We left on Thursday evening the 25th April on a plane from Stansted to the smaller airport of two in Rome, Rome Campieno. We booked and Airbnb on the outskirts of Rome, but easily accessible via metro/tram . We bought a 72hour travel pass for 18euros each which allowed us to use as many buses trams or metro buses as our heart desired.
Our Airbnb was adequate but a little scuzz. I think a lot of it is due to my OCD cleanliness standards but meh it wasn5 amazing. The owners didn’t appear to do much with there lives, they were hovering a table last night taking a picture of coffee with all the gear and light screens. Not sure what that was about, they have painted all the walls and appear very ‘arty’ .Our room had a painted shopping trolley. In the UK you would automatically assume them to be eco warriors, but I soon found out my stereotype was wrong after saying I could use plastic plates if I liked to save washing up and there love for beef. We had our own room, a shared bathroom which we shared with other Airbnb guests and a shared kitchen. As it said it was ok.
Day 1 – Colloseum day, we arrived the crazy queuing system on the colloseum after trying our best to ignore lookie lookie men and dodgy skip the line ticket sellers. Which it turns out are selling legitimate tickets just at slightly inflated prices.
Instead we went for freshly made pizza which was delisimo and asked the waiter where is best to buy tickets. He reccomend a ticket booth across the street. We bought tickets to visit the colloseum and the arena floor and the much older Roman forum and Palatine hill. All were ruins of the oriental living working spaces of citizens back in the day of Romulus and Remus the wolf children . The colloseum was pretty epic looking, but wasn’t considered very nice in the past and it was ransacked and recycled to make other buildings in Rome. All the exensive marble and metal was taken out and the colloseum was left as a bare structure without all the swankiness. It was still pretty epic looking however. There would have been 80 entrances each which a red painted Roman numeral above it. It was free to all to go too, the poorest would sit the highest and the rich closer to the stage. They would have a wooden token with which entrance they were supposed to go to and 87,000 people could all arrive at once with no issues, not like trying to enter one security door nowadays ! But I suppose that’s for good reason.
In the evening we made a cheap version of Italian ravioli and went climbing obviously.. at the bouldering wall conveniently 10 minute walk away from our accommodation.
Day 2- we took an train from the central Rome termini to Pompeii. We took the slightly cheap option changing at Naples. The seats were cushy and we arrived at 10am in Pompeii leaving it 7am.
We went to the touristy office right outside the station and booked some tickets to mount vesuvius, Google maps was not providing us with a cheap alternative puplic route so we had to opt for the 20euro each return trip to basically 90% of the way up the mountain. We waited around for a while to say that there had been an accident on the road and the bus couldn’t get through. I don’t know I’d this was true but we changed our time slot to the afternoon instead. We instead walked via a very fancy looking town towards Pompeii. We managed to get 2euro tickets, as we are EU citizens under 24yrs. I think we are both glad of this as wasn’t huge fans of Pompeii. I think we had already had enough of ruins by this point. I didn’t realise how huge Pompeii was, it was a medium sized town with rows of ruins where houses baths markets used to be. Me and Tim ate our packed lunch it what looked like a big communal kitchen with lots of fire pits, but we could be wrong as we were too much of a cheap skate to buy an audio guide from a touristy stand before the main entrance and everything was written in Italian unsurprisingly.
The bus did arrive on time ish in the afternoon and we went up the faulty steeo mountain side in a minibus filled with Brits. So unlike the mountain climbing me and Tim usually do. We felt like cheats. There was a 30minute uphill walk to the top where you could look inside the big crater. The view was clouded over unfortunately,but the view into the crater was good. It had began to grow greenery, but it still appeared to steam in some areas .
Our first train was delayed back to our Airbnb, which meant we had 3minutes to find our train at the next station and board it. And some train stations we have been to have been massive which specific trains underground and others 2 floors up . The cheaper train we picked actually went further away from Rome to then come back on itself so that was worrying also. But we got our stuff stood at the train doors and ran as soon as they opened. We managed to board the train find our seat and sit with 1minute to spare . We could chill then and nibble nuts and grapes for dinner on the way back to Rome main terminal.
Day 3- all the other stuff. Basically Sunday was for everything else I wanted to do on my list that we hadn’t yet fit in. Turns out its gree to hey in the Vatican one Sunday a month.turns out it was this Sunday. So we queued in litterley the longest line over ever stood on and got in around 11. The queue was a least a mile and a bit long and people were queuing hours before the place even opened. Me and Tim got there 30mins prior to opening after prioritising getting a hot chocolate and pastry from McDonalds. I would have been content not to go into the colloseum if need be as the epicness is on the outside. Unlike the colloseum you can see bugger all except big tall walls around the Vatican so we both decided while we are here we had better go. But this huge line went reasonably quick and it was funny to watch the lookie lookie men sneak off with there plastic bags of swag when the police came. The Vatican had money written all over it, it was insane the wealth if the place . Marble everything , every wall was hand painted with murals and tapestry. I wish I had the effort to paint my ceilings!
Next stop was lunch. I wanted some homemade pasta and gnocchi. As although English attempts are yummy I wanted to try the proper stuff. Me and Tim ordered both and shared. I think I preferred the pesto spaghetti tim too which is weird as he doesnt like pesto at home.
Next stop was the Panteon and absolute iconic monster of a building, which stand in the middle of a small courtyard village area. This was Tim’s favourite due to the shock of it as you come around the corner. We threw some coins into the trevi fountain backwards and made a wish each. That was equally as white and space dominating. Tim and I bought some cakes and heard to the local park where we ate and watched a buskers stuff while he went to the loo. We were marked by this point so decided to go to lidl and get some ingredients for dinner, rissoto we had decided with asparagus. We even put a juice box of wine into the mix to be uber cheffy.
We slept for hours and still felt tired when we woke. Not much we wanted to do today so we packed before anyone in the Airbnb was up and got a metro and public bus to IKEA. My IKEA virginity has been lost and I’m somewhat disappointed I couldn’t buy anything.
Unfortunately the plane was delayed. We were supposed to board at 2pm but didn’t until 20.15, the airport gave us a free panini and me and tim sat around eating and watching game of thrones. It’s been a very wasteful day. The sky still looks back but I’m hopefully all will be well . The flight was delayed as the plane got struck by lightning, how scary would that be, it also means we cant claim any money back as it was an preventable weather event.
Summary: I’ve not not enjoyed myself but it’s like other city breaks I’ve been on before, I feel like I want to get it done and leave. I’d seen enough ruins homeless people and lookie men on day 1. Equally if I’d of known me and Tim would buy a house on the day we left then I would have stayed at home happily going to carboots and home shopping as weekends I get off are very rare. But it’s done now and I hope the next weekend I get off with Tim I can do that.