Thursday, June 19, 2014

6 Days Itinerary in Italy - Day 1 & 2

Date of Travel: 17-22 January 2014
Give him time, it's only Day 2 and he hasn't gotten used to our style of photography yet!

My first trip to Italy! And I loved it.

After I had booked my air ticket to Barcelona explained here, I suddenly realised that 17 Jan 2014 was a public holiday in Malaysia. With just 2 days leave, I can extend my trip by 6 days, so why not? I contacted Qatar Airways, and ended up paying RM320 per person for the extension, great!

I have always loved Italian food, and wanted to know the authenticity of Italian food in Malaysia, so I picked Rome for my extra 6 days. I did not want to shift hotel in the middle of the 6 days, because my flight arrived late, and departed very very early on the 6th day. Splitting the time in Rome, would be quite hectic.

After a 17 hour journey. I arrived Barcelona and then had to wait 4 hours before my next flight to Rome. By the time we arrived Rome, it was about 9pm and I would have been awake for 48 hours. Initially, we were planning to take a fixed price taxi for €48, because we didn't trust ourselves to navigate the way to our hotel via public transport. But since I had a friend who arrived before us, and knew where our bus stopped, we hopped on the TerraVision airport shuttle for €6 each. Took us all the way to its shop near Termini station. From there, my friend was already waiting and we walked 15 mins to our hotel, Hotel Raffaello.
Hotel Raffaello. €77.40/night for Triple Room

The sofa-bed was not that bad after all
The toilet had a heater! Perfect for drying clothes haha

I loved the breakfast every morning! The bread was fresh and smelt wonderful

See my big big breakfast? Yums!

Can you see how fresh the tomato is? It can't be better than this anywhere else!

Top-Left, was a huge bowl of Prunes. Perfect to "keep you regular"!

Day 2 - Saturday 18 Jan 2014
- Eat a big big breakfast!
- Walk to Metro station Line B Cavour 350m, take 1 stop to Colosseo
- or Walk to the Colle Oppio park for an aerial view of Colosseum
- Colosseum and Roman Forum opens 0900-1600
- If no Roma pass, buy ticket at Roman Forum, which normally has no line
- Underground portion (Catacombs) of Colosseum for extra cost
- Next to the exit is a little hill for a photo of exterior
- Next go up Palatine Hill
- Walk back to Colosseo Metro station, locate the bus stop.
- Take Bus #87 or 571 for 5 stops to Corso Vittorio - Sant'Andrea Della Valle
- Visit Campo de Fiori market and have lunch
- Locate Alla Scala Gelateria for the best Gelato! Via della Scala, 51, Trastevere
- Continue walking to Piazza di San Cosimato market in Trastevere
- Early Dinner at Hostaria Luce, Via Della Luce 44
- If still have energy, take the bus to Trevi Fountain for night lightup
- Take bus back to hotel

That was the plan. Somehow, it worked out well except for the Gelato. It was closed!! Oh no!

We arrived too early at the Colosseum, so we wandered outside taking photos. We had a Roma Pass, which allowed us to skip the queues. Totally unnecessary in winter, not many people at all.

Inside the Colosseum, it was rather creepy. Many dungeons where animals were kept. Many people died here.

Can you see the dungeons below? They call it the Catacombs. Eerie man.

Just across from the Colosseum, was the Roman Forum. This place left me awestruck. From the entrance, I could not imagine how enormous the place was. It is really an ancient city.

Very blue skies in winter, or were we lucky that day

Now you see why we had to have such a big breakfast this morning? So much walking and sightseeing to do, with not much food nearby. Now it's time to find lunch. As per the itinerary, we headed to Campo de Fiori market for lunch. It was just a very very small market in a carpark area, but I found wonderful sun dried tomatoes here! Many restaurants to choose from. But being only the second day, we weren't ready to spend that much on food yet. So we all chose a simple hole-in-the-wall pasta restaurant, which turned out to be quite good!.

On the way out of the Roman Forum, look out for this Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. Impressive!

Campo de Fiori Market

They look plastic, but I assure you, they are real pumpkins

Wish I could bring some vinegar home!

€9.50 for pasta/pizza, Excellent. Other restaurants here were charging €13-15
Quite large portions, could not finish!

My favourite pasta - Rigatoni which I like to call, garden hose pasta

This hole-in-the-wall place was actually long, and extended all the way in
After lunch, we walked to Trastevere, touted to be THE place to get the old city feel of Italy. Yes the buildings did transport us back in time, like in the movies. Seeing how this blogger described this Gelato place, I was totally looking forward to having the best gelato ever. Unfortunately...
It was closed!!!! Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
We did anyhow pick another gelato shop in Trastevere, but it was way too sweet for our liking. After such a setback, we actually went back to the hotel to sleep. Hahaha we are really free and easy people, no hectic itinerary to follow.

Laundry still hangs between buildings

The streets of Trastevere
After our quick nap, we got up to visit the Trevi Fountain. Since it was winter, I thought it would be pretty empty. Boy was I wrong. It took some tricky navigating to get these photos.
Trevi Fountain. So beautiful

But too full of people to appreciate its beauty

From Trevi Fountain, you can walk to the Pantheon for more beautiful photos.

Me staring at the Pantheon in awe

It was too late to enter, so we just felt dumbstruck outside
Due to some unforeseen issue concerning underwear, we needed to locate a supermarket. Based on my previous research, COIN was a big departmental store. We took a long walk to locate the correct bus that would lead us to COIN. We then missed the stop to get off and had to walk all the way backwards, only to find COIN was closed for renovation. So tired, so hungry, we just anyhow picked a restaurant near there. It was EXPENSIVE!! Nothing special about the food. But for some reason, had many people dining there. Was it just me??
Minestrone Soup

Spaghetti Vongole

Fried Artichokes, quite famous in this region. But the plate was so bare

Veal chops. But again, plate so un-colourful

Grilled Vegetables - not what I was expecting!

This steak was good!

These 6 plates came to €80!! But it couldn't be helped. We were too tired to go elsewhere.

Continue reading on Europe2014:
How I Ended Up In Norway In Jan 2014
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 1 & 2
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 3 Visiting The Pope!
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 4 Napoli & Pompeii
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 5 & 6 Florence
4 Days in Barcelona - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 1 
4 Days in Barcelona - Day 2
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 3 & 4
4 Days In Berlin - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Berlin - Day 1
4 Days In Berlin - Day 2, 3 & 4
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 1
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 2
Northern Lights in Tromso Norway - Day 3 & 4  

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