This is the fourth post of the series. Rome – the city which has existed for more than two-and-a-half millennia.
We were to cover as much as possible in a single day. After the debacle of the previous day which almost jeopardized the whole day’s plan we were extra cautious and set out early for Vatican City. We took the shuttle operated by Camping Village Roma to Vatican City. We reached Vatican City museum entrance well in time. We had booked guided tour named “Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica – Art & Faith (duration of the tour was 3 hours)”. Click here to know more about the tour also book tickets online. The tour follows an itinerary which includes: the Pio Clementino Museum (classical antiquity), Museo Chiaramonti, the Gallery of the Candelabras, the Gallery of the Tapestries and the Gallery of the Geographical Maps (Renaissance Art), the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. For next three hours the guide fed us with a humungous amount of information. She sprinkled the tour with interesting anecdotes. Let me share those stories with you in form of images captured by us.
This is the door that is only opened for holy years it’s called, appropriately, the Holy Door. They’re only opened in certain years “Jubilee years” and people who pass through them receive a plenary indulgence. We had entered the final phase of the tour that is we entered the St. Peter’s Basilica.
With the tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica – Art & Faith Tour came to an end. We thanked our guide and exited St. Peter’s Square after taking pictures of course. All that walking and no breakfast had made us very hungry and we had decided that this was our only chance to have Italian in Italy. Till then we were mostly sticking to Indian or American. After scouting for decent nearby places we zeroed in on to Guily’s Café. It looked like a nice little place which served usual Italian fare like pastas, pizzas, omelette, bruschette, salads etc. We ordered Pizza and taste was nothing to write about but we devoured it as we were really very hungry.
After filling our stomach we headed for our next destination the Colosseum. To reach Colosseum from Vatican we took metro from stop Ottaviano-S. Pietro we got into line A (ANAGNINA) for 6 stops and got off at Termini and from Termini we took line B (LAURENTINA) to 2 stops and got off at Coloseo stop.
We had already booked tickets for entry into Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre). I would recommend to book entry tickets beforehand to avoid long queues. You can click here to book entry tickets online. Pictures of Colosseum would be a better way to talk about the monument.
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill.
The plan was to see Colosseum, Palantine Hill and Roman Forum then walk to Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps but we were running out of time and there were many more places to cover before we could call it a day. We decided to skip Palantine Hill, Roman Forum and Spanish Steps. And cover Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain. The easiest way we found was to take the metro line B from Coloseo stop towards REBIBBIA for 2 stops got off at TERMINI and switched to metro line A towards BATITSTINI for 2 stops and got down at BARBERINI stop.
From BARBERINI station we walked to Trevi Fountain. But as luck would have had it was under renovation at that time. Please look for yourselves.
We were a bit disappointed but could not cry over it. We still had a number of places to cover before the day ended. We took the Trevi Fountain To Piazza Navona via The Pantheon walking route. The walk was basically through narrow alleys of cobbled stone streets following the directions for Pantheon.. As there was no traffic the walk was quite pleasant one.
The Pantheon and the Fontana del Pantheon was an amazing structure with fountain.
From Pantheon we followed the directions and reached Piazza Navona. First we went inside the Sant’ Agnese in Agose, a church that faces the Piazza from west side. It’s a breath taking structure to which entry is free though photography is not allowed inside. I was quite tired by all the walking and running. Like Milan here too I found one nice bench and settled down there and did my favorite activity ‘people watching’. The Piazza was teeming with tourists from across the globe. Also there were many street artists selling their art, street performers doing their unique acts. As evening sun started setting we decided to grab a quick dinner and head towards our hotel. Below are few pictures from Piazza Navona.
While walking back from Piazza Navona we strolled around the streets and ended up in front of the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II). It was a classic example of the belief that while travelling many times its things or places that are not in your itinerary give you most pleasure.
As we were standing in front of Altare della Patria contemplating how did we miss this monument from our itinerary, an elderly couple from India asked us the directions to Trevi fountain. They were visibly dissappionted when we informed them that its closed for repairs. We suggested still they should visit the place once as they have come this far. After dinner at Mac Donalds we headed for Camping Village. Next day we had to take an early morning flight to Paris so while passing by a taxi stand next to BARBERINI metro stop we enquired with the taxi drivers and one of them gave us the number of a Radio Taxi operator. We called and booked ourselves a taxi for Ciampino Airport. A useful article which mentions how to take a taxi in Rome without getting ripped off.
Finally after having refreshing swim at the pool inside the Camping Village we crashed into ours beds cherishing the memories of amazing day that had just concluded.
As the saying goes Rome was not built in a day. So naturally a day to see everything in Rome is also not enough. Like most of this trip we crammed as many places to see as we could into this one day we had at Rome. Though we had to skip some places but we ended up getting to see some place not in our original itinerary making the trip bit more memorable.
Our Walking route map in medieval town.
This is the first part of the video of our trip to Rome on 30-Jun-14. This part basically covers the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica – Art & Faith tour.
This is the second part of videos of our trip to Rome on 30-Jun-2014. It covers the Colosseum.
This is the third and final part of our trip to Rome, Italy on 30-Jun-14. This video covers Pantheon, Piazza Navona etc.
Some useful links:
Information & maps related Rome metro : http://www.rometoolkit.com/transport/rome_metro.htm
Information about what to do in Rome : http://www.rometoolkit.com/mnu/rome_whattodo.htm
Rome tourism’s official ‘Not to be missed’ Itinerary: http://www.turismoroma.it/itinerari/da_non_perdere?lang=en