Last Friday, I hopped on a train to Rome.
I was going to meet my boyfriend who was flying into the airport, but this also gave me the chance to explore a city I’ve always dreamt of visiting. Visit sounds rather long, relaxed and drawn out, which is sort of the opposite of our trip. We only had two days, or more like 36 hours, to take in the sights and get a feel for Rome. This may sound like a ridiculously short time, but I think we managed to do both those things; although, it took walking at least 15km a day to achieve it. Who needs a gym membership anyways?
Our Airbnb was in the San Giovanni area, so it was a good few metro stops away from the centre. Even so, we walked into the old town both days and it only took about an hour. However, if you don’t fancy your legs dropping off, the Metro is really reasonable. I’d recommend getting the 24 hour pass for €7, or the 48 hour one for €12.50, if you plan on seeing as much of the city as possible, because it’s €1.50 for a ticket that lasts 100 minutes.
The first day we walked around the city to soak up the atmosphere. Although it is very touristy in the centre, there are a lot of great restaurants and bars to choose from. The overall feeling is more bustling than little Florence, but it’s the same concept that you can find hidden gems bang in the middle, you just have to do a bit of research beforehand. We ate some great food both days, but we actually stumbled upon my favourite place the following night. It was a tiny restaurant called Fame, located almost around the corner from our accommodation. They serve a huge variety of sea food dishes which are very reasonably priced, and more importantly, fresh. I had an Octopus salad followed by Spaghetti e Vongole which were both fantastic!
Sightseeing was the main item on our agenda for our second day in Rome. In a short space, we saw the Pantheon, Chiesa Nuova, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, and wandered over to view the Vatican from outside. Of all of these, Palatine Hill was by far my favourite. It is vast. You could easily spend hours looking around, and you still wouldn’t see every detail. The whole city is crammed with historic buildings, so this is obviously only a tiny portion, however it gives me an excuse to come back and visit again.
There’s no excuse not to visit Italy’s capital, when catching the train from Florence couldn’t be easier. Tickets are slightly pricier than in the UK, mine cost €30 each way, however I did catch the fast train. This goes almost directly between the cities and only takes 1 hour 30 minutes! The slower trains are less frequent and are around 3 hours long, but their price isn’t quite so steep. So if you’re in Florence long enough and have the chance to go South, do it.