Italy, Rome – An Off-Season Trip I
We were pondering if winter or early spring are suitable seasons for a stay in Rome. It turned out, it was a great choice. It is off main season, therefore accommodation, and flight tickets are notably cheaper. There are also lesser tourist crowds (yet in Vatican or at the main train station there are still many people there). Moreover, the weather is amazing. It was bit frosty in the morning but as the day goes on, the sun is more powerful. Temparatures then rise up to 18 °C so we wore just sweaters (some even wore T-shirts and shorts).
Sure, there we experienced some obstacles during our stay - the opening hours of the sights are shortened - they close between half past three and five in the afternoon. Find out about the opening hours in advance. If you like to travel around Rome, bear in mind that buses' schedules are different from those during the season. In winter, everything works in Rome but outside of it it is a different story. So, one more time - check the opening hours before travelling anywhere.
A flight from Prague to Rome takes about two hours. The airport is situated outside the city so you need to take a bus, combined transportation (or taxi). It costs 6 euro to get to Rome by bus and it takes 40 minutes The combined transport is much cheaper. For 1,2 euro you get to Ciampino to the train staiton of the same name. Than you board the train to Roma Termini for 1,5 euro. This route is even faster and takes 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the reality upon the arrival at the airport was quite different. Large crowds in front of the airport meant that we spent one hour waiting in a row before boarding a bus to Ciampino. Howeover, the train ride itself was without any problems. There is one more advantage to this type of transportation - trains are modern, clean, and comfortable. The price is similar to the Czech Republic. Moreover, they are always on schedule. You can buy tickets online or in modern ticket machines or at the ticket office. Don't forget to confirm the tickets in machines similar to those in the subway in Prague.
We stayed close to the train station – Roma Termini. We were close to various sights. We still had all afternoon before us to explore the city. We set off to cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore on the square of the same name. After ten minutes of walk we reached one of the most famous sights in Rome - Colosseum. There is a park in front of the Colosseum - Parco Oppio. The park has some historical items on its compound. If history is not your thing, you would find interesting yellow parotts. They fly by from time to time here. The Colosseum is an impresive building and in the light of the afternoon sun it was simply amazing.
Za Koloseem se již rozkládá Forum Romanum is situated behind the Colosseum. It was the center of Rome. The Arch of Constantine Arco di Constantino dominates the compound which is huge and you can even take a paid guided tour. However, you can see almost everything from the side streets.
We left Colosseum and went downVia del Fori Imperiali on which there is a visitors' center. Then we continued towards the Monument of Victor Emanuel II. On our right side, there was the Trajan's Market (Mercati Traianei). The memorial is a huge building made of white limestone and symbolizes the unification of Italy. Victor Emanuel II was largely responsible for the unification act. Inside, there is a bronse equestrian statue of the ruler. Moreover, there is a tomb of an unnamed soldier who died during the Great War – Altare della Patria.
The view from the Monument of Victor Emanuel II over Rome is fantastic. An elevator can take you up to the top of the monument. This is charged however. Entering the monument is free of charge. We took the last picture on Piazza Venezia and then set off down Via del Corso to the Trevi Fountain. Aqua Virgo built in the year 19 BC supplies the fountain with water. Now, at night, the foutnain was truly magical. As it was getting late, we had dinner at local bistro and then crossed Piazza della Repubblica and headed to our hostel.
Next Thursday we tell you more about our trip to Rome.
GPS: 41°53'27.6"N 12°29'18.1"E
Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová
More than two thirds of Sardinia are covered by mountains. They do not reach dizzying heights, but you will find beautiful and unspoiled nature. It is therefore not surprising that this island is a popular outdoor Mediterranean destination with interesting treks. If there is a place in Sardinia where it will feel completely small, it is the Su Gorropu canyon. The rock sides of the gorge rise to a height of 500 meters, making it the deepest gorge in Europe.
We haven't left Busseto yet. We moved from its center to the outskirts of the city and to Sant'Agata three miles away. There is a farmhouse where fill the missing pieces of our knowledge of Verdi's life.
Once Tibur, now Tivoli. The city of sixty thousand is located approximately 30 kilometers east of Rome in the Sabine hills. Emperor Augustus had once enjoyed this place. He sought shelter here from hot summer in Rome.
