Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 175 - Hop On Hop Off Roma

I got advice from my sister as well as the Lonely Planet guidebook to purchase a “Roma Pass,” which offers tourists free admission to the first two archeological or museum sites and around a 30% discount for each ticket thereafter. The pass lasts for three days and includes unlimited transportation on the metro and local buses. They can be purchased at newsstands, hotels, and at the sites themselves, but for some reason, we couldn't get are hands on any of the. Everyone kept saying they were sold out and that they wouldn't get a new batch of passes until after the weekend.

Without enough of an idea on what we wanted to visit in the next 4 days, we ended up taking one of those typical double-decker “hop on hop off” buses that you find in every major city in the world. We purchased the 2 day option just in case we wanted to use it as a means of transportation tomorrow. I felt it was actually a great idea to get a mini tour of the city to acclimate with the layout of the city since it was our first day.

The tour included a fresh pair of earbuds to listen to a recorded tour guide, giving information about each stop, and including a little bit about the history of the city itself, which was formed before the Common Era. We ended up stopping by the Santa Maria Maggiore, The Colloseum/Roman Forum/Palantine Hill, Circo Massimo, Piazza Venezia, and the Vatican before getting a ride back to our hotel.

For lunch, we had our first taste of Italian pizza. We shared slices of a mushroom/bacon combo and a mushroom/tomato combo – a bit too greasy for my taste, but it was a fast food stop, so maybe some of the fresher options will be better at a sit-down restaurant.

Afterwards, we headed back on the bus to catch a ride to the Colloseum to take some pictures around the perimeter of the archeological site. We walked towards the Piazza Venezia, taking a look at some of the ruins that remain around the city and are continuously being preserved and restored.

One of the most famous and recognizable sights in Rome is the Fontana di Trevi, which is a fountain made popular because it was featured in the classic movie, La Dolce Vita. They say that you should throw a coin in the fountain to guarantee your return to this beautiful city. I didn't throw a coin we'll see what happens. I hope I didn't end up cursing myself!

While headed back to Linh's hotel, we found a tourist office that actually sold the Roma Pass, so we managed to snag a few to use tomorrow. We'll probably visit the Colloseum first since it includes entrance to the Roman Forum and Palantine Hill together. We aren't really sure what else to see just yet...

Fontana di Trevi

Termini Stazione

You'll find many people painted in gold or silver near famous tourist spots, hoping to get some quick cash.

Saint Angelo Castle

Riding the Hop on Hop off Bus

Constantine Arch


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