From Florence we will be taking an hour and a half train ride to Rome. (Tickets are around $66.) We we be staying in Rome for the longest amount of time, four days and four nights.
We’ve decided to stay at Orsa Maggiore, which is hostel for women only. (I think I just heard our dads breathe a sigh of relief.) The hostel is slightly outside of the historic district, but honestly the city is so big we will have to be riding buses all around anyway. Interesting note: Rome only has two subway lines because beneath the city lies more roman ruins, they’ve started trying to build a third line but it’s already become an archeological dig, so who knows how long that will take. We will be staying in a room with 4 beds, so I guess we will be bunking with some fellow travelers. Cost for four nights is €216 (including reservation fees) which comes to €27 a night each. Not bad at all!
We will be arriving at the train station mid-afternoon. Our plan is to stop by the hostel and then begin exploring the city. We want to get a handle on the basics of how to get around. This also seemed to be a good day to check out some of the free sites like the Trevis Fountain & the Spanish Steps. Also, I don’t know when, but at some point Lauren and I will find and enjoy a hookah bar. Maybe the hostel can suggest a good one.
Our second day is our historic day if you will. We have decided to buy the Roma Pass which gives you free entrance into your first 2 sites and then a discount off of the rest, and it covers transportation for three days (€25.) Our first stop with the pass will be the Colosseum because it’s the most expensive. We also plan to visit Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon on this day also. If we can’t get to it all that’s alright, we’ve left room in our other days.
The Roma Pass considers the Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill all as one stop. So that will be our first free visit. To get into the Pantheon is free also. Whoot whoot.
Our third day in Rome will be spent at Castel S. Angelo and the Vatican. We’ve already purchased our tickets for 1:00 p.m. for the Vatican, (St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum & the Sistine Chapel.) Our friend, Rick Steves recommended visiting the Vatican in the afternoon when crowds were slightly lesser. Our morning will be spent at Castel S. Angelo, our second site for the Roma Pass, which will be free. The Vatican tickets were €19 with the reservation fee. (The Roma Pass does not cover the Vatican.)
Our fourth and last day in Rome is our most open. We have one stop that we’ve put on our itinerary, but I don’t think it will take up much time. Rome is such a big city with so much history and many sites. I’m sure while we’re there we’ll see things that we want to make time for. Hopefully we will be able to fit them all in on our fourth day. Our planned stop is the La Bocca della Verità, also known as the Mouth of Truth. If you’re a Hepburn fan then you’ll recognize the Mouth of Truth from “Roman Holiday.” It’s located in Santa Maria in Cosmedin and admission is free.
As I said early, we’re going to rely on public transit a lot more than in other cities while in Rome. I’ve been studying the route map and it kind of makes my head want to explode. See here. (The link is to a lovely detailed PDF of Rome’s transit system. You should be able to open it in Adobe Reader.) Here’s a screen shot of the map with what I talked about on the blog circled and highlighted. Looking at the map we may end up re-arranging the plan based on location, but we can figure that out when we get there. Wish us luck!