Our voluntary job in rural Italy turned out to be unsuccessful. We were not happy with it. So after two weeks spent there we decided to move forward. We agreed to go to France, to volunteer in the place we were in summer. But before that, willing to see more from Italy, we went to celebrate Christmas in Rome. We had never been there and we wanted to see this famous and beautiful city.
Our arrival in Rome and also the first night in Rome was full of surprises. With many ups and downs.
First of all, our BlaBlaCar driver didn’t arrive in time. And it was not possible to reach him via phone because it was switched off. So we waited, waited and waited and finally decided to check the Internet (using roaming). And there it was! Message from the driver, sent 30 minutes before planned ride, saying that our ride is canceled because of technical problems with the car! Shucks! It was 3 PM and we still were 600 km from our destination.
(Not the best first time experience using BlaBlaCar. Two others, later in Italy, were much better.)
We need to think fast… So we hurried to the bus ticket counter. Luckily we were waiting for the car in Milano Rogoredo station.
“Do you have any buses going to Rome today?” Kaspars asked.
Moment of silence…
“Yes, after 10 minutes. Is it ok?”
Yes! Yes! Yes! And what a relief it was to find, that ticket cost only 8 EUR more than our planned BlaBlaCar ride, not 2 or 3 times higher like it would be with a train. In 10 minutes cold and desperation was changed with comfort and joy, we were in a bus heading to Rome, yeah!
Our bus arrived in Rome late, an hour later than on schedule. It was almost midnight. And thus we missed the last metro.
But again we were lucky, because we didn’t need to go very far. Our room which again we rented via AirBnb was not that far from the station, where we get off the bus. In some 3 kilometers. So we walked. What we saw didn’t make a very nice first impression – dirty and littered streets, like in India. But at the same time streets were full with people, working to get them clean. Despite untidiness and streets full with people we still felt safe.
We reached the house. We got into the apartment. And, there it was, the next obstacle.
Our Airbnb host had forgotten to give us the code from our room’s doors. Not being able to call him, as he was asleep (our guess) and his phone was switched off, we slept in the corridor of the apartment – Kaspars on the floor, I – on the chair – till 7 o’clock, when the guy finally contacted us and gave us the code.
But because of that he also gave us one more (free) night. Yeah, one more day in Rome!
Three Full Days We Spent Wandering Around Rome and Sightseeing
After getting in the room we slept till noon and then we went out for a walk. We wanted to go not too far, but it went so well, that without planning it we got to Vatican.
First thing I noticed (actually I was hoping to see it…) was that in the morning the same dirty streets were clean, whew!
We went inside Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri.
We went to Spanish Steps, place with a very nice view of the city.
We walked around the area.
We saw many, many flags made from Christmas lights in the one of the streets. Why there were these flags? Because of Expo being held in Milano in 2015.
And then suddenly we found ourselves standing in Piazza San Pietro, Vatican.
On the second day we bought urban ticket for one day (B.I.G. for 6 EUR). It’s a daily ticket, valid for unlimited metro, bus, and train travel within Rome), to be able to see more of the city.
On the third day we went to see Pantheon and also for the second time visited Colosseo. On this day we understood how actually close to each other are most of the “must see” places in Rome. It is possible to see many of them in a few hour walk.
In these three days we understood that Rome is a very nice city. Wherever you go, you see beauty – amazing architecture, historical monuments, very impressive churches both from inside and outside.
In 3 words – Rome is beautiful.
Have you been to Rome? What are your thoughts?
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.