Sarah and I are taking a much needed break to relax and enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, tastes of Italy. We’ll be spending three weeks hereÂ visiting Rome, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Santa Margharita, Nice, and Venice. During our 2nd week, I’ll be taking a photography workshop with Kevin Kubota on a trip he calls Secret Italy.
Our journey began on Saturday with a flight from Edmonton to Toronto and then on to Zurich and Rome. We were a little concerned the week before we left that we might not make it to Italy thanks to the volcano in Iceland messing up the skies over Europe. Fortunately, European airspace was reopened earlier in the week and it was business as usual at all of the major airports in Europe.
We arrived in Rome at around 4:00 in the afternoon and had to wait almost 90 minutes for our bags to show up on the luggage belt. Not sure what the holdup was but we were both pretty happy when we saw our bags coming around the turnstile. Our hotel is a brand new hotel called the H10 Roma Citta and it’s located near the Travestere train station which is about a 30 minute bus ride to the main train station in Rome – the Termini. The hotel is very modern and offers free WiFi and a free shuttle into the centre of Rome. Bus service is very close and only costs 1â‚¬ and you can also catch the train from Trastevere station to the Vatican which only takes about 10 minutes so it’s very convenient and was significantly cheaper than most of the hotels located near the major attractions in Rome. By the time we got to the hotel we were both pretty tired so we took a bit of time to explore the area, grab something to eat and then headed to bed and tried to get our bodies on Italian time. If you’ve haven’t done a lot of traveling, one tip we can give you to deal with jet lag is to try and force yourself to get on local time as quickly as you can. The longer you drag it, the longer it seems to last. If you arrive at your destination and it’s late at night, try to go to bed even if it feels to you like the middle of the day. Conversely, if you arrive early in the day, try to stay up even it still feels like the middle of the night where you came from.
After having a cappuccino to get us going, day 2 began with a quick ride on one of the buses that run tours of the city . The bus was a great way to get our bearings and figure out where most of the major sites were. After a quick bite of lunch we started our sightseeing at the Piazza Venezia followed by the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. We stopped for dinner al fresco and then headed back to the Colosseum to get some photos of it at night.
Day 2 was highlited by a trip to the Vatican. Sarah and I don’t normally go for guided tours but the lineup to get into the Vatican was almost 2 hours long by the time we got there at 10:30 am so we opted for a guided tour to skip the line. It cost a little more than the regular entrance but we learned so much from our Scottish guide and saved time standing in line that it was worth it. The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel are amazing in their scale and design and learning the history behind it, made it all the more interesting. After spending most of the day at the Vatican, we braved the rain to visit the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain and then enjoyed a fantastic meal at a local Taverna.
Here are a few photos from the trip so far. Stay tuned for more tales of Italy!