Thursday, 5 January 2012

Ciao Rome!

Starting today, I will embark on the sole purpose for which I started this blog, and that is to list out all the things that I learnt while backpacking across Europe exactly 8 months ago.

We left on 10th May, Summer, the ideal time to go to Europe. Long hours of daylight, just perfect to pack a zillion things in a day if you are on a tight time leash.

Our first destination Rome:

1) The airport express- Please please do not waste 14 € on the Leonardo Express that takes you from Fiumicino to the city centre. It is a waste of precious money. We made the mistake. Instead of that, take the COTRAL which costs almost 10 € lesser.
 You may think that a train journey will be more appealing, I'm saying this 'cos my friend did but I'll tell you it just disappointed us.

Check out COTRAL's link here:


2) We stayed in Termini, which is like the central station of Rome. The area was little bit creepy but for the price we were paying, it was good. We stayed in a women's hostel called Coconuts hostel. I would really recommend this hostel for all-women groups. It is clean, the staff is helpful especially the owner Giancarlo who drops in sometimes. The area outside is a little shady, but when you are confident, no one's going to bother you.

Termini is a good place to stay, well connected by every area in Rome. It may not be as beautiful as Trastevere, but we are backpackers here remember.

3) Unless and until you are a fully blown museum and art history enthusiast, which I'm sure most of us are not, Do not buy the ROMA pass. It costs 30 €, and includes the colloseum, roman forum, vatican and most museums. Also, it includes bus fares for 2 whole days.

Yes, It does sound like a deal. It is, if you are serious about seeing everything in Rome. However, if you are just staying for 3 days and you want to cover the important things i.e Colloseum, Roman Forum and Vatican, it is not worth it. 2 problems:

a) If you need a guide, you will have to shell out extra which is not included in the Pass. Believe me, it is no fun to see things if you don't know head or tail about it. We ended up shelling out 6€ for an audio guide in colloseum, and we didn't have the liberty to take a guide in the Vatican because we couldn't afford it.

b) You do not need to buy it because of the free transport.Even otherwise, it is cheap. It costs 4 € for a day pass.

I want to suggest an alternative here:

a) Buy the integrated Colloseum ticket, which includes the Roman Forum and the Palantine hill as well for 13.5€+audio guide(6.5€)
b) Go to the Vatican city and take a guided tour. It is required unless you are this nerdy expert. There are a lot of agents trying to lure you into it, just find out good ones and strike a bargain. Do not prebook anything online. We made that mistake.

Yes, in this process you may end up paying a tad more, but the experience will be worthwhile.

4) Yes, Rome is a foodie's paradise, but sadly, I didn't even enjoy one scrumptious meal. We were ripped off in one of Piazza Navona's streetside restaurants and it wasn't even good. Please check online, do your research about the good restaurants, after all who wouldn't want to taste a heavenly pizza in its motherland. And, yes, gelato!

5) Do not overplan, keep 2 days extra for the places in and around Rome and go there without doing any over-research. There are a looot of places to see which we haven't heard about, believe me.

6) If you are taking Ryanair or any such low cost airlines to fly out of Rome, use the COTRAL or Terravision buses to reach the airport, best bet.

Enjoy! If you have any more questions, please let me know I'll try my best to help :)


Anonymous said...

loved it, thanx for taking us on that tour and pics look brilliant.

p.s. u can call me deb although divyanshu is a better name :D

Kunal said...


Its ironical. I visited the place on new year and we were there for 3 days. You posted it a just a few days late.. :P

Yes, a lot to see in rome and a good plan is necessary. I am sure this post will help a lot. :-)

Chintan Gupta said...

:) I am yet to visit Roma :D

I hope I do this year, am not a backpacker per se, but I do wish to be can travel a lot without paying half the bank balance <3

Ana_treek said...

@Deb- What's in a name? :)..Thnx!

@Kunal- Oh hope you enjoyed your visit..:)

@Chintan- Yes, yes you are right..thats why i started this blog, bcos there is a looot of stuff on the web and I went mad going through all of it!

sunil deepak said...

Living in Bologna, I keep on going to Rome off and on and after twenty years, I can still find new places to see that I had not seen earlier. Didn't know that Leonardo express now costs 14 Euro, last time I had used it, I think in 2005, it costed 7 Euro. Cotral bus takes longer but is cheaper. Another cheap option could be to take a slower train to an intermediate station like Piramide and then take regular metro.

Arnab Maity said...

Excellent post! A list of valuable information for fellow backpackers.Keep all these tips coming.

Ana_treek said...

@Sunil Deepak- Yes, that is an option..thanks!

@Arnab- Thanks for visiting..come again!

ben said...

My dream destination is Rome !! You have given a great information my Fri .you said like don't buy ROMA pass ??? If not it cheap to roam around the places which you have mentioned ??

Team G Square said...

Wonderful information . Thanks for sharing .

Ana_treek said...

@Team G square- Thank you!

magiceye said...

aah my dream destination!

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