Oh Rome, You Bustling Beauty!

Oh Rome, You Bustling Beauty!

After three flights (and more than 50 hours!) we finally landed in Rome, Italy! Our visit to Rome was like test-driving a car, so to speak. We did a ton of research while we were still in Australia, and had learnt of the amazing sites to see, as well as some of the dangers of international travel. We took PacSafe bags with us, which are lockable and slash proof, as we had been warned of pickpockets and scammers. Even though our lovely Italian airhostess assured us that Rome is a safe and lovely city, we were on high alert when we arrived.

Rome Snapshots

Love at the Trevi Fountain.

Photo of Jori and Malika on a bridge over the River Tiber in Rome, Italy.

The River Tiber.

Photo of Jori and Malika at the Villa Borghese gardens.

Exploring the Villa Borghese area.

So excited to be in Rome
and at the Colosseum!

Even after the research, tips, and warnings, we still had no idea what Rome would actually be like. I think we were much more cautious than we needed to be at first. However, we soon relaxed into the flow of things and learnt that being weary of your possessions and people approaching you is all just part of the journey. We’ve since embraced this lesson, which actually allows us to travel more comfortably. You quickly learn to be constantly aware of your possessions and your surroundings, and it becomes second nature. This allows you to feel safe in your travel environment and to enjoy the trip without worrying too much!

As it was late at night and we had never been to Rome, we decided to take a taxi straight from the airport to our Airbnb in the heart of the historical centre. We emerged from the airport into a very busy taxi zone and pick up area. We could see taxis lined up waiting to accept passengers and began to walk towards them. A smartly dressed man approached us and asked if we needed a taxi. I simply replied “yes”, and before I knew it he took my suitcase from my hand and began swiftly moving through the hoards of people towards the road. As soon as it happened I kicked myself for letting my bag leave my hand, all those warnings ticking away in the forefront of my mind.

We flew into Fiumicino Airport, after Rome we went to Florence, and from Florence we went to Naples!

This was a VERY rookie mistake. I walked quickly after the man and hoped that Jori was following me; I was not prepared to take my eye off my bag or stray more than a step behind the man. I arrived at a glistening black Mercedes on the other side of the taxi rank and was relieved that Jori was still behind me. The man placed our suitcases in the boot of the car and in we hopped. We gave him the address of our Airbnb and hoped that this was all going to be okay.

The trip from the airport was very exciting – the taxi driver was very lovely, and spoke to us in scattered English. He pointed out some of the historical buildings along the way, and we caught a glimpse of the Colosseum as we passed through one of Rome’s busiest roundabouts! Being from Australia, we had never seen anything like these large brick, marble, and stone buildings, nor anything half as ancient. Wide-eyed and excited, a cascade of “oohs” and “ahs” tumbled from our lips! It was amazing!

This is how excited we were!

After a final drive along some very narrow and bumpy cobblestone streets, we were dropped right outside the door of our Airbnb – we made it! It was definitely not a taxi, he had no taxi license on display and we were probably heavily ripped off with the fee, but ultimately it panned out fine as we made it safely to our accommodation. It was here, as we stepped out of the car and were collecting our bags, that we encountered a lady trying to sell roses. Or so it seemed. It was the middle of the night, and this lady was very obviously scoping out our bags. She tried to place roses directly into our hands, and we politely refused, whilst holding our possessions close to us. Maybe she was just trying to sell them, or perhaps it was a distraction so that she could pickpocket us! In any case, she wasn’t difficult to move away from and gave us no grief. Being tired from our trip, and late at night, I’m happy we played it safe.

BYD Tip

Since travelling to other countries in Europe (and other Italian cities), we’ve encountered a lot more people selling things like roses and souvenirs around tourist destinations. These people seem to be struggling to get by, and we’ve never had any problem with them, nor have we seen anyone else have a bad experience with them. But if in doubt, play it safe, just as we did.

The Airbnb we had booked was called “Dante’s Hell” – named after the poet Dante for his work titled Inferno. To access the apartment we had to use a very cramped elevator. It was so tiny we were hard pushed to fit just one person and a suitcase in it! So I rode up to our floor with one suitcase first, and Jori followed with the other. We were welcomed into our Airbnb by the son of the family who owned the place. The interior of the entry hallway was decorated wall to wall with imagery of Dante’s Inferno. So charming! We collapsed on the bed and slept soundly, recharging for our three days of exploring Rome.

The entrance corridor of our Airbnb.

The Colosseum

We had a slow start to the day but headed straight to the Colosseum in the late morning to begin our journey into Roman history. We didn’t think we were jetlagged, as we were buzzing with joy and excitement to explore the city! We hadn’t done a lot of planning or research on ticketing and tours, so we were a bit confused on how to go about entering the ancient amphitheatre. We ended up joining a tour with one of the many people standing outside the entrance advertising special prices, tours etc. We were a bit worried that we had just been scammed as we waited anxiously to go inside. Luckily it turned out to be okay and we were able to gain skip-the-line entry, which was a big bonus (the lines did not look inviting!) Hearing a bit of detail about the history of the Colosseum from the tour guide was great, but if you’re not interested, you can always just use this option to get inside faster and avoid those lines! It’s very easy to break off from the tour guide once inside.

The amazing Colosseum.

The ticket included both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, so after a short lunch break we rejoined the tour to learn some history of the Forum. The tour lasted about an hour and then we were free to explore the ancient site on our own.

The Roman Forum

We loved the mixture of ruins, ancient history, and the serene beauty of our surroundings. The Forum was formed nearly 3000 years ago, although most of the buildings were built during the reigns of Julius and Augustus Caesar (still over 2000 years ago!) It is where Julius Caesar was cremated and where Mark Anthony read Caesar’s testament at his funeral. It also held a very early democracy at one point, which was very likely used as a basis for modern democracy. The history there is AMAZING! For a beautiful view over the city, there is a terrace inside the forum that you can access after walking through a lovely garden. From here you can look out over Rome and can even see the Vittorio Emanuele Monument.

Jori exploring the Roman Forum.

View from the terrace.

Basilica Of St Francesca Romana.

Ruins of the Temple of Caesar.

The Temple of Antonius and Faustina – apparently the lock still works!

BYD Tip

Visit the terrace just before sunset and watch the sun cast a beautiful glow over the city. Magnifico! I also highly recommend allowing quite a few hours to see the Forum. We started our tour in the late afternoon and then we only had about 2 hours to explore before it closed. It’s a very big place, and we didn’t see even half of it!

We planned to go to a restaurant for dinner, to have our first authentic Italian meal. We only had a quick bite to eat between visiting the Colosseum and the Forum so I couldn’t wait to devour some real Italian pasta and vino! We thought a little stop back in at our Airbnb to freshen up was in order. Mistake!! We woke up in bed still completely clothed and with all the lights on at midnight. Oh well…I guess maybe we were jetlagged!

You can read about our second day of adventures here: Our Second Day in Beautiful Rome

After three flights (and more than 50 hours!) we finally landed in Rome, Italy! Our visit to Rome was like test-driving a car, so to speak. We did a ton of research while we were still in Australia, and had learnt of the amazing sites to see, as well as some of the dangers of international travel. We took PacSafe bags with us, which are lockable and slash proof, as we had been warned of pickpockets and scammers. Even though our lovely Italian airhostess assured us that Rome is a safe and lovely city, we were on high alert when we arrived.

Rome Snapshots

Photo of Jori and Malika kissing in front of the Trevi Fountain at night.

Love at the Trevi Fountain.
(Tap the image for more photos)

Photo of Jori and Malika on a bridge over the River Tiber in Rome, Italy.
Photo of Jori and Malika at the Villa Borghese gardens.
Photo of Jori and Malika looking excited in the Colosseum, Rome.

Even after the research, tips, and warnings, we still had no idea what Rome would actually be like. I think we were much more cautious than we needed to be at first. However, we soon relaxed into the flow of things and learnt that being weary of your possessions and people approaching you is all just part of the journey. We’ve since embraced this lesson, which actually allows us to travel more comfortably. You quickly learn to be constantly aware of your possessions and your surroundings, and it becomes second nature. This allows you to feel safe in your travel environment and to enjoy the trip without worrying too much!

As it was late at night and we had never been to Rome, we decided to take a taxi straight from the airport to our Airbnb in the heart of the historical centre. We emerged from the airport into a very busy taxi zone and pick up area. We could see taxis lined up waiting to accept passengers and began to walk towards them. A smartly dressed man approached us and asked if we needed a taxi. I simply replied “yes”, and before I knew it he took my suitcase from my hand and began swiftly moving through the hoards of people towards the road. As soon as it happened I kicked myself for letting my bag leave my hand, all those warnings ticking away in the forefront of my mind.

Photo of a road sign in Rome, showing the airport, Naples, and Florence.

We flew into Fiumicino Airport, after Rome we went to Florence, and from Florence we went to Naples!

This was a VERY rookie mistake. I walked quickly after the man and hoped that Jori was following me; I was not prepared to take my eye off my bag or stray more than a step behind the man. I arrived at a glistening black Mercedes on the other side of the taxi rank and was relieved that Jori was still behind me. The man placed our suitcases in the boot of the car and in we hopped. We gave him the address of our Airbnb and hoped that this was all going to be okay.

The trip from the airport was very exciting – the taxi driver was very lovely, and spoke to us in scattered English. He pointed out some of the historical buildings along the way, and we caught a glimpse of the Colosseum as we passed through one of Rome’s busiest roundabouts! Being from Australia, we had never seen anything like these large brick, marble, and stone buildings, nor anything half as ancient. Wide-eyed and excited, a cascade of “oohs” and “ahs” tumbled from our lips! It was amazing!

Photo of Malika and Jori excited and in the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

This is how excited we were!

After a final drive along some very narrow and bumpy cobblestone streets, we were dropped right outside the door of our Airbnb – we made it! It was definitely not a taxi, he had no taxi license on display and we were probably heavily ripped off with the fee, but ultimately it panned out fine as we made it safely to our accommodation. It was here, as we stepped out of the car and were collecting our bags, that we encountered a lady trying to sell roses. Or so it seemed. It was the middle of the night, and this lady was very obviously scoping out our bags. She tried to place roses directly into our hands, and we politely refused, whilst holding our possessions close to us. Maybe she was just trying to sell them, or perhaps it was a distraction so that she could pickpocket us! In any case, she wasn’t difficult to move away from and gave us no grief. Being tired from our trip, and late at night, I’m happy we played it safe.

BYD Tip

Since travelling to other countries in Europe (and other Italian cities), we’ve encountered a lot more people selling things like roses and souvenirs around tourist destinations. These people seem to be struggling to get by, and we’ve never had any problem with them, nor have we seen anyone else have a bad experience with them. But if in doubt, play it safe, just as we did.

The Airbnb we had booked was called “Dante’s Hell” – named after the poet Dante for his work titled Inferno. To access the apartment we had to use a very cramped elevator. It was so tiny we were hard pushed to fit just one person and a suitcase in it! So I rode up to our floor with one suitcase first, and Jori followed with the other. We were welcomed into our Airbnb by the son of the family who owned the place. The interior of the entry hallway was decorated wall to wall with imagery of Dante’s Inferno. So charming! We collapsed on the bed and slept soundly, recharging for our three days of exploring Rome.

Travel photo of our Airbnb accomodation in Rome.

The entrance corridor of our Airbnb.

The Colosseum

We had a slow start to the day but headed straight to the Colosseum in the late morning to begin our journey into Roman history. We didn’t think we were jetlagged, as we were buzzing with joy and excitement to explore the city! We hadn’t done a lot of planning or research on ticketing and tours, so we were a bit confused on how to go about entering the ancient amphitheatre. We ended up joining a tour with one of the many people standing outside the entrance advertising special prices, tours etc. We were a bit worried that we had just been scammed as we waited anxiously to go inside. Luckily it turned out to be okay and we were able to gain skip-the-line entry, which was a big bonus (the lines did not look inviting!) Hearing a bit of detail about the history of the Colosseum from the tour guide was great, but if you’re not interested, you can always just use this option to get inside faster and avoid those lines! It’s very easy to break off from the tour guide once inside.

The amazing Colosseum.

The ticket included both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, so after a short lunch break we rejoined the tour to learn some history of the Forum. The tour lasted about an hour and then we were free to explore the ancient site on our own.

The Roman Forum

We loved the mixture of ruins, ancient history, and the serene beauty of our surroundings. The Forum was formed nearly 3000 years ago, although most of the buildings were built during the reigns of Julius and Augustus Caesar (still over 2000 years ago!) It is where Julius Caesar was cremated and where Mark Anthony read Caesar’s testament at his funeral. It also held a very early democracy at one point, which was very likely used as a basis for modern democracy. The history there is AMAZING! For a beautiful view over the city, there is a terrace inside the forum that you can access after walking through a lovely garden. From here you can look out over Rome and can even see the Vittorio Emanuele Monument.

Photo of Jori exploring the Roman Forum.

Jori exploring the Roman Forum.
(Tap the image for more photos)

Photo of the view from the Roman Forum.
Photo of one of the ancient buildings in the Roman Forum.
A photo of the Temple of Caesar ruins in the Roman Forum in Italy.
Photo of the Antonio and Faustina building in the Roman Forum.

BYD Tip

Visit the terrace just before sunset and watch the sun cast a beautiful glow over the city. Magnifico! I also highly recommend allowing quite a few hours to see the Forum. We started our tour in the late afternoon and then we only had about 2 hours to explore before it closed. It’s a very big place, and we didn’t see even half of it!

We planned to go to a restaurant for dinner, to have our first authentic Italian meal. We only had a quick bite to eat between visiting the Colosseum and the Forum so I couldn’t wait to devour some real Italian pasta and vino! We thought a little stop back in at our Airbnb to freshen up was in order. Mistake!! We woke up in bed still completely clothed and with all the lights on at midnight. Oh well…I guess maybe we were jetlagged!

You can read about our second day of adventures here: Our Second Day in Beautiful Rome

By | 2018-06-06T19:42:44+00:00 October 16th, 2016|Italy, Malika, Travel|0 Comments

Leave A Comment