September 10, 2017 – When we got to Florence and were looking ahead to our day traveling to Rome we noticed that our train left out of a different station than we came in to. This threw a wrench in things because one of the reasons why I chose the Airbnb that I did in Florence was its proximity to the SMN train station. Our train to Rome would be leaving out of the Campo di Marte station. This was 1.5 miles from our Airbnb. You’re probably thinking, “Oh they just got a taxi!” No, no we did not. We walked. The whole way. With 40 lbs of gear on. I’m glad Eric told me the amount of time it would take to walk rather than the mileage otherwise I would have quit.
To add to this long journey on foot, it was raining. We woke up to it pouring, but luckily it tapered off to a light drizzle for our walk.
We made it to the train station 2 hours before our train was supposed to depart. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was me being my weird early self again. Maybe it was because we were just ready to be out of Florence (to be honest, not our favorite city. Feel free to disagree. If we didn’t do the wine tour I would have been mad we even went to Florence). I really can’t remember.
So we waited in the hot, humid station for 2 hours for our train. We were actually getting nervous because we saw so many trains up on the board showing late; some by a few hours. If our train ended up being late, that would have just made this day even worse.
Luckily, the train was on time. This train was direct so we didn’t have to make any transfers which was so nice.
We made it to Rome around 3:00 pm. Our Airbnb was about 2 miles from the train station, but don’t worry we took a taxi this time. If you’re planning on taking a taxi from the Rome Termini station, there is an obvious long line for the legit white taxis. I was worried about getting in a legit taxi, but it’s pretty hard to miss that line. There are also big signs that explain the legit taxis vs. the frauds. It’s hard to mess up.
I think the taxi was only €10 so it wasn’t bad at all and our driver brought us right to the door of our Airbnb down a tiny narrow alley.
Ivana was our host in Rome. She was so kind and didn’t speak a word of English. It’s amazing what you can understand just from pointing! Also, the door to the Airbnb was so small we barely fit through it with our packs. It was pretty hilarious.
Ivana had given us a map and showed us all the sights we could ever want to see in Rome. “No metro” was very easy to understand and made us both happy! All the sites in Rome were accessible by foot. Thank goodness!! We could have figured out the metro if necessary, but it was so nice to not have to rely on it like we did in Paris. We were staying right next to the Piazza Navona if you were curious. If you want to stay in this lovely place: Link to Airbnb in Rome near Piazza Navona. There’s a washing machine!
We settled in and decided to just go wander. We had a rough morning and we were in need of a random afternoon with no plans. So we walked. I just loved all the little streets and alleyways we came across!
We wandered by Castel Sant’Angelo, the Vatican, then back around to Piazza Navona.
We hadn’t eaten that much during the day, so we were famished by 6:00 pm. We decided to check out one of the restaurants Ivana suggested, La Focaccia. It was right off Piazza Navona, but tucked back in a quiet alley away from all the chaos. Europeans eat so late, so it was just us and 2 solo travelers eating at the time. Our waitress spoke some broken English, but we were just ordering pizza and wine so that was pretty easy to understand. Eric ordered for me and asked for the margherita pizza. There were 2 different kinds, so I clarified that I wanted the buffalo mozzarella one. Our waitress asked if we wanted one of the pizzas as a starter and we said sure! Might as well do one pizza first so the other would be hot too.
Well, there was a bit of miscommunication. We ended up with 3 pizzas! When I corrected Eric, she thought we wanted both types of margherita pizzas instead of just the buffalo. There’s no sense in getting upset at something like that. The pizzas were only €7 (and DELICIOUS). So we ate as much as we could then took the rest back to our Airbnb. More pizza is better than no pizza; It was a happy mistake!
After our huge dinner, we made a pit stop at the Airbnb to put away the pizza and then went back out on the town.
I wanted to see the Vatican at night, so we stopped by again. I think this was one of our 30,000 step count days.
Once it was dark, I was wanting some dessert. I hadn’t had tiramisu yet, so we decided to seek some out. I had saved this highly rated dessert place when I was planning and it just happened to be right around the corner from our Airbnb. It was called Two Sizes because they only served their tiramisu in two sizes: big or small. I think we got a big classic one. They also had cool flavors like pistachio, caramel, and peanut butter.
After our tiramisu, we decided to call it a night. We would be getting up extra early the next day to tour the Vatican so we wanted to make sure we were well rested.
Continue reading the Travel Diary here: Day 13: Early Morning Vatican Tour and Rome Sightseeing