Apologies for this not going up sooner – I took some much needed Christmas/New Year break out to spend with family. Regular Sunday scheduling will be coming back soon.
Every year, my mother and I have tried to go abroad and visit somewhere together. We did Paris (the whole saga you can read about on this blog) a few years ago, and earlier in the year, we decided to book a week in Rome – a city that I’ve studied extensively through my Classical Civilisations course.
Now, Rome holds a very special place in my heart. After studying and reading all about it, I knew it was somewhere where I was dying to get to. Unlike Paris, which was something I booked all by myself, we decided to try out a travel agency and went with Thomsons (a UK-based agency).
We flew from London Stansted, which is bit of a way outside the city, especially as we had to travel from a family member’s house. But after arriving after about three hours on the coach, we got into Stansted for the flight. I’ve only flown a few times in my life, and Rome was easily my longest flight yet. But the connection was smooth, and thanks to our travel agency, we had a transfer to the airport into Rome City Centre. The airport (Rome’s Ciampino) is the smaller one, but located closer to the city than the larger Leonard da Vinci – Fiumincino airport. The transfer time was just under half an hour due to traffic issues.
Whilst arriving in Rome, we were taken straight to our hotel. Situated just Via Cavour, and on Via Principe Amedeo, The Hotel Giglio Dell’Opera was just under 5 minutes from the central railway station (Termini) which has connections all over the city. The hotel is also surrounded by tourist giftshops, restaurants and is just under 18 minutes walk to the Colosseum along a relatively straight route.
The hotel was comfortable, with an incredibly helpful management team. Our room was fairly standard, with a big open window, clean bathroom and fresh linen every day. However, like I’ve stated before, as long as the room is clean and comfortable, I’m not that bothered about the aesthetics.
For a charge, the hotel lets you use the WiFi and there is a comfortable lounge and bar section for coffee and alcoholic beverages. Downstairs there is also a fairly large breakfast room, which my mother and I used to fill up on for the day. The breakfast was fairly simple and continental but had delicious pastries and coffees.
However, please be aware that there are city taxes in Rome for tourists. For us, it was €3.00 per night, per person which wasn’t too bad. You usually pay this for the hotel, or could possibly organise it through your travel company.
For our entire trip; flights, connections and hotel, it was around £300 each. Now for the location of the hotel (very central, clean and quiet), this was a fantastic deal. I’d happily pay this again for the ease of travel and staying. On top of this, we also must have paid about £100 extra for other expenses (coach and train tickets, tourist attractions in Rome etc).
Rome isn’t a particularly expensive city if you don’t eat in fancy restaurants, fill up on breakfast and perhaps grab pizza from local eateries for lunch, rather than have sit-down meals. As it is quite a small city, we barely used any public transport – only a bus to and from the Vatican – and we happily strolled through the late-April heat.
In my next blogpost, I’ll be describing the first day of our holiday, in which we decided to visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum.