Blog Archive

April 24, 2013

Roma, Italia and Vatican City

Guided Walking Tour of Rome

Our expat guide wasn't kidding when she told us to bring sun protection and wear comfortable walking shoes on this tour. It was a 3-hour outdoor tour conducted by a local guide. The streets of Rome were crowded but the weather was perfect so I wish I hadn't brought the extra weight around (e.g. tripod, cardigan, hat, water). My mind could have been more focused on navigating through the crowd to follow the tour rather than avoiding pickpockets. My shoulders, feet and mind were so tired after this...what more with Pop's foot. Thank God for pictures to help us remember the blur.

[caption id="attachment_867" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Rome route map. Metro station also pictured.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_875" align="aligncenter" width="699"] Spanish Steps[/caption]

Piazza Mignanelli

One of Rome's drinking fountains


[caption id="attachment_883" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Fontana di Trevi[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_884" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Piazza d Pietra[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_886" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Pantheon[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_894" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Palazzo Madama[/caption]

Piazza Navona

[caption id="attachment_903" align="alignleft" width="226"] Chiesa del Gesu[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_904" align="alignleft" width="435"] Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II[/caption]






 Roman Forum

[caption id="attachment_910" align="aligncenter" width="579"] Colosseo[/caption]


Arco di Constantino

Camping Village Roma

After the tour, the coach bus brought us to our accommodation in Rome. It is another PLUS hostel with cabin type rooms and chalet windows. It is also a camping ground so we have to walk (instead of stairs/elevator) to the reception, dining area and convenience store. There is also a laundry area which we availed since we were advised it is relatively cheaper here and we stayed for more than 2 nights.  Banquet style dinner was also provided on the first night. Parang bibitayin na kami kinabukasan sa dami ng pagkain.:))  The breakfasts were ok except for the bread which was so hard and the line was too long as it coincided with other tour groups'. As expected, the accommodation is far from the Rome tourist spots but it was a ride away from the Vatican.

[caption id="attachment_921" align="aligncenter" width="700"] halo halong kalamay![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_919" align="aligncenter" width="699"] Our cabin[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_920" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Fiat[/caption]

Roma Metrebus

On our second day in Rome, we had to learn Rome's transportation as it was our free day. It costs 1.50 euro per trip. Each trip is expected to end within 90 mins. For our trip, we rode the bus and the subway. It was fairly simple as the bus number and subway lines to/from the camping site where clearly indicated on the map provided to us. The subways also have lesser lines (only 2 of which we rode: red and blue line).

[caption id="attachment_869" align="aligncenter" width="337"] Camping Village directions[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_870" align="aligncenter" width="344"] Rome subway map[/caption]

Vatican Tour

This an Expat Explore optional excursion that we availed to avoid the "supposedly" long lines to the Vatican Museum. It costs 45 euros which is almost three times the regular entrance fee but it includes a guided tour. Since the local guide are not allowed to shout and it easy to get separated from the group because of the crowd, a radio is provided for use. The tour was informative, interesting and entertaining. We appreciated the art more knowing the history behind it and the passion that was put into it. I only wish the tour included other places in the Vatican, not just the Vatican Museum.

[caption id="attachment_923" align="aligncenter" width="702"] Vatican Museum tickets[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_928" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Sistine Chapel pictures[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_929" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Pogi in a roomful of goddesses sculptures[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_930" align="aligncenter" width="699"] Even the floor is an exhibit[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_931" align="aligncenter" width="350"] goddess of fertility sculpture[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_932" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Pharaoh sculpture[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_933" align="aligncenter" width="368"] 3D ceiling painting[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_934" align="aligncenter" width="702"] sumakit batok ko kaka-picture nito, pano pa kaya yung gumawa nito[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_935" align="aligncenter" width="700"] creepy scuplture![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_938" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Five minute souvenir shopping[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_937" align="aligncenter" width="699"] Entering the Sistine Chapel[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_939" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Aisle where the pope walks before mass[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_942" align="aligncenter" width="350"] St Peters Basilica[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_946" align="aligncenter" width="700"] The Nave: where Charlemagne was crowned[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_943" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Swiss Guards[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_947" align="aligncenter" width="351"] With Vatican tour radio[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_949" align="alignleft" width="350"] Columns[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_948" align="aligncenter" width="700"] St. Peter's Square[/caption]

After the tour, we had to walk back to the entrance (which was far from the exit) because the tripod had to be checked-in. We bought some postcards and stamps along the way and ate lunch in a nearby cafe afterwards.

Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine

Having a tiresome day the day before, we should have stopped after Vatican to get some rest but no! We had to go inside the Coliseum/Roman Forum. The line for the entrance fee was long so we moved to the line for those availing the audio guide as well (Note that the line is for the ticket. It would've been better to buy the ticket somewhere else, skipping the line altogether). Having previously experienced informative and interesting guided tours, I was not amused with the audio guide. We availed of the two piece which includes the phone-like gadget and earphones. The one piece is just phone-like gadget so we should have just gone with this and used our own earphones or not have gone with it at all.  Why? There were only about seven clips and we can't even relate it to the stops. Boo! Anyway, the place was bigger than I expected so we weren't able to roam around as much as I wanted to.

[caption id="attachment_874" align="aligncenter" width="407"] Coloseum, Roman Forum, Palatine map[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_917" align="aligncenter" width="700"] With audio guide[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="699"] Inside Coliseum[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_914" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Palatino?[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_915" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Casa di Livia / Casa di Augusto[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_916" align="aligncenter" width="705"] The View over the Roman Forum[/caption]

Before heading back to the camping village, we got dinner of sandwich and gelato near the subway station.

[caption id="attachment_918" align="aligncenter" width="699"] Stracciatella Gelato[/caption]

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