18 – 19 September 2018
Our 5.30pm flight from Perth to Abu Dhabi on Monday went off without a hitch, except for the passengers in front of us reclining their seats so far back that (luckily) there were spare seats down the front that we were able to relocate to. Violet stayed where she was and managed to have a whole four seats to herself for the 11 hour journey to Abu Dhabi!
We got into Abu Dhabi at 1am – where we experienced a 32 degree temperature! Our luggage was checked through to Rome so we made our way to the Premier Inn which is an airport hotel. After quickly picking up some McDonald’s we were checked in by 1.45am and asleep by 2.30am, with our alarms set for 6.30am.
That four hour sleep felt like a full 8 hours sleep which made our decision to get an airport hotel a great one! It was the best $100 we spent. We would not have gotten such a good rest had we just hung around the airport while in transit.
Our six-hour flight from Abu Dhabi had us arrive in Rome at 1pm. Violet wasn’t feeling the best on the trip (she gets travel sickness) so she and Mark got moved to the front of the plane to give her more space – just in case.
Also, FYI for all you crocheters – I managed to take a crochet hook onto the plane and crocheted for most of the journey. I’m making a “holiday blanket”.
After a slight mix up with our transfers which had us waiting at the airport for well over an hour, we were taken to our accommodation.
We literally feared for our lives on this journey! Travelling over 150km/hr, I’m sure the driver thought he was driving a Ferrari – not a minivan! It was white knuckles all the way!
Our accommodation was BB Home77 – a bed and breakfast-style apartment. Mark, the kids and I had a quadruple room and Kristi, my sister, had her own room. The rooms are very comfortable and very accommodating. There are 6 separate rooms that all share a communal “hang out” space in the foyer where you can have unlimited snacks, breakfast, croissants, tea, coffee and orange juice.
Dinner on our first night was at an Italian restaurant called Da Giggetto Pizzeria which is a five minute walk from our accommodation. We had some yummy pasta, cheeseburgers and pizza.
Wednesday was our only full day in Rome so we had to make the most of it! For some reason, my body clock woke me up at 4.15am.
We heard someone in the other room leaving early at 5am. By 5.30am, Mark and I had made ourselves a coffee and a croissant and studied the map that the hotel manager gave us, pinpointing all the sites and bus routes.
While researching information about the Colosseum and getting our tickets, it seemed we had left it too late and they were sold out! Why did we not pre-book them?! I had another search and managed to find 5 tickets for 5.05pm.
We left our hotel rooms at 8.15am and headed downstairs to Tribeca Cafe for breakfast. An American Breakfast set us back €10 and we were served the prettiest coffees that were decorated with chocolate syrup as opposed to chocolate powder like back home.
Side note: as lovely as the Italians are, the men do like to ogle. And they’re not shy about it either!
We walked to the tobacconist on the corner to buy our MetroBus tickets. These cost €1.50 each and are valid for 100 minutes from their first validation.
After waiting for half an hour at the bus stop, we caught the No. 62 bus and headed down Via del Tritone.
After six stops, we got off and after a very short walk, we saw it. The Trevi Fountain. Wow, the fountain was beautiful! There were so many people there but it had a calm, peaceful feeling about it. After some photos, we each got a gelato – I was told by a co-worker that the Pistachio gelato was a must and it didn’t disappoint! We sat back and took in the atmosphere and the total “are we actually here?” experience.
After half a day of shopping, walking ( lots of walking!) and eating, we started our 30 min journey to the Colosseum. It was so great to walk there because we got to see and experience so much more than we would have seen if we had’ve caught the bus.
It was amazing to see the Colosseum. Australia just doesn’t have the history of countries like Italy so it really is something else to be here and see it for yourself. Statues, columns and monuments are at every turn.
We were early to our designated timeslot so after a lengthy wait, we entered the Colosseum just after 5pm.
The sheer size of this structure is jaw dropping. To know that you are stepping in the same footsteps as people did many years ago is not gone unnoticed. I will say though that the Colosseum is very much a tourist attraction. There were at least three thousand people in the Colosseum when we were there.
We stayed for about an hour before heading over to the MetroTrain to make our way home.
Three stops and a short walk saw us back at our hotel room to rest our weary feet. Being a tourist is hard work!
We opted to have dinner in on our last night in Rome so we picked up some freshly sliced meats, cheese and Turkish bread from the local supermarket. Bellissima!
It’s an early check out tomorrow, bound for Amsterdam 😊