ROMA by any other name

A last minute weekend away … why not!

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

Featured image is a photo of the sculpture of Apollo with lute, 5th C B.C. Photo by Cecily.

Why do I feel so at home in countries whose language is classic romantic? It’s really a lovely sound and makes me feel ever so romantic too. There’s a carefree way of life. Relaxed. Unhurried. People standing about or sitting just chatting. Just spending time together. The weather, of course, has much to do with it too.

My blog is a cursory view of our trip. I’ve covered a bit about tickets on the metro … isn’t that something we all need to know about hahahaha! I love train travel … even if it is the metro.

Our location

The Secret Escapes email appeared as I browsed my mail early one September morning. Where shall we go I pondered looking quickly through the destinations beckoning me to the seaside, luxurious and faraway places, or the Citybreaks. Rome caught my eye. Two nights – hotel, flights and entry to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. We’ve been to Italy’s eastern coast and had a marvellous time at the seaside for my son’s wedding. We missed Rome on that occasion but as it was hubbys birthday coming up in September … I decided I’d treat him and me! Hotel Rex is well located – in an area that is not lacking in hotels. It’s conveniently placed between the main international Termini Station and Metro line on one side and the Repubblica Metro station on the other. Rome’s Fiorini airport is a 30 minute trip from Termini.

On our inward journey we took a taxi from the airport to the hotel. We arrived after 21:00 and decided on this form of transport so we could get to the hotel quickly and didn’t have to wander around looking for the hotel in the night. The taxi rank is easy to find outside the airport building. They are official white taxis with a flat rate of €48. Don’t be badgered into taking any other taxi. There is a shuttle bus service from the airport which is just over €5 per person too. The highway was pretty clear at that time of night but as we came into the City we felt it’s vibrancy … as is the way with most cities that don’t sleep at night!

After settling into our room – a delux room with double bed and lounging area, clean, crisp white sheets, a bookshelf acting as a divider between the bed and settee, fresh cut melon awaited us and a welcome drink!

We wandered out for a walk to get our bearings … a beautiful church on the doorstep – Santa Maria Maggigore – already placed as our landmark.

At the other side of our hotel is the Theatro de Opera … nothing fabulous to look at from the outside but we are told sumptuous on the inside.

Breakfast at Hotel Rex was on the 4th floor restaurant or terrace. A wide variety of cold and cooked food, fruit, fruit juices, breads, pastries, etc. I settled for fruit juice … a green veg one, yoghurt, crossants and cheese. Hubby did justice to the cooked breakfast which he thoroughly enjoyed. Of course, the next day I had a ‘cooked’ to see us through the touristy day ahead.

The Metro

We used it quite a bit but also walked quite a bit. It’s easy to get around Rome by Metro. It took me a few minutes to make out that this sign was not the metro! There are two lines on the Metro system so not complicated at all.

My hubby had a lot of change which came in handy. €1.50 for a ticket that lasts 100 minutes. For our day out we spent €9 – first to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and the Basilica of St Peter. Then from Ottavia, the Metro closest to the Vatican City, we went to Barista to see the Trevi Fountain. We then took the Metro from Spagna, not far from the Spanish Steps, back to Repubblica where we stayed.

In all, travel by train is convenient and not at all expensive.

The ticket machines are uncomplicated … and you learn a little Italiano on the way …

The Metro for us was a great way to get around. We found our bearings by looking at the maps. It wasn’t long at all before we knew our local area and were quite happy to wander out and about during the day and night.

Vatican Museum

History is an absorbing subject. So much Egyptian history told at the beginning of Roman times. Rooms full of carefully protected and restored artefacts. So much beauty. So much history. So much emotional vibrations from the people of the past.

Just a few of the many, many photos I took. There is really, really just too much to take in. One trip is not enough.

Seeing the Egyptian hieroglyphics reminded me of a post I saw on Facebook. Haven’t we just gone full circle … today’s hieroglyphics are our well known emojis …


St Peter’s Square and The Sistine Chapel

It was a very long time coming. I was excited to get to it. There was so much to take in – after waiting in the queues and the sun! But not knocking it – the sun – it was a beautiful day. What a massive library, so much. So much. So much history.

We saw tapestries with outstanding needlework that look like paintings! Frescos as far as the eye could see. Sculptures from so many different mediums … from black granite to cool alabaster. My best is this … I could feel the flow of the diaphonous garment … can you?ries with outstanding needlework that look like paintings! Frescos as far as the eye could see. Sculptures from so many different mediums … from black granite to cool alabaster. My best is this … I could feel the flow of the diaphonous garment … can you?

2018-09-26 11.16.35

There is already so much information on St Peters Square, the Sistine Chapel and its history, so I’ll not reproduce any more. Only to say that for me, I was somewhat disappointed in the Sistine Chapel.

What did I expect?

A room of massive proportions.

It’s not.

So, on to something else …

Ice cream

Around 22:30 one evening we felt like having gelato so out we went to Piazza Repubblica. What a range of flavours! One scoop. Two. Or more? What deliciousness.

Delicious gelato ... ice cream

A weekend in Rome

It ended too soon. We could not fault the weather. We could not fault the last minute City trip with excellent accommodation thrown in. We did the touristy things. On a first trip anywhere we always do ‘the touristy things’. We get over the ‘have-to-sees’ straightaway. Then we take our time and wander about. Investigate this and that. Enjoying the place. The time. The company.

Dean Martin …

I can’t think of Italy without thinking of Deano. He is one of my most favourite singers. So I shall leave you with a Dean Martin song …


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This blog can be translated into any language

Author: Cecilyswritings

Woman, mum, nana, wife, sister, aunt, friend, mentor, business woman, HR specialist. Love keeping in touch with people around the world using social media - so far and yet so near. Fingers in a few pies and now sharing my words. My Motto: Go for it! Believe you can and you can.

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