Milan is one of those cities where you can spend a few days and still discover something new. Since the time of the Celts, the city has developed into a modern economic center of Italy. In its tangled streets, overcrowded with cars you occasionally find some interesting sight which maybe is not one of the top attractions of Milan, but as we we are there already, why not and make a stop for a while.
A hundred kilometers north of Rome lies the Umbrian town of Orvieto. It sits high above the valley of the Paglia River. The town was founded by the ancient Etruscans. It later became a significant fortress, especially due to its strategic location. Today it consists of two parts. The old town lies at higher altitude, the newer part lies in the valley and it is the place which you see first when you get off the train or park your car. To get to the historic center, you can use the funicular. Up there you will find most of the tourist attractions.
Once more we dive deep into this beautiful town of 20 thousand.
Even though the city is a commercial and industrial center now, the seat of the gas and oil refineries, and the World War II has hit its historcal heart, it still offers a number of beautiful historical monuments. In the following lines, we will look into its center and enjoy the local architectural gems.
We have probably all heard it: "See Naples and die." Yes, Naples is beautiful, but it is also rough, authentic and dirty. Maybe that's why it will be etched under your skin. Half-dilapidated houses, smelly piles of garbage, but you go a little further and breathe the atmosphere of real Italy. Naples is considered the cradle of modern delicacy, which is nothing but pizza. We also plan to taste the real Neapolitan pizza.
This year did not want to travel much, but we still found tickets to a place we have been planning to see for a long time. The aim of this year's holiday was a diverse Sardinia. Within 14 days we had the opportunity to cross the island from the south through the mountains inland to the east, then north and northwest. Our journey begins in Cagliari, from where we then move east to the island.
Whenever we go on vacation, one of the first things we look for is the highest mountain on the island. It is already our tradition to try to look at the highest point of the area. It will not be different today. We set off to the highest mountain in Sardinia, which is Punta la Marmora with a height of 1,834 m above sea level.
Spring seems to be a distant dream. Maybe it is worth traveling somewhere where it is warm. Therefore, we chose the town of Ostia to be the place of our article for today. In the past, the town was known as Rome's most important port. It is situated close from the Tyrrhean Sea. Now the town features the second largest excavation site in Italy.
Do you have some place that you love the most on the old continent? Rome is our choice! Do you know why? The answer is not a short one and we can name dozens of reasons.
Being in Rome one should visit Vatican - the smallest country in the world. Millions of tourists visit it every year and sea its museums, the Sistine chapel, or St Peter's basilica. The entire land is surrouned by ramparts. The state of Vatican consists of the Vaticane gardens, St Peter's square, St Peter's basilica, and another significant structures.
We were about to stay five days in Rome. So we intended to make some trips around Rome. We received some advice at the visitor's center which led us to visit the town of Cerveteri. The town is situated in the Lazio region about 40 kilometers from Rome. It takes us about an hour by train to reach Marina di Cerveteri station (the train departs several times every day from Roma Termini station). Then you need to reach a bus stop (100 from the train station). A free of charge minibus departs from here to the historic center of Cerveteri (to Piazza Aldo Moro). The ride takes about 20 minutes.
We decided to leave Rome on Sunday for Tivoli, a town about 40 kilometers away. Formerly, this was a place where Rome's rich went to recreate because they had their summer residence there. Today, tourists are most intrigued to visit the magnificent Renaissance villa – Villa d'Este.
The last day in Rome was the perfect day for a trip off the city. We visited two different places. After Villa d‘Este we decided to set off to Frascati. There is Villa Aldobrandini. Frascati is situated 20 kilometers southeast of Rome. A train departs from roma Termini to here regularly. The ride takes half an hour. But bear in mind that the train departs from a pretty remote platform. So don't go to the train station at the last minute.
In the antiquity, Pisa was an important Roman port. However, the Arno River has silted up since. Now, there is a 10 kilometer gap between the city and the sea. It is very likely that you know Pisa as the home of the leaning tower. However, it is possible that you don't know that Campo Santo cemetary or local cathedral are other major sights around here.
Siena is situated in central Tuscany, the cradle of Reneissance. Its people are often considered a nation within a nation.
On this day we travel to Campania, Italy. Its mountainous landscape is situated in the south of the country and you will lvoe this region. The nature is amazing, history is rich, and food is addicting while everything is wrapped into the beautiful nature which is dotted with beautiful towns.
Today we go to a region where you will love to stay for as long as possible.