So ,there was some radio silence at the very beginning of my blogging career. Way to go me!
The Leonardo da Vinci airport is some 30 km outside of Rome, it is easy to navigate and get out of, but you best hurry. You don`t want one of the millions of tourists on your bus/train/bike seat on the way to Rome city center. While you are there make sure to check out the handsome soldiers all over the place. Italy’s capital takes the safety of everyone in it seriously, so you better get used to the soldiers, carabinieri and police all over the city. They are mainly at the pulse points (big attractions and important buildings) and they stand out from the rest of the stylish European / loud American / numerous Asian crowd. But by day three, you get used to it. You still notice them (because they are obviously chosen for their handsome ruggedness), but you get used to it.
Another thing you are bound to notice and eventually get used to is the garbage. It is everywhere and it baffles at the entry. Very soon, it is just another part of Rome. Like the weather, amazing food and art, friendly natives and jaywalking.
You can get to the main station- Termini -any way you want. Once you manage to roll up you have all of the public transport at your fingertips. I slept near by so there was no need for it, at that moment. That might have been a mistake since I went straight to the shower once I got there. Sweat was pouring down like rain.
Regarding the actual “get around” part of the stay, I used my crazy guide. She lives in Rome and knows all there is to know so I trusted her. She made me walk over a 100 km in five days. Soooo I recommend you use one of the hundreds apps that have an option to download (your GPS works without wi-fi) or an actual map (it makes you interact with people).
All in all, I had a chance to revisit all of my favorites in Rome: Palazzo del Quirinale, Fontana di Trevi, Trastevere, Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, Colosseo, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Foro Romano, Campo de’ Fiori, Altare della Patria (or Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or Il Vittoriano), Piazza San Pietro, Circo Massimo, and all of the assorted museums, churches, staircases, monuments, obelisks, fountains and gelaterias. I also spent a whole day shopping. Via Condotti was a bit over my budget so I strolled some other roads to bankruptcy (Via del Corso, Via Cola di Rienzo, Via Nazionale and others). The highlight was a trip to Porta Portese. Trust me and google it. One other thing to google and most definitely visit are the Terme di Caracalla. Ancient natives used to take the hedonist experience to another level. This place is a huge testament to that way of life.
The few tips I have for a would be traveler in Rome are pack light, do not stress over deviations from your schedule (if you have one), walk, eat the food, drink the water from one of the hundreds public taps, try the wine, jaywalk, do the things locals do, make the experience your own and come back.
Rome is alive with youth, speed, carelessness and it is a testament to past generations, civilizations and empires, all at the same time. You will not err if you decide to go and check out the combination of nature, people, history, architecture, art, climate, lifestyle, amazing food and the overall feel. In the meantime read Anthony Capella’s The Food of Love.