A Spring Visit to Rome

The Pantheon
We took a 45 minute flight from Cagliari, Sardinia to Rome on Ryan Air, one of the no frills (cheap) airlines available in Europe. We used this airline six years ago and weren’t looking forward to the cramped and garish airplane. But they’ve made a few improvements (the ugly ads are gone and the flight arrived on time) and we had a pleasant trip. We were also very fortunate to have a sunny and clear day, so we could easily spot the major landmarks of Rome as we descended into the Ciampino Airport.
After the short bus ride to the Termini Train Station, we were finally in Rome on a warm and sunny April afternoon. Our B&B was only three blocks from the train station, which turned out to be very convenient.

We wandered into the Celio neighborhood, just south of the colosseum around lunchtime one day. We found a pleasant piazza and then noticed that almost everyone was eating the same type of sandwich in the same type of wrapper. We followed the locals and found a great take out spot with the best piadinis we’ve found. La Piadineria, on Via del Bosquetto had about twenty different varieties that were all made fresh when you ordered them. The difference was the tasty bread (between a thick, flour tortilla and pita bread) that is made fresh each day.

St. Paul’s Basilica
On this visit, we took advantage of the public transportation to get around. We used an all day pass that was good for the metro and the busses. This made it easier to visit the beautiful Basilica of San Paolo Fuori Le Mura, which is outside the old city walls. It was built by Emperor Constantine to honor St. Paul and other martyrs. The tomb of St. Paul is in the church along with many beautiful mosaics.

Spanish Steps
When we returned on the bus, we saw more of the old city walls and other areas we hadn’t seen before. We still walked all over the city. However, sometimes it was nice to jump on the bus at the end of the day. There are several types of passes, depending on the time you have and whether you also plan to visit the popular sites.

Getting around Rome is easy, whether you take the bus, the metro or walk. Often, it can seem crowded and hectic around the popular tourist attractions, especially when the large tour busses arrive. But if you take a side street and venture a few blocks away, you’ll often find a tranquil piazza or a surprisingly quiet street that is just as fun to explore. That’s part of the appeal of Rome for us. There is always more to discover and no matter where you wander, you’ll eat well.

A Roman side street

About msraaka

I am an artist, writer and desktop publishing consultant living in the Pacific Northwest. After our first visit to Italy, my husband Bob and I have found ways to spend more and more time there and other countries in Europe. We love to travel, but especially to stay in one area and get a better sense of place. I love learning languages, so I continue to study Italian, French and Spanish so I can communicate a bit more with the locals. Even learning the basic greetings can make a big difference.
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