Italy: Perks of Having Local Friends. Part 1, Rome

Italy: Perks of Having Local Friends. Part 1, Rome

Hi everyone! I’m writing this in a very friendly and polite manner, but in my head I am yelling «CIAO PAZZI!» and wave a piece of pizza in my hand. After one week long business trip to Berlin, which feels like home since a long time, I finally managed to fulfill my childhood dream and traveled to Italy.

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The trip was brief, sketchy, but very beautiful and intense at the same time. Three days in Rome and two in Turin just increased my interest to the country, and I swear: next time I will make local friends before the trip, because my Roman holidays were super touristic because I didn’t know anyone there.

That’s why this post will discover something new just for those who have never heard or read anything about Rome. But please don’t close your browser now! There will be beautiful pictures and also some “do”-s and “don’t”-s! :))

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Let’s go. I choose easyjet to fly from Berlin to Rome and back, and the low-cost airline was really low-cost: a return ticket costed around 100 something euro. In Fiumicino airport you might be attacked by the taxi drivers – not that aggressively as in Tbilisi or Kyiv, but they can really confuse you. Be resistant! You can purchase a shuttle bus ticket to Termini station for 3.9 – 5 euro one way, and for 8 euro return. From Termini it will be much easier to reach your hotel or whatever you choose.

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My friend from university and me coincided in Rome accidentally, and both of us have decided to live exactly near Termini. There are plenty of accomodation units, but here comes the first “don’t”: don’t stay at Walter’s hostels or “Alta Villa” hotel – they are fighting for the customers not with quality.

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If you are not choosing a bus tour option, you can easily reach all the sightseeing points with subway or city buses. A ticket for 100 minutes costs 1.50 euro, daily ticket – 7, and you can also rent a bicycle (from 4 euro/hour).

I should also warn you, that on your way you might see not just beautiful historic ruins, magnificent Baroque facades, flowers covered balconies and insanely beautiful orange trees, but also impertinent sellers of selfie-sticks and “skip-the-line”-vouchers. Sometimes it seems like that there are no locals in the city – just tourists. Hehe, I don’t sound like a person who works in tourism, right? But such a mass tourism is really too much.

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“Magic hole” place at Aventino Hill is also crowded after it became featured in every “unknown Rome” guide. If you want to see kinda three states at the same time, go find that keyhole in the door of Villa del Priorato di Malta (it’s next to Egyptian Embassy and orange garden) and peek at the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica (it is Vatican), bushes inside (Malta) and all the rest (Italy). Don’t go there, if you are tired: you will curse the one who recommended this damned hole as the sightseeing point.

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The cemetery for famous foreigners located near Piramide is not that overcrowded. There is a cat shelter there: according to the shield on its doors, you can visit the cats from 4 to 5 pm. Meanwhile cats visit John Keats, the son of Goethe and other celebrities, licking and scratching themselves on their graves.

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Continuing the pack-running topic: famous Trevi fountain is under reconstruction now, but still there are queues of people willing to throw a coin to the water free basin! In St. Peter’s Basilica you will hear snapshots more often than prayers, Collosseo is barely seen behind selfie-sticks, Jupiter damn them; and there are lines for “skip the line”!

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There is just one option left: to ignore all this madness, walk and let yourself admire this grand beauty. In Rome, everything is grand and beautiful: from building and trees to ice-cream portions 🙂

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Ah yes, the food. There are plenty of options and quite good offers everywhere. We liked Fattoincasa (location: http://tinyurl.com/mqehtaw) and Il Secchio (http://tinyurl.com/kj9723q), and got disappointed by pizza and service quality in L’Arcano (http://tinyurl.com/l4xanp3). As I already complained in the very beginning, I didn’t know anyone in Rome, so we had to choose intuitively. Besides pizzapastabruschettas I also tasted Roman artichokes and Roman cheese. Artichokes tasted very specifically, and the cheese reminded me on Imeretian :))

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In between there was also a trip to Turin, but I will write a separate post full of love and adoration about this city. Now, to make this text more or less informative, I gonna tell you that you can find different transport options here: :http://www.rome2rio.com/ru/s/Rome/Turin or here: http://www.vivanoda.co.uk/ticket/rome-it/turin-it_s1872d3888.html.

Though I decided to buy a night bus ticket by Baltour (http://www.baltour.it) and save time and money: a round trip costed 28 euro, but if I would have booked earlier, it could have been 2 (two) euro.

Ok, another couple of pictures from Rome, and let’s proceed to Turin. I am so impatient to share my newly emerged love!

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About Dariko

Born in Ukraine, now Tbilisi-based. Love seeing new places.