when you realize that and your luggage has locked in the limo cab's boot.

By bus
The bus stop is located at ground level outside of Fiumicino Airport Terminal B & Terminal C. You can buy ticket at the tobacco shop, look out for blue sign (Tabaccheria). Click here for more information. You can also take Terravision shuttle bus from airport to Rome city, click here.

Beware of gypsies and scam artists at Termini station. We were looking for the right platform to board the train to Florence and we were in a hurry. Then a man appeared and offered to help us out. I showed him our e-ticket and he brought us to the right platform where our train was. I thought this was nice and thanked him for it. But but but .... He asked us to pay him for his efforts, he asked for 20€ each. We refused to give and wanted to leave but he stopped us! We were at the basement, no one was there so we couldn't get anyone to help us. Furthermore we were in a hurry to catch the train and we couldn't even run with 2 big luggage and 1 laptop bag. We also saw one of his gang walking towards us. To avoid any danger he could potentially cause for us, we decided to pay him. My partner took out his wallet and this conman saw bigger notes in there and he demanded total 60€. It's certainly not a great way to start a wonderful vacation! Shake your head and say NO when that ever-so-helpful someone appears. If someone attempts to help you with your luggage or try to guide you with the train ticket vending machine, make sure they actually work for the train station. Also, you must beware of taxi scam. Many Rome taxi drivers are honest. Some are not. There was a taxi driver trying to overcharge me when I asked him a rough estimated fare from Termini station to Holiday Inn hotel. He told me 60€. I checked with the hotel before and they told me 30€ was more than enough. So obviously this man was trying to con us. So be careful of such trap! 

You can leave your luggage in storage room located at the basement. Look out for sign "Left Luggage" or "Deposito Bagaglio". The storage fees is charged 5.00€ for the first 5 hours, 0.70€/hour from the 6th to the 12th hour and 0.30€ for every additional hour. You can store your things there not more than 5 days. Check out more information here and here.

Transport in Rome

By subway

Tickets must be purchased from a tobacconist or newsstand before you board the bus, train, subway or tram. Ticket vending machines are available in all metro stations. Bus, subway, tram and ATAC-owned railways use same kind of ticket. A Biglietto semplice B.I.T (single ride ticket) costs 1.50€. You are allowed to change bus, tram, train or subway (in and out) during one journey and valid for 100 minutes. If you take more than 4 rides per day, you can consider to get Biglietto Giornaliero B.I.G (1 day ticket) which costs 6€ and valid until midnight only. Biglietto per 3 giorni B.T.I. (3 days tourist ticket) at 16.50€ is available for tourist who spends more than 3 days in Rome. It is valid for 3 days in a row on any public transport. Biglietto settimanale C.I.S (7 days ticket) is sold at 24€, it is valid for 7 days in a row. Remember to get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine before using it.

I have marked down some attractions within the city centre in Rome subway map as well as the main attractions in Rome centre map.





Click File from the tool bar at the top right corner then Download.

You may want to consider Roma Pass, a 3-day pass which costs only 34€. You get to enter any first 2 museums or archeological sites (including Forum, Colosseum etc) for free then a 30% discount on each additional museum or site. It also allows you to enjoy unlimited access to tram, subway, bus, and train (including the Lido/ Ostia train line) for 3 days. Many tourists buy the pass also because they get to skip the long line at Colosseum, Forum etc. Note that you cannot use Roma Pass to visit Vatican Museums as they (including the Sistine Chapel) are not part of the circuit of museums that can be visited with the pass.

By taxi
Taxi is the most expensive way to get around Rome. The traffic in the city centre can be chaotic. Personally I would still prefer to travel by subway. Some private cars are decorated like cabs and they will wait for passengers at airports or railway stations. Beware of these people who don't display a licensed taxi ID and meter. Use only authorized taxi, taxis in Rome are white.

By foot
Once you are in the city centre, it’s best to walk. Grab a copy of Rome city map from your hotel and you are ready to roam. It’s Rome! 

Accommodation

Most things in Rome are expensive. B&B is probably a better choice for budget traveler. We stayed at Federica's Home B&B. Read their review here. Federica's Home is located in central Rome. It's within a historical building which 50m from Vittorio Emanuele Metro. Termini Train Station is only 1 metro stop away. 

What to do in Rome?

Colosseum 
Definitely one of the must see in Rome. You can buy Colosseum entrance ticket online at 13.50€ (1.50€ processing fee) which allow you to bypass the long queue.


Roman Forum



Trevis Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
The most famous and photographed fountain in Rome. If you've watched the Hong Kong TVB drama series Triumph in the Skies 1, you'll see a very beautiful fountain in Rome and that's the famous Trevi Fountain. Don't forget to toss a coin when you visit this fountain. Throw one coin, you will be assured a return to Rome. 



Spanish steps (Piazza di Spagna)
Watch out for the men with the roses who constantly pester you. Do not accept flowers from them.


Via Condotti
High fashion street in Rome. It's just opposite Spanish Steps. Ladies who love shopping, you won't want to miss this.



The Quirinal Palace
It’s the official residence of the President of Italy

Vatican Musuems
The smallest country in the world. You can buy Vatican museum entrance ticket online. It's a pity that I couldn't visit Vatican due to some reason. 

Trastevere
This charming neighborhood is located at the south of the Vatican, on the west bank of the Tiber, full of narrow cobbled streets, beautiful antique alleys and many pretty Piazzas. This busy and lively district has the look and feel of a traditional small Italian town. A lot of good eateries and cafes can be found there. It’s a perfect place for a drink at bar, a slice of pizza or an ice cream. Visit The Santa Maria church. Take train to Roma Trastevere railway station and hop on tram # 8. Alight at Viale di Trastevere. 






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